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 (www.ArtAllies.com), 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?