To all Co-op Artists and Artisans,
We are writing to let you know that the Artist & Artisan Cooperative Gallery project has been placed on hold while we resolve a number of issues that have arisen.
These include the fact that most of you are very busy right now, focused on holiday shows and sales. As well, some of you have expressed reservations about joining yet another online gallery when there are so many around. Some of them are in direct competition with the online galleries of your own cooperatives, alliances and associations. This is not what we are about!
We have had excellent feedback from a number of co-op members around the country, especially in rural areas and other places where galleries are closing and sales are sharply down due to a fall-off in tourism or a sharp rise in local unemployment. In some cases artists are not able to present their work online through professional quality photographs, an essential need as this is the primary means through which buyers make their selections. We are also upgrading the web site to better showcase your work.
These are challenging times for any small business, which is what most professional artists are. We continue to be committed to find ways to help you thrive during the economic downturn, by working together to meet your common needs and goals.
One step we are taking is to plan a small ‘Art Expo’ (and a series of peer led discussions about how to start and maintain cooperatives) in central Connecticut in late March or early April. We invite members of artist and artisan co-ops throughout the Northeast to contact us about taking part in this juried show and sale. We are also seeking musicians and other performers who are members of co-ops, to join in the festivities.
When we are ready to launch the first online Artist & Artisan Co-op Auction in 2010, we will be in touch. Thanks you so much for your willingness to take part in this adventure, and we wish you the very best of luck (and lots of SALES!) this season.
Noemi Giszpenc, Executive Director
Cooperative Development Institute