Judy, You 'hit the nail on the head" ! I have seen many artists'
coops come and go. They almost always fall on their faces because of
the nightmare of getting a large number of temperamental people to
fulfill their obligations in a timely and responsible manner.
Your mention of the collective rental approach is a concept that
does work. When the artist gets around the problem of having to bear
the large overhead of good exposure he or she can sell their work
with minimal overhead and effort. As a matter of fact, the
aforementioned approach even works when it is operated by a
government entity. The artists coop gallery in Belo Horizonte Brazil
has always been a favorite haunt of mine. Here the works of artists
and artisans throughout the region are sold in an elegant venue
located on prime real estate. It is a destination venue and is a
credit to the creativity of Brazilians in general.
The simplistic assumption that all business persons are bloodsuckers
that draw blood from innocent artists is simply silly. The
relationship between busiiness persons and the creative community is
typically one of cooperation. Furthermore, the artist is generally
the one who comes out on top inasmuch as the average commission
favors the creator. The fact is that there are many artists who
might never survive were it not for the fact that there are people
out there who are willing to give their works exposure without the
overhead that would otherwise be born by the artist. Ron at
Mills Gem, Los Osos, Ca.