Like a growing number of arts organizations, Chicago nonprofit Threewalls has begun publishing editions and multiples using a community-supported art (CSA) model. Inspired by community-supported agriculture programs, a number of CSA programs have formed across the United States in the hope of strengthening relationships between local artists and collectors. Many CSAs operate by preselling limited edition projects by local artists at a special subscribers’ price. Subscribers (sometimes called “shareholders”) sign on to purchase a certain number of works per year, and artists agree to provide as many works—whether editions or unique works from a series—as there are subscribers. Threewalls’ CSA functions slightly differently, as works can be purchased individually or as grouped subscriptions. For Decagon,1 a portfolio featuring David Hartt, William Cordova and Daniel Barrow, directors Shannon Stratton and Abigail Satinsky carefully selected the artists but did not give them a theme, requirements or technical support. While Threewalls’ past CSA series have not featured many prints, Hartt, Cordova and Barrow all used print techniques to achieve beautiful and unexpected results.
- Threewalls also offers customers the option of purchasing Decagon with another portfolio (not covered in this review); http://www.three-walls.org