Charleston Supported Art seeks local, emerging & established artists for inaugural year

Modeled after the popular Community Supported Agriculture movement in which consumers invest in a local farm and receive monthly deliveries of fresh produce, a new program is set to launch in early 2014 that will give Lowcountry art lovers the opportunity to purchase shares in exchange for original art created by a curated group of local, emerging and established artists. The program, Charleston Supported Art (CSA), is part of a nationwide Community Supported Art movement that has already spread to over 40 communities across the country and is the first of its kind in Charleston.

CSA’s new model of art sponsorship and distribution supports artists in the creation of new work. Overall, 18 artists will be selected through a juried process and receive a stipend of $1,500 to create 32 pieces of fine art or fine craft, such as paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, textile, jewelry and more. The program consists of three seasons per year with six artists per season – Spring/Summer, Fall and Winter. Shareholders will receive a total of six original works per season, one from each artist. Seasonal shares will be available for purchase at $450 beginning in February 2014. The shares will be delivered through special pick-up events for each season.

The program aims to foster new relationships between buyers and artists with the potential for future art purchases.

“People are more inclined to purchase and support a product that they feel a connection with,” says Kristy Bishop, visionary and co-founder of the program. “CSA offers a means to create that connection, providing artists a platform to showcase their talents to new audiences and allowing patrons to learn the story of the art and artist behind the work.”

For artists, the advantage to participating in CSA extends far beyond the monetary stipend. Being a CSA artist means that your work is guaranteed to find a home with 32 patrons who may wish to deepen the relationship by buying additional work in the future.

According to the New York Times article “‘Buy Local’ Gets Creative,” the first CSA project was launched by Minnesota’s Springboard for the Arts in 2010. The Charleston organizing group, however, was first inspired by the Brooklyn CSA+D (Community Supported Art + Design) project, according to Ann Simmons, one of CSA’s founders.

“We did end up purchasing the (Springboard) kit just to make sure we were covering all of our bases, but the real inspiration came from Brooklyn CSA+D. Kristy found out about that program through a friend who took part as an artist. Kristy emailed (the founding group) the link to CSA+D’s website and asked the question, “Wouldn’t this be an amazing project to try in Charleston?” Some of  us weren’t familiar with the concept, while others had heard about other art CSAs throughout the country. Kristy’s question sparked a conversation that led to the creation of Charleston Supported Art. We’re the only CSA in South Carolina as far as we know.”

In addition to Bishop and Simmons, Charleston Supported Art founders include Camela Guevara, Stacy Huggins, Karen Ann Myers, Erin Glaze Nathanson, and AnneTrabue Nelson.

Visual artists interested in participating in a season of CSA’s inaugural year should apply to the open call jury process set for November 1-December 2, 2013. Find out more or apply at

Is there a Community Supported Art program forming in your community? Let us know about it!

Via: Charleston Supported Art