There's a new concept in buying art based on the tried and true Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model used by farms and other food producers. Community Supported Art means you pay in advance for a share and on "harvest day" you pick up a box of artwork. Like the farm-based CSA, with CSArt, you never know quite what you'll get until you pick it up, and the artists benefit like the farmers do, with cashflow during the time they have to invest in making the art.
Supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and others, CSArt is administered by the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. Nine local artists are selected each year and tasked with producing an edition of 50 pieces for the program. Each share gets one work from each artist. This year the artists are:
- Shannon Astolfi (watercolor)
- Eileen DeRosas, (hand-painted plates)
- Emily Garfield (maps)
- Jude Griffin (photography)
- Cristina Hajosy (artists books)
- Laura Jones (watercolor and pen & ink)
- Maeve Mueller (ceramics)
- Robert Smyth (letterpress poetry)
- Sok Song (origami)
I'm very lucky to be involved in the project as the teacher of a short business curriculum for artists. As such, I stress the importance of getting paid in advance whenever possible, and that's just what a CSA program allows them to do. Here's a clip from 2012 on the program:
I urge you to check out the artists' sites and the CSArt program in general. The CSA vegetable box usually includes something new that you don't know what to do with but soon learn to love, I expect that a box of community supported art might just have the same delightful benefit.
Last I checked, shares were still available.