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Have you started/participated in an artists' support group? Can you share the particulars?

I live in the country in upstate NY and am wondering how to go about starting an artists’ support group? Or participate in one. Can you share your experiences? Thanks.

Hi Helen,
I’ve thought about starting a club myself and also live in the country in the Hudson Valley area of NY. I’ll be interested to hear about members thoughts on this topic. Thanks for bringing it up.

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We could start our own! Let’s see what responses we get! Thx.

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Hi Helen, I started an Art critique group in 2011 and it is still going strong today. Started with 14 like minded artist friends who live in reasonable driving distance from each other. After a few changes due to moves and non-compliance we have leveled off with 10 artists. The name of the group is Partners in Paint. We have 1 pastel artist, 2 oil painters, 2 abstract acrylic, 1 acrylic representational, 1 many mediums and 3 watercolor. We meet once a month at each others homes, taking January and July off. We each bring 2 or 3 pieces of work. The host serves lunch and the group brings wine. We start at noon and have gone to 4 or 5. We are extremely compatible and honest which is very important. We talk about books we’ve read, art shows, museum trips and a smaller group has started to go to art movies and dinner, Big eyes and the one about Klimt. The host has an easel and some kind of lighting. We have had one art show and another is coming up in March.
There is no cost to join and new members wanting to join are put on a wait list and must be approved by the current group.
When an individual is hosting they can invite anyone they’d like to their home to join in the critique. Some of us invite non-art friends ,spouse and or teachers. If you would like to know more please contact me through my FASO site www.JinnieMay.com. Good Luck and by all means have fun!

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When I retired from government service I knew NO artists, so I joined an artist’s guild. There I met several women who wanted oil painting lessons, as did I. We ended up forming a group of eight, and after a couple of dropouts and additions, we have been together for years. We are all retired, so we’re free to meet weekly at our local art supply store, where there is a studio, and we either paint our own projects or do a challenge of some sort. We go on trips together, go to museums, paint en plain air, and have a wonderful time. It is the single best thing I ever did for my art.

You could try creating your own meetup group at meetup.com. I started a group last September because I wanted to meet other painters interested in plein air excursions. Now I have 35 members. Even better, once you’ve completed your profile with your interests, meetup groups will find YOU. You can check out mine at: http://www.meetup.com/Northumberland-Painting-Buddies/ if you’d like to take a closer look. Good luck!

Many years ago in a smallish town in Vermont I had an art store. Art supplies and framing primarily. I started a life drawing group and posted a sign on my shop front window for models. We started with maybe five artists which grew over time to ten and more. I had twofold reasons, I thought it would drum up more business for my small art store and I wanted to work on the figure as I had in art school to keep up and improve my skills. Eventually we had extra money saved up from the sketch group overflow and thought what’s next? We formed a 501 C3 nonprofit arts group rented space in the second floor of a building in town where we held the weekly sketch group, started staging shows, had live theater and sponsored the Boston Ballet one year at the local High school. It burned me out eventually but was a great run while we had it. I passed the running of things on to others. It was time for someone else. It’s lots of work. I was doing too many things. Sometimes it’s best to keep things small. I moved to NYC and did the artist loft thing for some years afterward.

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Hi there Helen and Grace. I live in the lower Hudson Valley. I may be interested in taking part in a support group too anyone else in interested.

jinnielou thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds like a fab group!

Thanks so much to everyone so far for some exciting responses! Keep them coming! Meanwhile . . . Some interested artists are stepping up who live in the Hudson River Valley looking at starting a group! Let’s give this another week, and then get together! Super!

Ive just created a Hudson River Valley Artist’s Support group on meetup.com. If you live in this area, and would like to join, Sign up there or email me via my page on dpw.com! Just a few people are needed to get up and running! Tell your friends! Helen

Email me or go to meetup.com for the newly formed Hudson River Valley Artist’s Support group.

I am from the Hudson Valley but have been living in DE for 10 years. Darn! Too late for me!

About 7 years ago, I was one of two people that started an art group in Portland that we named “art mob”. It started accidentally - we had a bunch of artist friends over for a party where we each had done an art piece around a certain theme. It was so much fun, we kept going. We purposely kept it small -6 or 7 members because of the intimacy that came with the sharing of some of the pieces. That was hard at times because so many people wanted to join when they heard about it. Most of us (not all) were pretty serious about creating art. We met about once every 6 weeks, showed our piece and talked about our process, ate yummy food, and chose a host and theme for the next meeting. When we left Portland, art mob kept going with slightly different members. When we arrived in our current locale, we decided that it would be a good way to meet new people. Basically, we invited anyone we ran across that seemed artistic. A few showed up and now we have a group of 7. It has a different dynamic than the original art mob - we are becoming friends instead of starting out as friends. It is still loads of fun though. I highly recommend it.

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Brilliant, I think I might too! Of course, life will have to slow down a bit more as I haven’t even had time to paint! :wink:

I’m lucky enough to paint with friends four days a week for about 3 hours each time. We paint and learn and share. We get to know each other. I’ve formed good friendships this way and learned a lot about techniques, materials, etc. One group meets in an artists studio, another group meets in a senior’s centre, and the other group are just casual around a kitchen table. It can be as simple as just 2 people who encourage each other to paint.