Local visual artist and co-owner of Nox Contemporary Gallery, John Sproul began the program to gain a wide, appreciative audience by getting as much art into as many people’s homes as possible. He says that, according to his research, this program is unique to the country.
The event is open to the general public. After participants listen to the artist panel on Saturday, they ask questions and then prioritize which of the current participating artists’ art they’d like to foster. The lineup includes Tom Aaron, Jen Harmon Allen, Cris Bacjek, Jason Lanegan, John Sproul and six other artists. Participants and artists will be informed by March 12 with whom they’ll work with. Communication from then on is between the participant and the artist. The foster period is intended to last 6-8 weeks; in the end, participants can purchase the art or return it.
The process is effective on multiple levels. “For first-time buyers or those who are interested in learning more about contemporary art this program is a way to become familiar with it without a concrete commitment,” Sproul says.
It also allows owners of art to have an authentic and different relationship than what is typical when buying from a gallery.“It is an opportunity to become more engaged in the process—to visit the artist's studio and interact with the art and artist,” Sproul says.
It also allows for a more contemplative experience then one would have in a museum or gallery. “When a person has time to live with a work of art they are able to see the layers and depths that the work contains that may not be obvious with a few moments glance,” Sproul says. “Much of the work takes time to absorb and requires an ongoing ‘conversation.’”
The program benefits artists as well. They gain exposure from the program, interaction with patrons and valuable feedback from the patrons. Some of the past artists have been Frank McEntire, John Bell, Jenevieve Hubbard and Laura Sharp Wilson.
The next Foster Arts Program is tentatively slated for October 2011. For questions about becoming an artist or patron visit their website or contact John Sproul. CW