The Future of Art Lies Inside of a Box

I signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program last week. This year, a local farm will deliver a box of fresh seasonal produce to my home in Miami each week, enough to feed myself and my three roommates. As I was researching these programs, I came across one that wasn’t sponsored by a farm at all. Their “farm boxes” contain no produce; instead, they’re filled with art from a co-op in South Florida. The concept is simple: the artist cooperative will pick the selections, randomly sort them, fill a box with multiple works, and then send them to participants of the program. At $450 for an art box, as opposed to $33 for my farm box, the price was a bit steep for my student budget; however, it seemed like a really cool idea and exposed local artists. A few days after my findings, the New York Times published a great article about CSA programs that replace the “A” in agriculture with art. It informed me that the participating artists are usually chosen by a jury, and are then commissioned to make about 50 editions of smaller works of art to send out. This idea of community supported art has spread to over 7 large cities in the US, and the numbers are growing.

Not only does this idea create a community where people support their local artists, but it also fuels the local economy and creates work for people that are otherwise freelancing within their craft. This program stimulates interest in contemporary art and the arts with accessibility in mind. In fact, the majority of the people in the article state that their participation in the CSA program is their first experience buying contemporary art. Although Miami’s art box program seems to be the most expensive option in the country, many co-ops are charging as little as $100 for each box. This accessibility and ease of purchasing art could change the face of the arts forever.