Friday, August 9, 2013

The Artists With Conviction Coalition

I have some big news!
I am proud to announce that I've started a new local art group on Facebook called..

Hehe, I like it because it kind of rhymes.

The Backstory

I noticed that there wasn't really a well organized community for the underground art scene here in Charleston yet. Everyone's kind of sporadic- good creative work is happening, but in isolated bubbles, and it's mostly a fend for yourself type attitude. As a fledgling artist trying to make a living from scratch, it's been nearly impossible to get my foot in the door around here... I just can't find enough opportunities in time to actually benefit from them. And if there are jobs or venues available, the same few people quickly snatch them up before the rest of us even have a chance. This isn't because those particular artists are greedy or better than anyone else, it's just a matter of having the connections you need to get good gigs. This shouldn't have to be so hard.

I have been lucky to meet a lot of frustrated "refugee artists" just like me through my sublime experience in working in the Phillip Hyman shows. These guys have the fire and talent it takes to be a working artist, but simply lack the connections to get their work out there more. There has always been a yearning for more venues, but never quite enough to go around despite everyone's enthusiasm. It was becoming glaringly clear that this was a problem that needed to be remedied.
By Heather Pallay

So I thought, what would happen if we banded all of this raw artistic energy together into one concise group?

Imagine if all the visual artists, musicians, actors, comedians, and all the other creatives in the area combined their forces into one. With all that talent in once place, we wouldn't have to scrape for opportunities anymore. We would be able to create our own.

Mission Statement

(Our group's description on Facebook)

The purpose of this group is to get artists organized.. it's for artists (and art admirers!) of any kind that want to be a part of a movement that's going to breathe art back into the Lowcountry's coast and beyond.

By Two Found Treasures
We intend to achieve this by-
  • Openly sharing information on upcoming art shows,
  • Fairly promoting local artists,
  • Interacting with our peers and networking with others,
  • Getting together to organize original events of our own. 

 The only way we can help ourselves is to help each other- and we are powerful in numbers. Join us today to get involved with this growing family of "Equal Opportunity Artists" that believes that their passion needs be openly celebrated with the masses. It's time that we say NO to exclusive cliques and YES to expanding our community. We are in it for the long haul... We are the Artists with Conviction Coalition!

The Coalition's Plan of Attack

 Phase 1-Recruitment

  • The first thing that the coalition needs to do is get a good core of dedicated members. There are tons of "mover and shaker" types out there, we just have to find them. These are the people that are going to make the magic happen- the ones that are committed to being involved in this cause.

  • Networking is crucial, especially in the art world. It's all about who you know. Combining all of our resources together will give us more options to choose from- a plethora of talented artists, increasingly better venues, and more creative ideas for us to explore.

  • Variety is also important. This group should fairly represent all of the "creative tribes," not just visual arts. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, but together we can cover all of the bases pretty equally. For example, Performers have access to venues where visual artists could possibly display their work. In return, the Visuals will bring more attention to the gig than would've come if they hadn't been showing their work. With more people attending the shows, everybody wins!

Chris Freeman's first curated show, featuring many artists!
I suspect that we will always be in a recruitment phase of some kind, because there are constantly new artists popping up that will want in on all the fun. And to them I say, "The More The Merrier."

That's the beauty of being equal opportunity- leaving your preconceived judgements at the door because you never know what someone's going to bring to the table. And knowing artists, they're probably bringing some really weirdly shaped sculpture... lol ;P

Phase 2-Taking Action

  • Once the group has it's share of gung-ho members, it's time to talk turkey. This is where the networking will come into play as we try to find venues to share our work. At first, it will probably start off as a small operation... However, as the coalition's popularity grows, so will our turn-outs.

  • If we have to approach businesses about being an "ally," artists will probably have to contribute to a sample portfolio so that we will have a variety of work to show them as examples. One artist by themselves is unlikely to convince an establishment that their work is worthy of being featured there. However, the more good work we provide, the more interest we could bring to their business, the more valuable we look. The goal is to make an irresistible offer to these places- Assure them that they would not regret allowing original artwork to pass through their doors.

By Alicia Sevilla
  • I think it's important to note that not all of our gatherings will be about making profit. I hope that we will able to do a few "team building" activities as well. A lot of artists would appreciate hearing feedback about their work from peers, so we definitely will organize group critiques and work shops. For example, imagine a work shop that helps artists take better photographs of their work... all for free if they're in the coalition.

Phase 3- The Future

From just the few weeks this group has already been opened, I have already had tons of positive feed back from all sorts of creative types who are excited to finally have a group like this to be a part of. It's encouraging because we will only build more momentum over time, leading to more prosperity and good fortune for everyone involved.

I can't really say where this group is going to end up. I can only hope that there are people out there as passionate about their work as I am. I suspect that our future is bright- if we can bring even just a few artists together out of this heavily divided community, I'll take that as a victory. We really could learn a lot from each other if given the chance.

We are in charge of our own destiny, and it's time to act like it.

By Alizey Khan
In conclusion, I have to ask one simple question- what are you waiting for, Charleston? Join the Coalition today and get on this train before it roars on out of the station.

 I'm excited to see what we're going to be capable of!

Additional Artwork by the Coalition

(More work by Coalition artists coming soon... If you want to feature your artwork on this page, let me know!)


Anonymous said...

As your aunt, I'm probably a little more biased than the average bear but I love it!!! You are taking charge of your future and making things happen. I wish I had that kind of drive and ambition when I was your age. It's so inspiring. The only piece of advice I could give is to get into media as much as possible. Call every tv station, radio station, and newspaper you can to do an interview and get your name out there.

Oh the places you'll go. You'll go far and you will succeed.

Love you!
Aunt Laura

BoholstWife said...

Oh so wonderful! You are an amazing woman.