Episode 257 – New Markets for Artists / How FEAST Is Run

Collaborative Exhibits and Fundraising

One of the most recent new public art forms is represented in a project called FEAST, which started in a few different communities and has been replicated in many places thereafter. A dinner is held and four to five artists and at least a dozen non-artists are invited to attend. Ideally, the event space is at a public space that can be loaned for free, such as the basement of a local church (which is where one FEAST event was done) or a school or even an office building.

How FEAST Is Run

The first dinner would work in the following way: The dinner space must be able to accommodate an art exhibition with enough space on the walls for the artists to hang their work. You tell the artists you invite to give a proposal during the dinner on what they want to hang in the space and why their work would make a good show. They can bring images or the actual art pieces if they are not too difficult to transport. When you invite the diners, explain that artists will be giving presentations during dinner and the diners will be asked to fill out a form and vote for the presentation they like best. Also explain that there will be a minimum donation of ten dollars to cover the cost of dinner.

Voting for Artists

During dinner, the artists will stand up and give their presentations one at a time, doing their best to demonstrate what their exhibits will look like and persuade the diners to vote for their ideas. When dinner is over, and before dessert is served, the votes will be tallied and the winning artist announced. The winner will receive all the donation money collected earlier (no less than one hundred dollars) and the rights to install their art in the room for the next FEAST event, which will take place a month later. Ideally, the diners who voted for the winning artist will attend this second event so that they can see the art they voted for in full scale.

The Next Month

The second FEAST event will proceed just like the first. Four or five artists will give short presentations, the diners will vote, and the winning artist will be awarded the money. This is a new and exciting form of public art, because the public (the diners) are involved in choosing the commissioned art and will get more satisfaction out of seeing it displayed.  The first event is the hardest to set up because you have to find a space and make all the preparations,  but you will find that most people are excited by the idea and want to participate, and why wouldn’t they?

To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here.  To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.


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