While the local arts community has been on a roll lately, there continues to be concern about the ability of Baltimore artists to sell their work in Baltimore. For many years, concerned community members have been seeking solutions to the seeming absence of a viable marketplace for local art.
Last year, Melissa Warlow, Director of the William G Baker Fund convened a group to focus on how to implement a community supported arts program in Baltimore. Taking its cue from Springboard for the Arts in Minneapolis and other such efforts around the country, Station North Arts & Entertainment, Inc (SNAE) with the support of the Baker Fund launched the Community Supported Arts program (CSA) earlier this month.
Immediately exceeding expectations, 15 of the 26 initial shares were sold the first day on February 3rd at $300 per share. The remaining shares were sold in less than a week; selling out by February 7th. “We expected to be selling shares until March 1, but we’ve already sold them all,” said SNAE Director, Ben Stone. (If you want to be part of the CSA program’s next round, contact the program coordinator, Allison Gulick at firstname.lastname@example.org about getting your name on the wait-list.)
What makes the Station North CSA different from other models? “We had to cater it to Baltimore’s needs,” said Stone. “Often people in Baltimore get caught up in the concept of ‘what type of art do I like?’ It’s about what speaks to you, what you like.”
The Baltimore CSA allows for the buyers to meet the artists, choose the art they like, and then in turn a portion of the $300 share price will support that artist’s future work. “The world of buying art can be daunting for some,” said Stone. “With the CSA, you buy something you like, you get to meet the artist and you’re investing in them and their future work.”
The jury of six represents some of Station North’s best art spaces including Jason Hoylman of Windup Space and Stewart Watson of Area 405. They hand selected the artists whose work will be available through the CSA and those artists will present their work in March, May, June and August. More details can be found on the SNAE website.
Utilizing those spaces as places to display the CSA work also promotes the art that is already for sale. “Windup Space has been selling art right off of their walls for awhile,” said Stone. “This is just another way to draw attention to that.”
“By using this model we can introduce more patrons to the local arts community and de-mystify the art purchasing process,” said Allison Gulick. “We’re hopeful that the CSA can bring all of these people together with the community to make art buying a bit more accessible while also giving the artists and gallerists an opportunity to self-promote.”
The rapid response to the CSA speaks volumes about Baltimore’s interest and participation in the growing arts scene.
“The popularity [of the CSA] indicates that there is a market for buying and selling art in Baltimore, but more connections need to be made,” said Stone. “This was one way to make that connection.”
Stay tuned for more info on the next round of the CSA program.
Representing some of Baltimore’s best art spaces:
- Catherine Akins, Gallery CA
- Myrtis Bedolla, Galerie Myrtis
- Max Guy, Devil
- Russell de Ocampo and Jason Hoylman, Windup Space
- Kyle Van Horn and Kim Bentley, Baltimore Print Studios
- Stewart Watson, Area 405
Selected by our all-star jury:
- Mary Anne Arntzen
- Gloria Askin
- Marcus Civin
- Adam Estes
- Phylicia Ghee
- Felipe Goncalves
- Margo Benson Malter
- Andrea Pippins
- D’Metrius Rice
- Justin Strom
- Christine Buckton Tillman
- Nick Vyssotsky
- 03.01.14: Last chance to purchase shares for the Station North CSA
- 03.19.14 @ 6:00PM: Round 1 Artist Presentations
- 05.07.14 @ 6:00PM: Round 1 Art Pickup & Round 2 Artist Presentations
- 06.25.14 @ 6:00PM: Round 2 Art Pickup & Round 3 Artist Presentations
- 08.06.14 @ 6:00PM: Round 3 Art Pickup
- Minnesota’s Springboard for the Arts pioneered the Community Supported Art program. Read about their program here.
- The New York Times recently featured several Community Supported Art programs.
- Doreen Bolger, President of the Baltimore Museum of Art, discusses her collection of local art with Cara Ober in bmoreart.com, Station North CSA’s media sponsor.