The eat-local, shop-local movement has skyrocketed in recent years, especially with programs like Community Supported Agriculture, where farmers offer a certain number of “shares” to the public. Interested consumers buy a share and in return receive boxes of seasonal produce throughout the farming season. This exchange benefits both the farmer, who gets early, reliable payment and the consumer, who gets to eat ultra-fresh, locally produced food.
With arts funding and patronage declining in the current economic climate, the Arts & Science Council (ASC) has taken this innovative idea and applied it to local art with the Community Supported Art Program (CSA). Working much the way Community Supported Agriculture does, art collectors will buy a “share” of the works produced by nine locally based artists. This “share” consists of one art work from each of the nine artists delivered in three monthly allocations. According to the council, “the CSA program is an exciting new model of art support and distribution that supports artists in the creation and promotion of new work and establishes relationships with local collectors and patrons.”
In its inaugural year, 2013, CSA has produced 450 new art works from nine carefully selected local artists: Elisa Berry Fonseca, Caroline Brown, Sharon Dowell, Rose Hawley, Rebecca Haworth, Tomoo Kitamura, Alex McKenzie, Jeff Murphy and Verna Witt. The ASC now is gearing up for the 2014 program, searching for nine individual artists to be part of next year’s “growing” season.
CSA is open to artists in all disciplines, the performing and visual arts, residing in the Charlotte region, including Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Rutherford, Union and York counties. CSA artists must produce 50 unique, limited-edition pieces for CSA only; they must be reasonably deliverable under the maximum dimensions of 12” x 12” x 12”. Interested artists are asked to submit an artist statement, work samples and a CSA artwork proposal (detailed instructions are available on the ASC website). Application is through the CaFE online application system. The deadline to apply is noon on Nov. 25, 2013.
For art collectors, shares for the spring 2014 season will go on sale Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, for $500 each.