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Communities Creating Opportunities for Artists

by Moshe Mikanovsky on 11/17/2011 9:36:21 AM

This article is by Moshe Mikanovsky, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews.  An emerging artist searching his way in the art world, he loves to share what he learns.  With over 20 years of technology experience, Moshe combines his technological background and his passion for the arts with the goal of "working his dream".  You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.


Last time, I brought you the story of an artist in Toronto who created couple of art groups with the goal of showing more abstract art. In today's post, I would like to talk about art lovers in the community who are making opportunities for artists.


I met Jacqui Murphy about two years ago through a mutual friend. Jacqui had just started back an organization called Art Allies.  She was looking to find artists who are using social media and how they use it to extend their reach.


Art Allies is located in the Waterloo Region of Ontario. It was established to connect the local high-tech industry with the regions' visual artists. From the Government of Canada official website:  “Waterloo Region, known as Canada’s Technology Triangle, has developed the infrastructure necessary to support the pioneering efforts of local industry in everything from wireless to hybrid car technologies. With more than 150 local research centers and 550 technology companies, Waterloo Region is responsible for producing world-renowned products such as Research In Motion’s BlackBerry and Toyota’s Lexus RX 350.”


The area has a huge potential for corporate companies to collect original art and support the local artists. However, the local artists didn't have a voice to help them reach these companies in a unified manner. Jacqui saw that gap and thereby created Art Allies.


With a background in business for over 15 years in the tech sector and with many contacts and networks through her venture capital work, Jacqui was able to approach the local companies as well as technology centers and incubators, to curate sponsored shows for her artists, with the commitment from the participating companies to acquire some of the art in each of the shows. In addition, Jacqui established a dedicated website for Art Allies (, featuring their artwork, where local collectors can browse the art and then setup an appointment with the local artist at his or her studio to view the art in person. A newsletter is sent on regular basis announcing new artists, shows they are participating in, and other news relevant to the subscribers. And of course, Jacqui uses Facebook, Twitter and other social media to connect with the entire community created around this initiative.


So here is the bottom line - you don't need to be an artist to create artistic opportunities, or if you are an artist, you don't have to create it yourself but rather find the right person with the passion to make it happen. Don't be shy about asking for help. Look at your network for someone who shares your love for art and also has some business background, or is a serial entrepreneur, who knows how to create these opportunities. Partner with them, or start it yourself, at the end you will see the rewards. Look at your local community and see what is the strongest industry. Is it a financial or insurance town? Are there lots of medical centers? All of these places can work in the same way that the hi-tech industry works in Jacqui’s area.


I have interviewed Jacqui for my new video blog "Lets Talk Art". You are welcome to watch this episode through my personal blog (if you want to get notes in the mail about new episodes, just subscribe here).


And I'll finish with a familiar question: Do you have a similar experience making your own destiny? And adding it to this week’s theme: Do you have similar stories for us to share about local entrepreneurs creating opportunities for artists?





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Related Posts:

Art in Your Community: Be a doer not a waiter -- support your local art community

Ten Reasons for the Emerging Artist to Join a Local Art Group

Art and the Economy: Marketing art online is vital during an economic slump - take advantage of consumer traits and online behavior during a recession

Artists Creating Their Own Opportunities

Forget New York City -- Think About Your Own Art Community: Regional Art, Regional Success. Part 2 - Stop the Excuses

Ten Reasons for the Professional Artist to Join a Local Art Group

Forget New York City -- Think About Your Own Art Community: Regional Art, Regional Success. Part 3 Be a game changer

Forget New York City -- Think About Your Own Art Community: Regional art, regional success. Part 1 - Changing Attitudes

Topics: advice for artists | art marketing | exposure tips | FineArtViews | Moshe Mikanovsky | support local art 

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Brian Sherwin
Moshe -- I'm enjoying these stories. It is amazing what people can accomplish when they roll up their sleeves and get down to work. Every community has opportunities just waiting to be established. True, they may not always be opportunities based on financial gain -- that said, recognition is always around the corner if you take initiative. Enticing local corporations to take a look at art is a fantastic idea. And yes, I could see that applied to small businesses as well. Love this.

Cathy Jones
I am an art lover and an artist and I started up an art group "Alliance Artists of Evergreen, Colorado about a year ago to make opportunities for me and my artist friends to show our art work in the Denver metropolitan area and especially for marketing purposes to get our names and art work out there. Since then we have been shown in Southwest Art Magazine, the Denver Post, the Evergreen Canyon Courier and have 5 shows scheduled for 2012. We enjoy the camaraderie of the group and the exposure it brings to our art work. Please visit my website

Sharon Weaver
Sometimes people don't know what they are missing until you point it out to them. Introducing art to your local community through business is a win for both parties.

Robin Baratta
Kudos to Jacqui, what a great idea.
Just an hour south of the K.W. area in a tourist town called Port Stanley a group of regional artists-myself included- are starting an artist run art gallery The BIA in Port, (as it's affectionately called) is firmly behind the arts. We are the 4th and largest artist run gallery on Main St. The theater and Stork Club museum are just around the corner. Port has a long history through the Stork club of involvement in the arts and we are proud to carry on the tradition.
We will be opening March 1st in the historic boathouse across from Jackson's fishery, with a grand opening May 6,7 and 8th. Come and join us,it's gonna be great!

Poppy Balser
Moshe, I always enjoy your articles. Here in Nova Scotia we have a newly growing wine industry, centred around the Annapolis Valley. One local winery put out a call for artists to submit paintings to grace their wine bottle labels. Over 120 artists submitted images and 12 images by 12 local artist were chosen and the resulting labels looked great. ( I was one of the 12 artists)

I was surprised at the degree of controversy generated around this. Some within the arts community chastised the winery for abusing artists and obtaining free images for their labels. I was pleased to have a representation of my painting of a local scene in the hands of people willing to pay a premium for locally made quality wine. I felt that this was a good exposure for me. I am curious what the other readers think of this?

Keep the good articles coming!


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