We’re all familiar with Community Supported Agriculture, a program that’s been around for a number of years. After purchasing a share in a local farm you receive weekly boxes of seasonal produce. Well, the same “buy local” spirit is the driving force behind Spark! Artshares. This is Community Supported Art, a shareholding program involving local artisans. It's become very successful in other parts of the country and you can now participate right here in the Pioneer Valley.
How does it work? Artists selected from a pool of applicants receive a stipend to create a number of shares for the program. Shareholders then receive handmade products and fine art from one or 2 of the artisans each month.
Artshare supports local artists in the creation of new work and creates a community of engaged arts supporters. Shareholders receive multiple works of art from local talented artists and have the opportunity to develop relationships with local artists, discover new artists, and support artists’ careers.
Wondering what kind of art you might receive? Go to the Spark website and click on the "artists" tab to see who will be participating this year.
Will you love everything that you get? Just as you don’t always love all the produce you receive in your weekly farm share, you may not enjoy every piece of art you receive. But you probably know someone who will appreciate as a gift what you might not be able to use yourself.
“The idea behind it is to make people, even those who don’t usually collect art, realize how much creative talent is right there in their own backyard. We hope the program will raise awareness of what is going on in our local creative communities and encourage people to support it.” Dorrie Milan, Michigan’s ArtServe