Artist Collectives: Past to Present

The history books are rife with individuals who formed groups with the intention of making a difference in their community. An artist collective is a group of artists that come together sharing a common goal. The goals of the collective are often predetermined and agreed upon as these individuals often have shared ideologies. Here follows a brief history of artist collectives.

Where it all began

Groups of people often gathered to discuss natural resources that were pivotal to their livelihoods. The ancient workshops at the marble quarries in Greece are examples of communities built around a particular profession. Collectives eventually became more involved in government affairs.

Groups often came together to impress their will upon government institutions, leading to revolutions like the French Revolution towards the end of the 18th century. Many controversial movements were often forced underground to escape prosecution or discovery.

Traditional collectives were also formed to preserve and promote art within their communities. These groups were often very small but worked together to create influential art. This was easily exhibited in the streets or public places, often close to a marketplace where public gatherings often occurred.

Modern artist collectives

In modern times, there are more ways for artists to share their ideas with the world. Today artists often own workshops or studio facilities where they are free to work on art projects. The Internet has enabled anyone to share information with a global audience at the push of a button.

Some collectives are highly secretive and communicate their intentions without declaring their identity. A good example of a secretive collective is the group known as Anonymous. The voice of this collective has often reached news outlets, and they have inspired many collectives around the world.

Even though many collectives are established around the world, few may succeed in what they have set out to do. It can often take a great deal of effort to encourage people to rally behind a particular cause or idea.

Hard work and determination

Anyone can have a good idea or motivation for what they want to accomplish. However, it is not always easy to convince a group of people or community to listen. Doing a lot of reading about artist collectives and getting the necessary research done is the minimum requirement. When a strong foundation of knowledge is laid, it only requires hard work and determination to carry it through.

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