How do artists become members of the Owen Sound Artists' Co-op?
The Co-op is operated by artists who live in Grey and Bruce Counties, in Southern Ontario. When an artist applies for membership, he or she brings some examples to the store and the Co-op Board of Directors discuss the work at their monthly meeting. If they think that the work would fit in well with the mix of artworks already in the store, the artist is invited to show his or her work at the store for a month as a Guest Artist. If the artist and the store are happy with the way the trial month worked out, the artist is invited to join the Co-op as a full member.
What duties do artists have as members?
Each artist works a four hour shift in the store each month, plus an extra shift in December. There is an annual membership fee, a monthly rent fee, and a percentage of sales goes towards the operations of the store. As a co-op, all members take part, to some degree, in the management of the store. They can become board or committee members, or perhaps there is some other sort of way they like to help out. One of the nicest aspects of being involved with the Artists' Co-op is the chance to meet and work with other artists in the region. The day to day business operation of the Artists' Co-op is overseen by our Chief Salesperson, Caroline Menzies.
Are the artworks shown on the Artists' Co-op website for sale?
Our website is not an e-commerce site as such. However, in many cases, an artwork shown on our site can be purchased by making arrangements through our store or by contacting the artist directly. You can send an e-mail directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
, and addresses for our artists can be found in the Artists' Profiles
section of the site.
What is the price range of items at the Co-op?
The great majority of the items at the store are less than fifty dollars. There are some items, cards for instance that may be just two or three dollars. We also show one of a kind, major works that may be well over a thousand dollars.
Do you sell things that are unique to your area?
Our region of Georgian Bay and the Bruce Peninsula is world renowned for its spectacular landscape, flora and fauna. It is a great source of inspiration for our local artists and it is often celebrated in their works.
Do you sell art supplies?
We focus primarily of the finished works of our members and so we do not sell art supplies or do picture framing. However, if you contact our store directly we can suggest several places in our region that do offer these services.
How many artists are members of the Co-op, and what media are represented?
We currently have about 39 artists as members. They work in a wide range of media including: painting, pottery, metal sculpture, wood turning, walking sticks, Celtic art, photography, paper, glass, dried flowers, weaving, silk, and jewellery.
Along with running the store, what else does the Co-op do?
The original mandate of the Artists' Co-op was to promote and facilitate the exhibition and sale of artwork and high end crafts by members in a retail setting. Over the years our activities have expanded to include other important contributions to the growing arts community in Grey and Bruce Counties. (Please see our History + Future
page) The Artists' Co-op has also become a major source of information to the public about the activities of many other arts groups in the area. We have formed working relations with many of these organizations. We also maintain a reference directory and carry information about many art related topics, plus the names and numbers of artists both within and outside our organization. Periodically, we hold free children's arts workshops, during which we offer a wide range of materials for exploring various media under the supervision of several members, student volunteers and staff. We also offer feedback to individuals wishing to start or improve their art related business in such areas as packaging, display and marketing. In general, we take an active role in the community at large as advocates for the arts. This year we received an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant which will be a great help to us in our advocacy role.
The Home page of the Co-op website mentions the Ontario Trillium Foundation, what does it do?
The Ontario Trillium Foundation
is an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation. The Foundation provides grants to eligible charitable and not-for-profit organizations in the arts, culture, sports, recreation, environment and social service sectors. The purpose of the grant we received is to increase promotion of the products and activities of artists and craftspersons in the Grey and Bruce County area and to strengthen the operations and community services of our organization.