There are very few initiatives that have raised awareness for local artists as much as artspace has. Established in 1988, the institution has a long history of bringing first quality visual art in various media to the residents of the greater Richmond, Virginia area. Through the years, they have continued to promote contemporary art, but have found themselves relocating quite often, and being a non-profit organization, it relies on the donations of artists and patrons of the art to continue its operations.
Last year, in an effort to raise funds for their gallery, artspace launched artroulette, a program that would see the work of 100 different local artists raffled off to some of the foundation’s supporters. Roulette was chosen because of its familiarity to nearly everyone, with Intercasino explaining that it isn’t just one of the most iconic casino games of all time, but “Regardless if you have been to a casino before or not, one can easily recognize the game of roulette, given its unmistakable wheel and its table layout.” It’s also popular because it’s easy to play, and artspace played on the fact that it’s known for its simplicity too.
100 predetermined artists were randomly divided into 25 teams of 4, who then collaborated on one piece of art to be raffled off to lucky participants. The program resulted in 25 different pieces of art that could never be recreated otherwise, all unique from each other, as each team was free to work on their materials and processes independently. Some of the artists chose to work on their projects within artspace itself, drawing interested crowds to witness the process behind creating their collaborative art, and allowing them to see the art come to life. The event began with the team selections in September 26, 2014, and ended with the finished pieces being placed on view by November 28 – the same day the raffle was drawn.
Projects to randomly give away art have also begun. The similarly-named independent project Art Roulette encourages other would-be artists to share their art with strangers online, assigning a match to you as soon as you sign up for the service. You must then send a piece of artwork to your match within 30 days, to qualify for receiving your own piece of art from someone else. With less than a hundred participants, however, the project is yet to kick off, but there’s no denying that it’s a great way to introduce art to different people.