Yesterday Oliver and I spoke at CCA for a little bit about The Present Group.  The class is a really neat investigation of different systems of exchange co-taught by TPG#5 critic Scott Oliver and Rachel Robinette.

One of the underlying questions was whether our project, as commendable as it may be, is sustainable.  Can the desire to learn about art be a powerful enough tool in marketing?  Can people wrap their heads around collecting artwork for the sake of learning about it rather than it be an investment, or a chosen work to keep in your home?

We’re still not sure.  We are still a small project, and we haven’t had as much success financially as some of our competitors.  But we believe that the system already exists for people to support artists whose work they know and like and collect their artwork in particular.   We know that we are asking a lot of people when we ask them to think that what they are supporting is the creation of art in general, not just the result that they receive.

The funny thing to me is that it doesn’t seem foreign.    Museum memberships and Season Pass holders to theatres work under this same assumption, and for a similar price point.    The main difference is that they aren’t filling up their home with anything.   Perhaps what we need to focus on is a way for people to support us without having to keep the pieces once they’ve learned about them.

Just some musings…