Community-Supported Art Shareholding Program Returns for Second Season

By Krystin Arneson
In Culture

Community-supported agriculture is all well and good (and delicious), but there’s another CSA that’s on our radar: Community Supported Art, founded by Katy Peace, is back this season with another slew of locally made art up for sponsorship. For anyone whose art collection is marred by indecision, whose tastes run a bit eccentric or who doesn’t quite have the funding to invest in a big-name piece—well, this program has got your back.

Here’s how it works: Artists from all over St. Louis, working across a variety of mediums and styles, apply to be selected by a diverse jury of local arts leaders. “Something interesting for each of us was trying to find new voices,” says Luminary Co-director and curator James McAnally, who was one of the jurors this year. “We were interested in giving them an opportunity.”

Nine are chosen from the pack and are commissioned to produce 50 editions of an original work (obviously there’s some variation in the details, but that’s part of the fun). “When people think about buying art, they think about buying paintings or more traditional 2-D work,” says McAnally. “We’re able to pay artists to make new work, and, at the same time, it’s bringing art into people’s hands who haven’t been collecting before or trying it out for the first time.”

A collage of the works on sale this year, courtesy CSA.

Works on sale this year with CSA’s shareholder program. Members will receive one edition of each. Going across from top left: Ken Wood, Philip Finder, Nick Nihira. Middle: Ming Ying Hong, Carrie Gillen, Tate Foley. Bottom: Ruth Reese, Louis Wall + The Texan Room, Jeremy Rabus. Courtesy CSA.

This year’s artists:

Philip Finder, who will create white, 12-inch stoneware bowls with textural details.

Tate Foley, who will create a book of prints exploring Regan-era deregulation of advertising targeted toward kids.

Carrie Gillen, who will create 9-inch x 12-inch low-relief works that take a conceptual look at materiality, abstraction and architectural excavation.

Ming Ying Hong, who will create 10-inch x 8-inch(ish) graphite-on-mylar drawings showcasing “slow-changing, ephemeral subjects.”

Nick Nihira, who will create 18-inch x 24-inch black-and-white screenprints.

Jeremy Rabus, who will create mixed-media paintings that use hardbound books as a canvas, blurring the line between 2-D and 3-D art.

Ruth Reese, who will create sets of three earthenware cups featuring poetry and illustration.

Louis Wall + The Texas Room, who will record exclusive songs.

Ken Wood, who will create medium-size prints featuring layers of color and motifs.

One piece from each artist then goes to the 50 CSA shareholders, whose membership costs $425—an average of $47.22 per piece. Because pieces encompass all sorts of media and styles, one member might keep all of them; another might consider holiday shopping done; and another might get in on a share with their friends and divvy up the cost (and the art).

Shareholders collect their art over three pick-up dates, which double as soirees at arty city locations:

Pick-up #1: Saturday, July 18, 5-7pm, at Enamel, 3123 Morganford Road.
Pick-up #2: Saturday, Aug. 15, 11am-1pm, at Firecracker Press, 2612 N. 14th St.
Pick-up #3: Saturday, Sept. 12, 6-8pm, at Reese Gallery, 3410 Wisconsin Ave.

Selling all 50 shares makes the program sustainable, and the program means the artists get paid for making art. And when we have artists making art and getting paid and making more art because they have money to make more art, then we have a strong arts community—and that’s a pretty great thing to have.

A bit more than half of the memberships are sold. Interested? Check out the CSA site.

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