Sunday, December 03, 2006

Patron Program

As the year comes to a close, and 2007 creeps ever closer, I have been thinking about how to better secure my artistic career and the role my art can play in society.

Shifting from part-time to full-time artist is my main focus for the coming year and I have been examining various ways to do this. While brainstorming ideas, I remembered the patron system of earlier centuries that was in place to help support artists in producing work. Most of the great art we revere was the result of the support of a patron or patrons. In Renaissance Italy, there were two main systems of patronage. In the first system a wealthy person would take an artist into his or her home and the artist would supply the patron with art. The second system had a patron commission a single work and employ the artist until the work was finished. Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo and Vermeer were just a few artists who worked and become well-known through the help of patrons.

As I looked at my own ability to produce artwork and the challenges of juggling my time between producing art and working various jobs to pay the bills, I thought to myself that the patron system was a pretty good idea. A sensitive and courageous patron can do much more than simply provide financial and emotional support for the artist. Patrons educate public taste, refresh the roots of culture, and often serve as the first biographers and critics on the scene. In turn, I believe that the role of an artist is necessary as a way to enrich the life of the community and art can be a tool to evoke change and growth. I realized then that it just might be time that the patron system be updated and brought back to use.

So how might an updated version of the patron system work? Similar to the patrons of the Renaissance Italy, there are two ways to participate. The first way is to pledge a monetary amount that would be applied monthly toward a new piece of artwork. The second way is to commission a piece of art.

One doesn’t need to be wealthy to be a patron. Simply pledge an amount that is comfortable to you, perhaps you can exchange one dinner and a movie for a monthly pledge. And instead of a fading memory of a meal or a film, you will have a piece of art to last a lifetime. As a patron, you will have the choice to direct me in the development of the piece to match to your liking or simply support me in the creative process itself. As you know from my gallery and my recent work, I paint mainly landscapes and abstracts. But I am flexible to produce other kinds of work: portraits (both people and animals), still life, and Asian style brushwork…let me know what you are interested in and we can work together. Additionally, patrons will always get first viewing of all new work and works in process and have first choice to claim a piece (unless it is a commission) as their future piece.

I would like to invite you to become part of my creative process and witness the development of my art by becoming a patron. Your support as a patron will not only assist me in realizing my goal of becoming a full-time artist, but you will also be integral in bringing out art for the betterment of the community and society at large. Your support as a patron would allow artwork to be made that would not otherwise exist. As an artist, it would be a privilege and an honor to collaborate and share my artwork through an artist-patron partnership.

In the next few days I will be adding a Patron page to my website, which will describe in more detail the Patron Program and how to participate. (Unfortunately, because my Web development skills are limited, it takes me longer to do the web-based work. Hence, the delay in updating my gallery!) Please don’t wait for the web-page to appear, if you are interested in becoming a patron, contact me at and I will be happy to discuss the Patron Program with you. I look forward to hearing from you and working with you in 2007 and beyond!


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