Cop-op for Artists

Kelly Avenson may not have a long history in Door County, but the young photographer has already recognized the need for the peninsula’s artists to work together and support each other rather than compete.

Avenson is working to form an artists’ co-op in Sturgeon Bay to give all forms of artists a venue to display and sell their artwork. Painters, jewelers, photographers, clothing designers – artists of any and all fine art forms are welcome, Avenson said.

“My goal is to create a space to inspire creativity,” Avenson said. “Especially during these tough economic times, it’s hard to make ends meet when, for example, your studio rent is $800 and you only sell $450 in artwork.”

Ideally, Avenson wants to give artists – both seasoned and those just trying to make a name for themselves – a break on rent and operating expenses by gathering multiple artists under one roof. A co-operative venture could mean space rental as low as $50 to $100 per month, depending on the amount of space an artist wants to use to display.

“I want to find a big enough space to hold classes, allow for creative space for artists and bring people in to buy art,” Avenson said.

She is reviewing and considering several spaces on and near Third Avenue. The biggest challenge in Avenson’s search is to find a space that is not only reasonable on rent and utilities, but also provides visual access. If you are an artist who would like to participate in the co-op, contact Kelly Avenson at [email protected] or 920.559.0504.