Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Markets in Everything: CSA for Local Art

Michigan Radio -- "An arts advocacy group is stealing an investment idea from the agriculture world in an effort to get more folks to buy local art. A statewide arts advocacy group wants to serve up some fresh, local art. To do so, the group is copying an investment model popular in the agricultural world.
Lots of farms in Michigan participate in Community Supported Agriculture. Folks can buy a CSA share in a farm. In return, the shareholder gets a weekly crate of fresh farm produce.
Now ArtServe Michigan is launching a CSA for art in metro Detroit, based on a successful program in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Cezanne Charles is with ArtServe. She said during the 3 month "growing season," which begins in April, shareholders will receive nine pieces of art from nine local artists: "This can be anything from...original small paintings, to the idea of doing like a limited edition 7-inch vinyl, to doing a short chap book of poetry or literary work," Charles said. Charles said 50 shares will be available March 5, and each share costs $350."


At 1/10/2012 12:51 PM, Blogger pkd said...

I've got some fresh, steaming, 100% organic postmodern performance art. When you smell it, think how ironic it is.

At 1/10/2012 1:39 PM, Blogger Marko said...

With art, even more than with produce, just because it is local doesn't mean it isn't crap.

At 1/10/2012 3:14 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Failing to sell their garbage on the hundreds of websites, coffee shops and exhibits in their local communities, pot-head hippies who call themselves "artists" have come up with another way to get the evil rich people whom they hate so much, to support their lifestyle of doing nothing.

All the more power to them, but the Detroit metro area?

At 1/11/2012 4:13 PM, Blogger JamesD'Troy said...

AIG said, "pot-head hippies who call themselves "artists" have come up with another way to get the evil rich people whom they hate so much, to support their lifestyle of doing nothing."

True, but in this case were talking about Detroit, which means gang tags labeled as ahem...'graffiti art', scavenged refuse presented as...er...'outsider art', and stolen goods...aka 'Found' art.

While I love Mark Perry's relentless optimism, writing as an art dealer, one of the biggest scams to have emerged over the past 20-30 years is the concept of art as investment. Even if one considers art an alternative asset class, it's one of the riskiest and ephemeral out there made riskier by the fact that there are some extraordinarily dodgy art dealers out there. They've got the ethics of used car salemen on good days.

Of the many problems with this scheme, is who decides what art will be 'invested' in-a jury comprised of people from the 'art and food community' WTF? It's basically, a bunch of people who have no idea what they're doing playing around with investment terms and presenting art as an alternative asset class. I find it highly irresponsible and unethical.

As for an example of a art investment program that works, I've seen a few places, London, UK, comes to mind where some banks offer small loans for what's deemed 'affordable' art eg less than $5000.00. That type of scheme works far better and is on the up and up than what they're doing in Detroit.


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