Being an artist is often very solitary. Some artists might enjoy this, while others like myself are looking for the company of like-minded artists.
There are many ways artists can work together, some temporary, others long-term. If you look at art history, many artists groups were formed for various reasons, whether for the purpose of sharing equipment, studio space or materials, supporting and critiquing each other, exchanging ideas, growing knowledge and experience, or promoting a common belief.
The Group of Seven is probably the most well-known artist group in Canada. It was founded to promote the importance of truly Canadian art. The members believed in creating plein air works which were inspired by the unique wilderness of the Canadian landscape.
There are lots of ways for artists to collaborate, from founding art organisations to small artist groups. An important reason is the sharing of manpower and financial burden.
Art shows and studio tours depend on a groups of artists bringing their resources together to organize the event. There is a lot of work to do beforehand: finding venues, managing registrations, organizing the event, marketing, marketing and more marketing. You can have the greatest artists signed up for an event but if nobody knows about it, it will be a lonely affair.
Working toward an exhibition is a lot easier for a group of artists than for an individual - not only in terms of time to produce the necessary number of works but also with regard to sharing the costs for the venue and marketing. There is also more manpower to share the load of work of organisation, marketing and networking.
Forming a collaboration of artists also gives the group more local lobbying power for arts infrastructure. Especially in our society where the arts are often overlooked as an important aspect of the cultural life, it is important for artists to join forces to stand behind their beliefs.
Many artists form groups as a result of their art not being accepted into art exhibitions organized by the art establishment. Examples of such collaborations are “Der Blaue Reiter” in Germany or “The Painters Eleven” in Canada.
The collaboration with like-minded artists will also help everybody involved to reach their individual goals. The brainstorming within the group will multiply the ideas by feeding from each other’s creativity, knowledge and experience.
If you would like to know more about some of the important artists groups both in Canada and abroad, you can always google them from the convenience of your home. However, I will devote one blog a month to some of them for the rest of the year. The first part will be a blog about the Group of Seven next week.
|Snow Over Charlevoix|
I will also write about the groups I participate in, like the Plein Air Ensemble. The photo at the beginning of this blog shows the invitation for their 2011 show at Galerie Old Chelsea. I created both paintings that are shown on the invitation during the group trip to Charlevoix in March 2010.
|Chapelle de Port-au-Persil|
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