A new trend these days is the use of a crowdfunding service called Kickstarter. The intent is to allow the world at large to contribute to an unrealized vision. Many bands have successfully used the service to fund the recording, manufacture, and release of music that might have otherwise never seen the light of day.
But Kickstarter has realized more visions than just music. Innovative technologies have found seed money to become reality by setting attainable goals. In order to encourage funding from interested parties, a series of enticements are offered in increasing values depending on the amount of contributed dollars. These enticements can be anything from a personalized share of a product to even more personalized offerings of services beyond the actual product or service.
What Kickstarter also brings to the people is an ability to be a direct part of something that is not always offered to the average person. There is a strong sense of rewarding satisfaction that can be had from becoming a part of what can be important. Here's how it works: A project is introduced on Kickstarter's site, and a fundraising goal is set. The target funding goal must be met or the project is ended with no monies exchanging hands. It's kind of a hard "fail" in one sense. One such project currently being Kickstarted is an art show planned for the city of Chicago. The promoter of this intended art show is Chicago resident Patrick Ogle.
Patrick Ogle is a musician who has fronted Thanatos, a Projekt Records recording artist with several albums under his belt. But he is also a painter, which understandably makes him a lover of art. It is this intensity which fuels his vision of a show that can become an important part of Chicago's famed love of the arts.
I am a writer, musician, et cetera, living in Chicago—originally from South Florida. I tend to work for and with a lot of artists, musicians and the like (although not exclusively). I have also worked as a PR person and as a reporter for a large newspaper. I sort of hop around in what I do—not always as a matter of choice but of necessity!
I love the fact that you are trying to engage an audience with art, especially art that may never get the attention it deserves. What are your motivations for starting such a new showcase? Of course, I'm guessing it's as I stated, however there are often other reasons to encourage such a gateway.
You get at the gist of it. But it isn’t all about “totally undiscovered artists.” Some certainly are but others have had some success. What I want to do is to reach out further and get more people to see them. AND really I am all about getting more people into art. I want to get across that art is not something for snooty types sitting around saying “tut tut” and quoting members of the Algonquin Round Table. Art is really quite simple. You do not need an MFA to see and appreciate art (not knocking the real benefits of an art education, mind you). LIKEWISE you do not need to be rich to buy quality art—art that will potentially increase in value as well. This show is VERY much about having affordable pieces for buyers too—hence the Kickstarter. I don’t need to charge the artists a percentage.
I think it's a brilliant maneuver to utilize the crowdfunding entity, Kickstarter, to create this forum. Often, art is held at the cuffs of the well-to-do, where many of us never get an opportunity to even walk the hallways of a prestigious gallery. Is it your intent to bring art to the rest of us?
Oops... already went into that. But let me add this; I am not a wild-eyed revolutionary shrieking “down with the rich.” Rich folks often buy art from people just starting out. Rich art enthusiasts nurture art and good for them. But everyone can do this. There are outsider artists around and you can buy pieces from them for very small amounts of money. Likewise I love galleries BUT galleries—almost by definition—house art that can be sold. Not all of them, but most. Because that is a business. What I would hope is that I do shows like this and galleries SEE some of these artists and say, “Wow, I'd like to represent them.”
Art is an engaging form. What type of art are you encouraging for this particular showcase?
Like the website Mapanare.us does with music and art, I am not being a critic here. I am not saying “this is good and this is bad.” Some of the artists I chose because I love what they do. Others I chose almost sight unseen and then discovered I loved what they do. There is no unifying theme here—these are all very different artists with very different backgrounds. Part of my impetus here was to just DO it. Very Bo Jackson of me.
Where do you intend the showcase be held? What are your intents with the show after the first one? I understand you hope for an expansion to other cities?
Robert Bills Gallery in Chicago is the spot for this. In the west loop near the Fulton area. That is the location. Ultimately the aim is to do this—to bring together the two places I spent most of my life. I want to bring artists from Chicago to South Florida and vice versa. I also want to include other things—beer!...booze!...probably even food—that you find in one area and not the other. I want to hold a Chicago partay in Florida and a South Florida partay in Chicago.
What are your hopes and wishes for this art show?
I want it to get funded. Part of the Kickstarter—or any crowd sourcing—in MY opinion is about gauging interest. If it funds? There is interest. If it doesn’t? Maybe not. Next I hope people come, have fun and realize they CAN buy something. Appreciate it.
I wish you luck in this endeavor. It is my wish that such shows be brought to the rest of us who love art and want it hanging in our homes. I really hope this succeeds.
Me too! It isn’t too far off but it could use some more pledges. I am also willing to add to the rewards. I PLAN to add to the existing rewards as we get close (i.e. you may get more than the pledge says now).
Personally, I love the empowering ability of Kickstarter to provide everyone with a chance to create something that they might not otherwise be able to produce without it. Check out Patrick Ogle's Constantly Consuming Culture art show Kickstarter page.