Soon after the Corona pandemic hit NYC, a resourceful and talented group of NY based artists came together to create an informal collective called artists-X-change (aXc) with the aim to alleviate the growing distress that both artists and art organizations have been facing. They were united by a sense of urgency — the severity of the situation coupled with the need to help others in their community.
Both multi-media artist Jada Fabrizio and painter Ellen Blum recall their initial intense sense of helplessness mixed with the recognition that there are other artists in greater need. Painter and photographer Nina Meledandri, who discovered the other founding members of the group through Facebook, adds that when the pandemic hit, the enormity of loss facing the creative community felt staggering when contemplating illness, family concerns, canceled shows, loss of employment, freelancers in free fall and loss of studios & homes, “I felt the need to reach out to support the community of artists that has nurtured and supported me,” she says. Artist, curator and founder of WoArt Blog and USPS Art Project, Christina Massey, shares this sentiment with all the other members of the group, “helping was all I could think about; I was consumed by it,” she says. Painter Randall Stoltzfus highlights another angle, as he sees the BoX project in context of his impetus for making art, “a sense of personal responsibility motivates my commitment to making art that reveals our collective nature. The BoX Project is that kind of art,” he says. Finally, the painter Margot Spindelman, the first founder of the group sheds light on the practical aspect of this project, recalling how during many zoom meetings the primary question focused on “how could a small group of us put a collective finger in the dyke of loss that the art-making community was experiencing?”
Initially, the artists in the group – Ellen Blum, Michael Davis, Jada Fabrizio, Christina Massey, Nina Meledandri, Margot Spindelman and Randall Stoltzfus – debated different strategies for fund raising and eventually decided to partner with an established art organization in order to reach as many artists as possible. Thus, on their first project, BoX Project, Edition 1, the group chose to partner with Brooklyn Arts Council, an organization which has been supporting and empowering diverse local artists and small arts organizations through a wide variety of programming for over 50 years. “Through our partnership with Brooklyn Arts Council we are translating our work into aid for the community of artists that they have been supporting for decades,” says Margot Spindelman.
Doing what they do best, artists-X-change created original work for the BoXes and invited Brooklyn Arts Council to choose an artist to join them in the BoX, Abby Goldstein. They also asked 4heads founders Nix Laemmle and Jack Robinson of Portal/Governors Island art fair to advise on artist led initiatives and invited them to create work for the project. This collaboration between artists-X-change founders and the invited collaborators resulted in uniquely curated boxes, each with a mix of five original small artworks (max size 5 x7 inches) ranging from oil to photography to paper making and collage. The BoX Project will be available for the public from September 15th, 2020, as part of the finale to Brooklyn Arts Council’s 2020 Mutual Aid Art Sale. All BoX Project proceeds will go to Brooklyn Arts Council who will distribute funds according to their own, well established criteria to help artists in need. Painter Michael Davis sums the BoX Project up, “We always depend on others and this dependence is a gift, more than a gift — helping and being helped are essential to our survival.” Timely and heartwarming during this dire moment.
Get a sneak peak of what could be in your BoX and sign up for notifications to make sure you don’t miss your chance to be one of only 20 lucky recipients of a unique BoX of Art that will support a great arts organization. To receive your BoX, donate a minimum of $1000 to Brooklyn Arts Council. If you are one of the first 20 donors, starting on September 15, 2020, a BoX will ship to you.
Organized by artists-X-change in partnership with Brooklyn Arts Council.
Brooklyn Arts Council empowers artists and creative communities. With the aim of
advancing an inclusive, sustainable, and vibrant borough, Brooklyn Arts Council
works to support and nurture artists and amplify their role as innovators; foster
diverse forms of expression; and promote equitable access to culture through
educational programs, performances, professional development and grant making.
When you donate to Brooklyn Arts Council, your contribution directly supports
Brooklyn borough artists and their one-of-a-kind culture.
Etty Yaniv works on her art, art writing and curatorial projects in Brooklyn. She founded Art Spiel as a platform for highlighting the work of contemporary artists, including art reviews, studio visits, interviews with artists, curators, and gallerists. For more details contact by Email: email@example.com