New program selects nine local artists BUYING INTO ART



The Community Supported Art program has selected its initial class of nine local artists, and is seeking patrons to support them.

The program, which is new to the Mahoning Valley, is modeled after one that began in Minneapolis and has spread to other cities. Jurors selected the nine artists based on their project proposals, from a pool of more than 30 submissions.

The nine artists and their projects are:

Jeffrey Puccini, Boardman: 5-inch- by-7-inch oil paintings

Dylan Weaver, Youngstown: Lunar gardening calendar/perpetual lunar calendar with original artwork

Bill Youngman, Youngstown: Idora Park keepsake necklace that uses genuine artifacts from the defunct Youngstown amusement park

Robert Dennick Joki, Youngstown: Original musical theater performance, with graphic printed ticket, limited-edition poster and preview CD

Michael Dempsey, Boardman: Limited-edition, hand-signed collection of three to five short stories and/or plays

Lynn Cardwell, Boardman: Custom stoneware food-safe mug

Sleep Projections (rock band), Youngstown: Original music CD with digital copy, including hand-drawn album art and handwritten lyrics, and a bonus track titled “Sound of Youngstown”

Ryan Kallok, Poland: Limited- edition hand-screened posters of Youngstown-influenced theme

Kelly Gainard, Hubbard: Clay sculpture “Dead Tree Scrolls”

The CSArt program is sponsored by the Legal Creative, a local organization that aims to boost the economic relationship between artists and the community. The goal of The Legal Creative, founded by Atty. Denise Glinatsis Bayer, is to financially support artists and recognize their contribution to our community.

“Our goal with [the CSArt] program is to introduce, build and deepen the relationship between The Legal Creative, artists and the general community,” said Bayer. “As our first major community project, we really wanted to show artists that The Legal Creative is here to assist to them in making a living off of their art, and being knowledgeable about legal and business issues is essential to getting to that point.

“Knowing how to draft a clear, detailed and professional proposal was the first hurdle our CSArtists needed to overcome. We received over 30 artist submissions from all disciplines — visual artists, photographers, sculptors, writers, playwrights, dancers and musicians. The professionalism and thought the artists put into the proposals was only trumped by their creativity.”

Bayer said it was difficult for the judges to narrow their choices down to nine, but encouraged those not selected to begin preparing for next year’s CSArt program.

Each of the nine selected artists will receive a $1,000 stipend with which to create 50 copies of an original work of art.

The jurors that selected the artists were Christopher Barzak and Mark Shohayda.

The CSArt program is now selling 50 “shares” in the program for $300 apiece until May 1, and $350 afterward. Each “shareholder” will receive a copy of the nine works of art created by the selected artists. Go to for information.

Shareholders and artists will also be invited to several events this summer, each of which will feature local food, music and entertainment.

Shares can be purchased Sunday from 2 to 9 p.m. at the Calvin Center for the Arts, 755 Mahoning Ave., during Rust Belt Theater’s Repurposed Art Show.

Also available are a limited number of Small Shares, with fewer artworks, for $125 apiece. Small Share purchasers can choose from one of three categories: literary/performing arts, visual art, and sculpture.

Bayer said there has been a lot of interest in purchasing shares but believes some people were holding off until the artists and the proposals were announced.

“With the quality and uniqueness of the locally produced art in this season’s crop, I’m confident the 50 shares will sell out quickly,” she said.

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