Friday, March 9, 2012

Artists’ Co-op; a Solution to Expense and Exposure

Renting space in a cutting edge mall is expensive, unless you do it as a team in a “co-op.” Volunteers staff the Gallery including hosting visitors and handling retail sales. A wine, cheese and champagne reception on opening night attracts additional visitors using refreshments supplied by participating artists. What’s not to like?

When the Co-op sponsored a juried competition I wanted to be a part of it. Eager participants could enter four works of art for $25; cheap and affordable. With enough participants, the moneys reaped will help pay the rent! What a great way to network and get more exposure!

Another group of artists host a “wine and painting” event each week where artists and would-be-artists bring a bottle of wine and a project to paint. A teacher is available for help and questions. The three hour session costs $45. Friends are made, a party atmosphere is created, and everyone has fun.

When our neighborhood had a block party, my artist friend and I held an “Art Walk” before the event. People in our area were already familiar with this activity, and were curious to see our work. It was a big success for both of us. I sold my painting: “Broken” and a few cards. Interest was also shown in some of my other paintings. Who knows, this neighborhood network may lead to additional sales.

Some of our Pan American Alliance members are showing artwork in local law, accounting, and dental offices; a great way to form alliances within the community. Later this year, the Alliance will be painting a mural for the Children’s Regional Library. This is our way to thank them for allowing us to paint and demo our work twice a month in their facility.

Entrepreneurs of every stripe need to work together in this economic climate. The key to the future and to future sales is to form alliances not only online, but through community organizations and public facilities.

Opportunities for artists are everywhere. You just have to look for them and be willing to participate when opportunities arise.