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CSArt Colorado Models Itself on Foodie Phenomenon

Bruce Price had an exhibition at the Denver Art Museum in 2013.

Participating artist Christopher Perez is a photographer in Denver.

Rebecca Vaughan's electric sculptures are part of the CSArt Colorado Harvest Share in the fall.

CSArt Colorado takes the model of community supported agriculture and applies it to art. It's a win-win for artists and collectors: Patrons get a share (10 works of art) for the low price of $400. This year's launch party is at Denver Botanic Gardens on May 15.
Partnering with the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMOCA), Denver Botanic Gardens (DBG) helped launch Community Supported Art (CSArt) Colorado in 2013. The program allows members of the community to buy shares of local art -- not unlike buying shares of local food in the parallel world of community supported agriculture.

St. Paul, Minnesota's Springboard for the Arts “provided a model” for CSArt Colorado, says Kim Manajek, DBG Associate Director of Exhibitions, Art and Interpretations.

Here's the deal: For $400, CSArt Colorado patrons get a total 10 pieces from local artists. "We have a big party and everybody picks up their art," says Manajek.
Bruce Price had an exhibition at the Denver Art Museum in 2013.
Make that two big parties -- the first one at Denver Botanic Gardens on May 15 and the second at BMOCA in October.

Patrons won't know exactly what they're getting until it's in their hands. For 2014, "We changed it up a little bit," says Manajek. “We have 20 artists in two different groups: the Crop Share and the Harvest Share." Patrons can choose the group after browsing their profiles on the CSArt Colorado website.

Chosen through a juried process, the participating artists work in a wide range of media, from performance art to silversmithing, and all of them are based in Colorado. A musician will contribute books that accompany CDs, and the performance artists will contribute a visual component with a DVD. "It'll be multisensory," says Manajek.

Denver-based artist and educator Rebecca Vaughan, who works in sculpture, performance, and other media, is making a series of sculptures with marquee lights for the Harvest Share (delivered in the fall).

"Most nonprofit arts institutions will ask artists to donate works for auctions at fundraisers," says Vaughan. "Artists are getting fed up with it."

CSArt Colorado, conversely, "is a way for both artists and collectors -- and arts institutions -- to benefit," he adds. "They all get a piece of the pie."

Each share's price tag is a steal, she adds, thanks to the notable locals participating in the program. "This is a great way to get some pieces from some incredible established artists. She points to Bruce Price, a Denver artist participating in the Crop Share dispersal on May 15. "He just had a show [last year] at the Denver Art Museum."

For $400, CSArt Colorado patrons "are totally scoring," says Vaughan. "Bruce Price rocks."
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