Friday, April 13, 2012

Free Columbia ART Dispersal

Sunday/ Monday - May 20/21 3pm-9pm Basilca Hudson
ART for 100% of People

#12 Dan Pate 24x29 inches

Red, Yellow, Blue   Laura Summer 10x10 inches

#3 Nick Pomeroy 8 X 10 inches

Can you imagine going to visit someone and finding their home full of artwork? Can you imagine needing to stop and ask directions on your way there and finding that person’s home full of artwork? Can you imagine appearing in court to pay your parking ticket and finding the courtroom walls covered with paintings  that were  somehow consistent with your being in a courtroom? Can you imagine a society where many, many people are working artistically and everywhere is something that has been created by someone? Can you imagine a society where these people also have time and materials and enough to eat?

The Free Columbia Art Course is a year long investigation of art in relation to the spiritual aspects of the human being and the world. As a new experiment in our ongoing attempts to de-commodify art, Free Columbia is planning an art dispersal event. See the web album at
As a society we have placed original visual art outside of the financial means of the majority of people. At the same time we have impoverished most of our artists. We need to turn this situation around.

At the art dispersal event, which will occur on May, 20 and 21, 2012 we will present three different, and not necessarily connected, actions.
  1. We will make approximately 100 pieces of visual art by various artists available for dispersal to people who would like to live with them for an unspecified amount of time. This means that the recipients will take the work home and will not need to return it. If the time comes when they no longer want to keep the artwork they can give it to someone else who does want it or they can contact the artist to return it.
  2. We will have festive cultural evenings with music, food and conversation. People will be encouraged to support the event but there will not be admission charges.
  3. We will let people know that Free Columbia is trying to raise the majority of our yearly budget, ($55,000) so that we can be one year ahead of our operating expenses. In order to create a free cultural space Free Columbia is supported by a freely given gifts. Everyone at Free Columbia is encouraged to participate, but these new donations would allow us to teach for the year free of asking our current students to support the current year. Any money that was collected in donations during the year could assure the existence of the next year’s program. If we raised an amount over $55,000 we could expand Free Columbia’s programming. We have had strong and positive experiences of what happens when you separate education from tuition and we are convinced that being one year ahead of our expenses will significantly increase the experience of what we, as a community, can bring. 

How are these actions connected? Only in terms of visibility, time and space. That is, the event will make people aware of the availability of the artwork and of the possibility of contributing to the gift economy that supports Free Columbia. Those who take paintings will be encouraged to make a financial contribution but it will be clear that this is not connected to a value assigned to the art work, rather it is an opportunity to support creative activity which the person obviously values since they are taking the work home. Also people are free to contribute to Free Columbia and need not take any artwork home.  We don’t know what will happen but we will know more after we try it.
There are a limited number of paintings available for people who do not live locally. These can be seen at contact Laura Summer if you are interested
We will hold the main dispersal event at Basilica Hudson, 110 Front Street, Hudson, New York on Sunday and Monday, May 20 and 21 from 3pm to 9pm.
Perhaps you have wanted to live with a painting by one of these artists, perhaps you have wanted to contribute to free culture but how to do this was unclear, perhaps you are simply curious about what will happen…    for whatever reason, please participate in the art dispersal event.

Let us see what happens when we ask people to support the conditions for creativity instead of purchasing artwork.

Artists Participating:
Lailah Amstutz
Simeon Amstutz
Lisa Archigian
Laura Charlton
Lindy Chicola
Christine Hales
Martha Loving
Christiane Marks
Cassidy Muckleston
Brooke Nixon
Dan Pate
Nick Pomeroy
Mado Spiegler
Laura Summer
Nathaniel Williams

See the web album at
Basilica Hudson 110 front street hudson NY