As Sarah mentioned, Marissa and I will be doing SOS! You can find us at WSAC in Zone F/Spot 108 on the SOS map with a dozen great artists working in 2D, 3D. At WSAC you can find painters and drawers with prints and originals for sale, as well as photography, poetry, jewelry, encaustic, sculptures and zines. Some for sale, some just for looking at, and the artists right there to say hello or talk about their work. Just on the other side of the tracks you will find Fringe Union which houses BBB/Union Made live-letterpress vendor Repeat Press, and many designers and painter/printmaker Brian Hart. At Vernon Street you can find printmaking artist James Weinberg who has been a vendor at Union Made. In Zone B is an BBB/Union Made vendor Skunk showing his metal sculptures. I am sure I have missed some UM and BBB vendors among the list. There are so many Somerville artists, and we have had so many hundreds and hundreds of vendors over the past 11 years. Let us know if you are a BBB/UM vendor past or present and are participating in SOS, and we will link you up!
In other artist linking news, I had the pleasure of talking to Steph from Rifrakt the other day at WSAC when she set up an artists meet-up. For anyone interested in getting in touch with other artists in the greater Boston area, you should hook up with Rifrakt. This seems like an especially great community for artists who don’t work in shared or collective studio spaces. Artists who work in their homes or private studios need community too, and we should all work together to make awesome stuff happen. I also talked to another Stephanie from Atlantic Works studio in East Boston. Who is with me in going to my first show over there this summer? Art, good food, and the beach. That sounds like an amazing night out to a neighborhood I don’t frequent nearly enough. Both cooperatives have dozens of active artists and I really want to check them out.
When I see how crafters I know and love have built up followings, fans, friends, contacts, and a base of buyers for their work, sometimes I think the fine art world I have immersed myself in could take some notes from the craft world. The idea of building yourself up as a business or brand can sometimes be ‘not cool’ in some artist circles, but that is not my opinion. There are only so many of your pieces that you can sell to friends, or have housed in the collections of family before you have to branch out. I am really interested and excited to find ways to work with other cooperative artist groups outside of WSAC in the next year. I hope to start by keeping up with Rifrakt and Atlantic Works, and see where I can branch out from there.