I’ll Take “Art For $200.”

Artists sustain us in tough times. But these days, artists (and arts organizations) are in dire straits themselves.

Of course, artists are creative. (Duh.) So leave it to several of them to create a way to help themselves, arts groups — and all the rest of us.

At a time when some folks are not making money, and others have nothing to spend money on, #ArtsAliveWestport draws us all in.

Artists Amy Kaplan, Liz Leggett and Darcy Hicks, along with 3rd Selectwoman Melissa Kane, have a simple plan. Artists offer their work (priced no higher than $200).

When they reach $1,000 in sales, they invest 20% back to the arts by buying a work from another artist, or donating to a local arts non-profit (for example, The Artists Collective of Westport, MoCA Westport, Westport Country Playhouse, Beechwood Arts, Westport Community Theater, Levitt Pavilion, Connecticut Alliance for Music, Fairfield County Alliance for the Arts, or others).

Artists post an image of their work on Instagram or Facebook, with details like price, materials and dimensions, plus the hashtag #ArtsAlivewestport.

Buyers search for art using that same hashtag — #ArtsAliveWestport — on Instagram and Facebook. Available works show up in their feed. They can contact the artist directly (direct message or in the “Comments” section) to arrange purchase, payment, and pickup or shipment.

Art of all kinds is available through the #ArtsAliveWestport hashtag.

During last year’s exhibit, Kaplan says, artists and community members came together to experience art and exchange ideas. Now, during the pandemic, they’ve found solace in their studios — but miss the “sharing, the conversations and the connections that we search for by making that art.”

This project excites her because it “wraps back again, strengthening bonds as artists re-invest back into the community.”

The hashtag “conveys the vitality of our arts scene, and the continuity of that thread in the fabric of our town.”

Hicks adds, “When art and money are traded this way, the whole local economy benefits. And our spirits are lifted when we buy art. It is an intimate way of sharing and supporting each other.”

Leggett says #ArtsAliveWestport resembles the “6 degrees of separation” idea that always comforts her. “We have more in common than not,” she notes. “Connections that may seem small can emanate throughout this world. In this time of isolation and uncertainty, that idea is crucial for well-being — individually, and as a community.”

Questions? Email artsalivewestport@gmail.com, or call 646-299-6167.

5 responses to “I’ll Take “Art For $200.”

  1. Walker Wine

    I think it’s important to acknowledge that this idea, while a wonderful way to acknowledge local artists, is NOT an original one. It is, in fact, a global movement known as the Artist Support Pledge, which is both copyrighted and trademarked.

    From their Instagram page: “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many artists around the world have found themselves without work, teaching, technical support, gallery work, exhibitions and sales have disappeared. In an attempt to help alleviate some of this stress @matthewburrowsstudios has instigated the #artistsupportpledge. The concept is a simple one. You post images of your work to sell for no more than $200 (€200, £200…) each. Anyone can then buy the work. Every time you reach $1000 in sales you pledge to buy another artists work for $200.”

    So please get out there and support local artists – and follow #artistsupportpledge on Instagram to discover wonderful global ones!

    • Our Press Release, as well as our personal Instagram and Facebook posts, give full credit to Matthew Burrows and #artistssupportpledge (started in the United Kingdom) as the inspiration for this project. #ArtsAliveWestport is our attempt to bring that spirit and support specifically to our local community.

      • Walker Wine

        I’m not privy to your press release nor am I following you on Instagram. Dan’s original posts suggests that you and your fellow artists conceived of this idea on your own, with no mention of the Artists Pledge or its origin.

        My sincere apologies if I misunderstood your intention.

  2. Tara Roseme

    Hi Dan! Do you know if the art show in town (I think usually July) will happen this year?

    Best, Tara