Swansea artists use crowd funding to pay for exhibitions

crowd funding Swansea-based art collective Commensalis, who used the internet phenomenon of crowd funding to pay for exhibitions.

crowd funding Swansea-based art collective Commensalis, who used the internet phenomenon of crowd funding to pay for exhibitions.

AN innovative funding method has been used to help a group of Swansea artists get their work seen.
Formed just over a year ago, Swansea artist group Commensalis used the internet phenomenon of crowd funding to pay for exhibitions.

crowd funding Swansea-based art collective Commensalis, who used the internet phenomenon of crowd funding to pay for exhibitions.
It involves people pledging support for something in return for a reward.
Photographic artist Rhys Jones said: “In this day and age, everyone’s having trouble making a living and artists are no different.

“Public funding is very hard to get hold of and established galleries stick with the artists they know, so it’s hard to get our work seen.
“We needed to come up with a way of getting our art out there, but it’s expensive to exhibit.”
The group decided to get their work seen by doing pop-up exhibitions in venues that the general public would not normally go to.
According to local scribbler and printmaker Rose Davies: “There’s a lot of really good art around, but many people feel uncomfortable going to conventional galleries, so we have been looking for venues that people go to for other reasons, to set up a series of informal art shows.”
Their first pop-up exhibition this year is in Walcot Chapel in Bath, a former mortuary which is now an established venue for community art and cultural events.
The group set up a crowd funding site on Sponsume to cover their costs.
Printmaker Kara Seaman said: “Transport costs for getting our work on site and getting ourselves there to cover the exhibition day to day, plus the cost of hiring a venue, puts this out of the pocket of many artists. We couldn’t afford to do it without some help.”
Collagist Melanie Ezra said: “Crowd funding offers people the chance to become backers by pledging some money (anything from £1).
“They become a project sponsor and in return they can choose a ‘reward’ that’s listed on the site.
“Our rewards are original works of art made by Commensalis artists and they’re available to our backers for less than they’d pay for them in a gallery.
“So it’s a way of people collecting affordable original art by contemporary artists while they help local artists to develop their careers.
“Everyone’s a winner.”
Their crowdfunding site can be reached through a link on their website, www.commensalis.com
Source: South Wales Evening Post

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