Community | Identity I Diversity – Part 1
I’ve been delighted to share so many guest blogs recently, but I thought it was time that there was something from me. I like knowing more about the artists I work with, so I hope that’s reciprocal. It turns out I have a lot to say- so this is part one!
Community, identity, and diversity: - these three words kept coming to mind when I sent out the March newsletter to artists- my 40+ members and a slightly larger number of artists who aren’t members, but like to hear what’s happening through Living from Art.
Artists are a very broad and important community. My heart was lifted by artists supporting artists and paying tribute to NHS Heroes during the pandemic, and just how many artists get involved with different charities through their work.
Support and solidarity from the artist community for the people of Ukraine has been wonderful. Do checkout #sunflowersforukraine - the diversity of the work, the power of the messages, and the beauty of all these different sunflowers make me cry – which is actually a welcome relief.
For some, being part of a supportive community of artists is a very important part of membership of Living from Art. Whenever a question or a request for help is posted on the What’s App group, members respond. There have been some great discussions on all kinds of relevant topics and the Living from Art group has facilitated finding partners for exhibitions, sharing news of opportunities and welcoming new members. Reaching out to others and finding your artists family can be hard, and I’m glad whenever I’ve been able to just give someone a gentle push to do this- or identify an artist I think they should talk to and put them in touch.
We have a ceramicist, Peter Garrard, sharing his artist’s journey at our 17 March meeting. These meetings are for everyone, whether or not they are members of Living from Art and I hope we will be joined by other 3D artists – potters, ceramicists, sculptors and makers. I am looking forward to learning more about the communities and networks formed by artists in these fields. We are all part of overlapping communities, but sometimes it is good to be connected to other people who work in the same medium.
Any artist living from art needs to reach out and build a community of people who know, like and want to support them. Building this community of art supporters is vital and to do this we must reach out to new communities, offering them the joy of art whether making it or appreciating it.
It was wonderful to be reminded of the joy of personally creating art when I visited Sarah Goddard’s recent exhibition, Make Room for Art, where a collective piece of art was created by visitors. The questions she asked about what barriers people faced in accessing art were thought-provoking. Check them out here https://www.sarahgoddardartist.co.uk/blog If you have any kind of event or exhibition coming up, is there one new community you could reach out to or one thing you could do to address a potential barrier visitors might face? I’d really like to hear from you what you have or are planning.
Reaching out to the business community
There are so many talented artists needing to sell their work, and there are so many workplaces devoid of art and missing out on all the benefits that adding art can bring to business.
One of my goals for this year is to encourage artists and the business community to work together, for their mutual benefit. (There, I’ve committed to it!)
Approaching businesses in the most appropriate way, learning from each other what business needs and what art can offer is daunting for many artists. Understanding how we could engage better with the business community will be the theme for our April meeting. I hope this will be a good starting point for all of us reaching out to the business community.
Thank you very much for reading so far! There is much more I would like to share about identity and diversity – so I’ll save that for part 2.
I would really like to have your feedback about this blog. To comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a ring on 07747 032912
Do let me know if you don’t get the monthly artists newsletter and would like to receive it.
Check out www.livingfromart.co.uk/events-training for details of all our meetings.
Photo credits Peter Garrard, Sarah Goddard, Marilyn Gough.