For a long time now we have known that there was a big group of our local and regional artists who are not being served with opportunities to show their work. We see established artists in our museums, in commercial galleries and at the McColl Center, but what about the trained, hustling, passionate “emerging” artists, a term encompassing those who have never shown to those who have already cycled through the educational gallery circuit? Where do they even begin? How can they support themselves if they don’t even have a place to show their work?
That’s where, recently, the co-working spaces come in. The concept of a co-working space is that one owner rents out offices, rooms, or even a spot at a communal desk for a monthly fee. In Charlotte, they give temporary office homes to the many freelancers, creatives, and small marketing firms popping up. They’ve also become places for community events, like lectures and art shows.
Here’s a small sampling of what’s been going on art-wise in local co-working spaces:
- We were thrilled about partnering with @809 over the summer to produce three consecutive shows with Amy Herman, Anna Kenar, and Ashley Lathe.
- This fall, C3 Labs has started new art initiatives. We told you about their latest exhibition with Christine Rebich, Taylor Williams, and Avery Rose Glen. Their next show The Form of Things Unknown opens December 11, and features work by Perry A. Shall, Jonathan Paul Prichard, Waas Sappening, Marissa Paternoster, Kelly Keith, Dex Romweber, Lisandro Herrera and Jim Shomo.
- Advent Coworking just opened a group show with the likes of Matt Hooker, Sharon Dowell, Nico Amortegui and Bree Stallings, among others.
We think it’s pretty darn unlikely / amazing that office co-working spaces would carry the flag for supporting many of our local and emerging creatives, but there you have it! And now that there are more venues, there are more opportunities to acquire art from these artists. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to collect work from these artists. Buying an artist’s work says to them: what you are doing is important and needed. Please continue doing it!
Also, take a minute to look up all the artists we just listed, because we would be seriously surprised if you’d heard of all of them (it’s our job to know artists and we sure didn’t!). Hope to see you at one of these co-working spaces soon!
p.s. on an unrelated but equally important note, we are now writing for the Observer! Check out our “Artful” article in every Sunday’s paper. Read yesterday’s here.