The Clemson Community Supported Art (CSArt) program has launched the second season of its new initiative that allows the community to connect with Clemson art students while engaging in a unique art-shopping experience.
The program places a new spin on the now familiar “Community Supported Agriculture” format, which provides fresh produce to customers who buy a “share” from a local farmer each season. Clemson’s CSArt program aims to create the same market for fresh, handcrafted artwork.
With the purchase of one share, a customer or “shareholder” receives five different artworks created by Clemson art students in a specially packaged crate. This season the theme “Atmosphere: A Ceramic Sampler” represents a multiple approach to ceramic vessel forms and surfaces. Each season’s share is juried by a respected professional in the arts. The current share was selected by Alan Ethridge, the executive director of the Metropolitan Arts Council (MAC) in Greenville, SC. CSArt is selling a total of 25 shares this spring at $125 per share.
This initiative has created a pathway making student artwork accessible to the community.
“My team members and I have faced the challenge of successfully building a brand and creating a desirable way to purchase original pieces for which the community has responded favorably,” said Hannah Hunt ’16, marketing major and art minor.
The initiative began with a Creative Inquiry (CI) team led by Valerie Zimany, assistant professor of art. An instrumental function to learning how to successfully run this program as a potential business was researching strategies, determining net profit outcome as well as looking at successes of CSArt programs in galleries, art studios and art centers.
“This initiative provides students with an entrepreneurial learning opportunity – many of our graduates go on to work for institutions, non-profits, galleries and more,” said Zimany.
“The real-world marketing and administration skills they acquire through participating in CSArt program gives students tangible experience to enhance their studio-based portfolio upon graduation.”
Proceeds from the shares will allow these students to continue research and to present Clemson’s CSArt program at national conferences.
“I gained experience with web design as well as how to market my team and myself which is crucial to learn as an artist,” said Hallie Shafer ’16, visual arts major.
“It was insightful to see how I potentially would be able to transition from academia to sustaining myself in the art world.”
On Monday, April 20 shareholders will meet the artists and pick up shares at the CSArt Pick-Up event, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the Acorn Gallery located on the ground floor of Lee Hall II, 323 Fernow Street.
While mingling with the student artists and enjoying refreshments at the event, the CSArt shareholders also will be privy to an exclusive preview and allowed to purchase additional ceramic pieces early from the popular Spring Ceramics Studio Sale, which will open to the public on Wednesday, April 22, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. With only a few shares left, the public is encouraged to purchase quickly.
For more information, visit www.clemson-csa.org.