CSA | An Initiative to Promote Local Art

What is an art CSA?

You've heard of Community Supported Agriculture.  But what is Community Supported Art?  In a nutshell, it's an exciting new model of art support and distribution for artists that jumpstarts their relationships with local collectors and patrons.  Much like agriculture CSAs, it relies on "share" purchases by a community of stakeholders, each of whom receives value in return for their investment.  But instead of receiving kale or cauliflower, art CSAs provide shareholders with locally sourced, fair-pay works of art! 

ArtsMemphis' Artist Advisory Council launched the city's very first CSA in 2016 to cultivate a culture of collecting art, support Memphis artists, and increase funding for our ArtsAccelerator grants for individual artists.  

Click here to read the NY Times article about the Community Supported Art movement.

How does it work?

ArtsMemphis' Artist Advisory Council and The Collective – a coalition of Memphis-based black artists – partnered to commission three selected artists to create 25 “shares” for the program. Interested collectors will purchase a share from ArtsMemphis and, in return, receive three locally produced artwork.

Featured works could include nearly anything. Each member share includes one piece from each of the three CSA featured artists. For the ArtsMemphis CSA, shares are $500 each, come with artist talk and pickup party, and are a great way to connect with local artists and art supporters.

The CLTV is an art organization dedicated to providing a platform to African American artists within the city. Through art based programming, workshops, and community building efforts we employ the use of creative expression as a vehicle to shift our culture towards positive growth, creativity, and strength.

Despite a communal response of hopelessness to poverty, crime, homelessness, and blight there is a marginalized group of survivors in Memphis, TN. African Americans, though the majority in Memphis, have been continuously overlooked and ignored as the city bouts with gentrification through revitalization efforts.  The CLTV was formed to honor those survivors in an effort to contest those issues by uplifting and empowering the city's Black community through thoughtful and creative interactions.  We support artists and provide them with the tools needed to jump start and maintain inspiring careers.  It is our belief that by strengthening both the artist and the community we will begin to shift the culture towards positive growth, creativity, and vitality. 

Maintaining Place | Making Space

"Maintaining Place | Making Space"

In recent years, Memphians have wrestled with questions of neighborhood identity in the face of gentrification and revitalization efforts.  For this year's CSA, we commissioned three artists, Lawrence Matthews III, Matthew Thomas, and Felicia Wheeler, to create works that explore what it means to maintain space in the age of “place-making.”  Self-proclaimed place-makers often overlook the pre-existing desires, lifestyles, and cultures within communities affected by poverty and blight.  This collection of work will spark conversation and contemplation around these issues, and it will promote dialogue about how to truly honor local communities during the re-animation of Memphis.

CSA Collectors

CSA Collectors will be invited to participate in Maintaining Place | Making Space, an exhibition of all featured CSA artists at OMG – Orange Mound Gallery (2232 Lamar Ave., Memphis, TN 38114):

  • Opening Reception: Friday, October 6, 6:00-9:00 p.m
  • Artist Talk: Sunday, October 15, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Pick up party and exhibit closing: Saturday, November 4 6:00-9:00 p.m

Our goal is that this CSA model will contribute to a local, sustainable cultural economy in Memphis.  

Purchase your 2017 CSA

For $500, anyone can become a shareholder, though there is a limit on the number of participants per year. In October, shareholders will pick up a box containing three original and randomly selected works of art by Lawrence Matthews III, Matthew Thomas, and Felicia Wheeler. 

You may pay in full today or half now and half at the pickup party in October. You will be purchasing three works of art which will include the TN sales tax of 9.25%.