Okanogan County is over 5,000 miles with artists spread out across the terrain. What excites us most about Confluence Gallery is that they work hard to support individual working artists, meeting Foundation’s vision to enhance opportunities for artists in rural communities. Confluence Gallery developed their Make/ ART / Work program to help rural artists find their place in the community and help to establish a thriving creative economy in Okanogan County.
Make/ ART/ Work is a daylong conference of professional development skills and networking for Okanogan County artists. According to Confluence Gallery’s Director, Sarah Lightner, Make/ ART/ Work helps to facilitate the kind of rural community that is sustainable, livable, and healthy by enabling artists to thrive and create. As this program has developed, Confluence Gallery has been able to create opportunities to showcase participating artists in solo exhibits in the gallery, and Confluence Gallery is planning to expand their gallery and build a new solo exhibit space just for these artists.
Additionally, this program has given artists the skills and confidence to launch out into the larger regions in the state. We agree with Confluence Gallery that geographical location and access to services are a couple of the challenges of serving artists in rural communities. We look forward to partnering with Confluence Gallery and Art Center to serve individual artists and explore best practices together!