The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Two Philadelphia groups have begun working on a project which seeks to close the gap in the buyer and maker relationship that comes with purchasing artwork. Grizzly Grizzly and neighbor Tiger Strikes Asteroid have begun one of Philadelphia’s first Community Supported Art (CSA) programs along with the Philadelphia Folklore Project, both of which are Knight Arts grantees. The idea was adopted after its proven success through Springboard for the Arts in Minneapolis, which has since been replicated around the country.
Ultimately, Philadelphia has a number of CSAs around town, except that those are mostly all models of Community Supported Agriculture. The agricultural plan calls for shareholders to pay a fee up front to receive a share of the farmer’s seasonal produce. For the new artistic take, the idea is the same, except participants will walk away with paintings and sculptures instead of apples and kale.
Both CSAs include nine artists apiece and focus on the dialogue between the artists and patrons. At the end of each interval, those who have paid in and financed the project get an original work by a number of the participating artists until they have collected one from each. The Grizzly Grizzly/Tiger Strikes Asteroid share costs $450 for nine artworks and the Philadelphia Folklore Project is similarly $350 for nine pieces of folk art. Both programs have fifty shares available.
This project is useful in giving artists a consistent, guaranteed income as well as providing an engaging way for collectors to interact with artists and directly influence the output; a true community-driven artistic process that benefits all the parties involved. With individual donors helping individual artists, a truly grassroots-style artistic movement has emerged that promises to reshape the way funding operates.
Participating artists in the Grizzly Grizzly/Tiger Strikes Asteroid collaboration include: Sarah Kate Burgess, Anda Dubinskis, Jacob Feige, Sarah Gamble, Brian Giniewski, Ivanco Talevski, Brent Wahl, Douglas Witmer and Linda Yun. The Philadelphia Folklore Project includes art by: Ra’sheeda Bey, Alma Luz Castro, Maisaloon Dias, Stephanie Hryckowian, Christina Johnson, Eric Joselyn, Marta Sanchez, Pang Xiong Sirirathasuk and Matthew Smith.