The win/win/win of Artists’ Philanthropy


Most artists work hard for every dollar they earn.  If they sell at gallery shops or offer work online, they create many pieces of which only some will actually be sold; and how many pieces will eventually sell is an unknown financial outcome.  If they do commissioned work, they spend extra time in the back-and-forth with customers and in trying to read each customer’s mind.  Many artists live simply as a trade-off for having time and freedom to create, and embrace this trade-off mindfully.



I want to encourage fellow artists to find ways to become philanthropists: offer some work to support organizations that do good in the world.   There are so many groups that hold silent auction fundraisers, and the auction items can be “things” or can be experiential.   By participating, the artist gains exposure — often connecting with folks who are attracted to philanthropy and support of the arts; the attendees have the opportunity to see art work close up and to purchase art work at excellent prices; and the organizations benefit from additional support.


Even a small item that represents the best of your work and that may not be expensive might allow an attendee to place a successful bid.  Your actions speak for you: your philanthropy communicates your interest and gives your work greater resonance.  Locally, some of the organizations to which I’ve donated work or a portion of sales from my work include public broadcasting, Clearwater Conservancy, PASA (for sustainable agriculture),  an animal shelter, Women’s Resource Centre, Choral Society, various religious organizations, Global Connections (promoting international friendship), museums, For the Love of Fiber…  It feels so good to help these groups, it adds purpose to the hours I spend in the studio.


When you work, you might set aside a few pieces so that if you’re asked to contribute, you’ll have something on hand; some organizations do not give artists much advance notice, while others ask far in advance of the events.  You may not have the money to give, but you can participate through your creativity!



Published in: on January 27, 2017 at 4:57 pm  Comments (3)  

Working With Hand-Spun Yarn

img_0944Hand-spun art yarn is expressive, playful, one-of-a-kind… and challenging to use!  In this loopy, stretchy scarf, I combined two small skeins of mostly-merino singles — embellished with lots of curly wool locks — which I had spun on a drop spindle; and used an elongated stitch to knit a very soft scarf long enough to wrap/drape/tie.  I added some dyed remnant sari silk strips as rustic fringes.  Since I had lightly felted the yarn after spinning, this scarf may be hand-washed without losing any of the “full-bloom” character of the yarn.


Published in: on January 10, 2017 at 7:59 pm  Leave a Comment