Why This Matters: The “Celebrating 5 Years of Community Supported Art” exhibition highlights the Charlotte-area artists who have participated in ASC’s Community Supported Art (CSA) program.
By Bernie Petit
An exhibition born out of the relationship between local artists and art collectors is on view at the UNC Charlotte Center City Projective Eye Gallery.
“Celebrating 5 Years of Community Supported Art,” which runs through July 28, highlights how ASC’s Community Supported Art (CSA) program has supported more than 60 artists in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region in the creation and promotion of new work over the past five years and provided pathways for participating artists to establish relationships with local patrons. ASC launched the CSA program – based on a model developed by mnartists.org and Springboard for the Arts in Minnesota – in 2013.
“ASC has had an amazing range of creative individuals that have produced wonderful and diverse works of art for people to enjoy through the CSA program,” said Katherine Mooring, ASC senior vice president of Community Investment. “The program has been a tremendous benefit for local artists that live and work in our community and we want to celebrate that through the exhibition.”
The exhibition features a variety of artworks, from pieces originally created for the CSA program to newer works reflective of the career evolution of more than 30 past CSA artists.
During each CSA season, nine selected artists create 50 works of original art, which is then sold in the form of 50 “shares” to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. A “share” consists of one piece from each of the nine artists, delivered in three monthly allocations.
The pick-up events for shareholders not only enable artists and patrons to meet and connect, but allow patrons to learn about the artworks they’re taking home, said Ben Thorman. He and his wife Sandi are longtime CSA shareholders.
“I always want to try to understand what the artists were trying to do and you have that opportunity because you can talk to the artist right there,” Thorman said. “We instantly have one thought of what a piece is and you talk to the artist and they’re like, well, this is where I was going.”
The dialogue is beneficial for artists as well, said photographer Nancy Albert, who participated in the 2016 CSA season.
“It helps the artist understand how people respond to his or her art and it helps the purchasers understand what the artist is doing,” she said. “It allows for a more personal relationship that’s not as transactional.”
UNC Charlotte Center City Projective Eye Gallery (320 E. 9th St.) is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.