Artists’ co-op looking for new members

As president of Artists At Work, I want to thank The Inter-Mountain for its May 8 article about our artists’ co-op. However, the headline (“Artists At Work Fighting For Survival”) calls to mind the quote attributed to Mark Twain: “Reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated.”

As your article explains, we’re a group of local artists using a shared space in a co-operative arrangement to sell our work. We have typical business expenses — rent, phone bill, supplies, etc. — and we rely on membership dues to sustain our operation. With 20 artist members, we can meet those expenses pretty comfortably and this has worked well for over 25 years.

During that time, there have been periods in which membership has fallen below 20, and in times like those we make an extra effort to bring in new members. That process is not trivial; we’re a juried gallery, i.e., the work must be of a quality level that meets the approval of current members, and all members must pay dues and satisfy a work requirement. But we’ve always managed to find new members who can add a new dimension to what we have to offer our customers.

We’re in such a period now. Your article highlighted our most recent addition, Emily Prentice, and we’re actively searching for more — specifically, artists working in glass, wood, or leather. I hope that your article will catch the eye of some artists who we don’t know about and who might be interested. We would welcome their inquiry about membership.

We’re a dedicated group who enjoy our work and each other, and we’re committed to keeping our doors open as we have for the past quarter of a century. We expect to continue to bring the choice of handmade art and craft to our local and national customers for years to come. Thanks again for your assistance.

David Shombert

President, Artists At Work

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