Real Life Art Strategies: How to Start an Art Collective

Coming together and combining forces with like minded people is ALWAYS a good way to get some amazing things happening, no matter what industry you are in. There is no “I” in Team after all!

Art Collectives can help give your career a boost, not to mention enrich your personal/social life too! Here are a few basics to collectives:

  • An arts collective is a group of artists, curators and supporters who work together to support and promote the work of every member of the collective. Usually this is through shared workspace and materials, marketing and promotional efforts, advocacy, and collaborative works. Everyone who is part of the collective jointly shares costs, benefits and risks.
  • In order to create a solid artist’s collective, you need to first establish a network or arts contacts in your city. This can include other artists who you want to join your collective, but also other professionals who your collective can draw on for help – curators, gallery owners, business people, suppliers, etc. Joining local networking groups and attending artist events is a great way to expand your network. Once you’ve got this network established, start talking to these artists and professionals!
  • Think about an overarching theme (or mission statement) for your collective. It might be about inspiring the local community, or about creating art that has a positive impact on the environment, or anything else! 
  • Advertise your artists collective on local art websites, at art centers, and in art publications. Remember all those contacts you were storing? Email them all and let them know about the creation of the collective.
  • Invite artists and other interested parties to an initial meeting to discuss ideas and the direction of the collective. Allow everyone a chance to talk and share ideas. If possible, invite along an artist from another arts collective to talk about how their collective works and the benefits of forming a collective. At this meeting you can also decide on roles for various people and assign jobs, such as researching studio spaces or trying to obtain a materials discount.

Great way to get started! More posts to come on the topic as we continue running this Blog.

Case Study: Free Snacks Collective, NYC

This amazing group allows artists who have other full time work to take off some of the pressure of finding outlets for their artwork by coming together on events, exhibitions and running social media. Brilliant! Check them out on Facebook and their website.

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