Artist Live Work Space
What is an artist community or collective?
An artist collective, otherwise known as an Artist Commune or Artist Community, is a group of artists working together, usually under their own management, toward shared aims.
An artist commune may share resources in the following ways:
• Share tools and collaborate on projects
• Share a living space and/or work space
• Rent or purchase a building with a large space for a gallery and/or event hosting
An artist-run space is a facility operated or directed by artists, circumventing the restricted access to museums and galleries. Artist collectives could benefit other artists by offering rental of their artist-run space.
Steps to create an artist collective with live/work space
- Invite artists associates to create a profile on ICmatch.org to assess which of them might find in each other a good fit for a shared living space, work space, and or business partnership.
- After one or more groups form, that you are part of, plan and complete a joint project to assess the group’s capacity to work together and to utilize the decision-making framework you’ve agreed on.
- Plan for the physical locations of the collective—living space, workspace, and gallery space—to be close to each other. Some artist collectives have turned warehouses into affordable studio space or even display space. Similarly, artist-dedicated apartments can sit above ground level art shops that host gallery walks.
- Create a business plan that clarifies each member’s contribution and expectations for how and when they can use the shared spaces.
- Write grant proposals for purchase or rental of the needed spaces. To be eligible for more grants, you might team up with a university and non-profits that focus on the arts.
Examples of Artist Communes
These artist collectives include living quarters:
- ARC Live Work Studios, Vancouver BC
- Beaver Hall Artists’ Housing Coop
- Lakeshore Village Artists’ Coop, Toronto, Canada
- Core Artists Live Work Cooperative, Vancouver, Canada
- Meduse (Quebec)
- The Artist Building, Boston MA
- Brew House Association, Pittsburgh PA
- Big Car Collaborative, Indianapolis IN
- Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative, Chicago IL
- Los Angeles Artist Co-op
- Lowertown Lofts Artist Cooperative, Saint Paul MN
- Untitled Cooperative Residence for Artists, Sedona AZ
- Uranian Phalanstery, New York City
- Westbeth, New York City
- Other examples
Artist Commune Consultants
Resources for an Artist Community
Many creatives don’t have skills or interest in business management or marketing. Teaming up with others who can help manage these aspects could be the best option for artist collectives, whether outsourced or managed by an on-site team member. In addition to ICmatch, platforms such as Fiver and Upwork can help you identify qualified potential team members. A commercial network may be a place to start: artspace.org