Brenda Marks wants to know . . .

On today’s blog tour stop for I’d Rather Be in the Studio! Brenda Marks asks me this:

What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of belonging to an art cooperative?

Wow! I’ve never been asked this before. I think I came up with a pretty good list of things to consider, although I realize it’s a starting point. Visit Brenda’s blog, Making Marks, and see what I have to say.

Be sure to leave your own thoughts about artist co-ops and check out the free book giveaway.

Image (c) Brenda Marks, Transitions 5

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4 comments to Brenda Marks wants to know . . .

  • Alyson, I read this interview and it made think about the different guilds I have belonged to. I realize that guilds are more of a craft thing, but what’s your take on them? I’m not talking about the larger, nationwide or international guilds, but the regional, medium specific kind. I’ve belonged to a couple and they differ drastically in some ways and are similar in others. My biggest beef is the unprofessionalism I’ve seen in one, which unfortunately has become a trend lately in dealing with people who stick themselves into the classic stereotype of “I’m an artist, I can’t think linearly, or do math, or keep deadlines.” I’d love to hear your comments on this.

  • Thank you for such an insightful commentary on coop galleries. You gave me plenty to think about.

  • Wendy: Boy! Every organization varies so greatly that it’s hard to lump them together. It depends so much on the personalities involved and the defined mission. I think you can often attend a single meeting and know if it’s for you or not.

  • This is an interesting question, and I’m surprised there are so few responses. “Art Cooperative” may be defined differently in major cities than it is in distant suburbs or semi-rural areas. It is the local art association with which I am familiar. Even the poorest art association will give newbies to marketing some training in presenting themselves and their art to the public. If you are fortunate to have a really good art association nearby, you may find it a reliable venue for expanding your collector base throughout your career. It is a terrific venue for increasing your visibility locally. Coops and artists benefit according to the contributions in time and money by the members. I once visited an urban artists coop (10 artists). The art was great, but the atmosphere was tense because a couple artists weren’t meeting their responsibilities, and the remaining artists had to pick up the slack, cutting into their productive time. I suspect that is a common theme. Some guilds/coops will contribute more to your resume than to sales. Others will be good sources for sales and workshops (teaching them.) You have to decide what you want from the affiliation.