Community Support for the Artist

One of the misconceptions about artists is that they should be poor and starving! Today, it is rather ridiculous to go on with the un-romantic approach of letting an artist starve.

Without the basic necessities of comfortable living, plus enough money to invest in material and supplies, an artist can become cynical, discouraged and weary of trying to live out his commitment to create. Because many artists are sensitive and withdrawn, it is often difficult for them to promote their work.

Communities can choose to enter into a cooperative effort with their local artists to bring art to the people. Artists and communities can choose to accept responsibility for each other. If there is an interlocking of artistic senti­ment, and caring for creative people by the communities, artists can choose to reciprocate by choosing to fulfill the communities’ need for art by producing, displaying, and promoting creative works.

If you are an artist you can choose to list the people who know of about you and your art. They may be able help you in find places to display your work. If there is no help from family or friends, then turn to members of your art community for help and support.

Inventory your art work. Figure out how many pieces of art that are ready for display.  Put together all the supplies that you need for hanging your show. Find a buddy to help.

There are many restaurants, offices, apartment foyers, theater lobbies, and empty windows available for display of work. Start looking and asking.

The Chamber of Commerce, business associations, and/or other professional organizations can choose to make art an integral part of their “giving back to community”. A policy could be instated to make art available to people within and outside the company in as many ways as possible. A business could set up an  “arts policy” which serves as a link to artists and the community.

If there is a group in your area that sponsors a yearly art show, ask them if they can offer more opportunities throughout the year in your community. A con­tinuing project for that group could be to match artists with sponsors or locations for exhibitions. In Cincinnati we have several groups that are outstanding examples of this effort.

If your community has developed art opportunities for you and other fellow-artists, then it is your responsibility as an artist (or art-appreciator) to participate in this effort. Attend meetings, make suggestions and serve on committees.

Do not expect someone to promote your work without taking some initial steps on your own. Be creative. Be realistic about what you can do. Plan it. Do it. Share!