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We ain’t dead yet.

April 9, 2014

Hello dear friends,

As many of you are probably aware from the recent lack of event invites, news, and pleas to purchase books and art clogging your social media drip feeders, the art/community experiment known as The Starving Artists Guild has, more or less, become stagnant and is rapidly nearing its end. Nothing good lasts forever. This was an inevitability that we have long been prepared for and it is not with bitterness that I officially announce The Guild‘s demise, but with dignity and hope for the future. Few people will probably read this, and even fewer will actually care. Nonetheless, The Guild has been an important part not just of my life, but of many peoples lives for the past seven years and I felt that it deserved some sort of closure.

When Erik Cowhey and I  “founded” The Guild in 2007, we were just trying to give the weird shit we were writing some legitimacy by slapping a name on it. “Guild” sounded dignified. “Starving Artists”…well, we were melodramatic teenagers. And we had no idea what we were doing. We made our first books by hand in my kitchen one afternoon and tried to peddle them to our friends and family for a couple dollars. For some reason, they supported us, and somehow this little operation grew into a sustainable model for putting out art and books. Over the years, more and more of our talented friends (and even some complete strangers) continued to support us and work with us. Our numbers grew and our projects became more complex and ambitious. In a few short years we went from two dumb kids making pamphlets to a vast network of creative, working people producing quality zines and pieces of art, booking concerts and readings, managing venues, and giving emerging artists from all over the Valley and beyond a means to create and grow.

The most amazing part of all of this was that it happened completely organically and of its own accord. This was not exactly a business. We only ever made enough money to cover our costs. Nobody ever received a dime for what they did. In fact, most of us put more of our own money and time into this thing than we ever got out of it. But for some random, mysterious, and completely beautiful reason, it all happened, and it came from the ground up – from hard work and faith in an idea, the idea that what we were doing was right and that it meant something. Without the continued devotion from each and every one of our collaborators and supporters, from our working artists and writers to those who might have set up a chair or even attended just one event, none of the things we created and did for our fellow artists and our community would have been possible.     

The time has come for The Starving Artists Guild to be retired. All of us have outgrown it as people and as creators. But while The Guild may cease to exist in name, the ideas and values which distinguished it as a community and institution will form the foundation of a new experiment in art, community, and collaboration that will be relevant to all of our futures as artists and makers, and support us in our continuing growth.

Therefore, this is to say that we are not giving up, but rather moving on. The Guild will not die, but evolve.

Already I have had the fortune of meeting some incredible artists and individuals who are interested in guiding this project to the next stage. Currently, I am collaborating with a great writer and friend of mine, Sean Shearer, to produce an online journal and community learning activity called Poems of Amherst (POA). When the project has concluded, we are going to use the public exposure and web presence garnered from it to launch a new creative community/publishing house, which we will manage along with our many other devoted friends and conspirators.

There will be a new website, a new Facebook page, and many more beautiful things and happenings to follow. Taking the lessons learned from years working with The Guild, this will be a new beginning with limitless potential- a center of gravity for creative collectivism and community. So keep your eyes and ears open for what comes next and contact us if you, your group, your band, your collective, your business, or your organization want to be involved.

We ain’t dead yet.

 

Zachary Novak 

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NEW POSTERS & ART STORE

July 4, 2012

 

These stunning lithographic posters come to us by way of Savannah, Georgia, from our favorite artist Noelle Pflanz.  Overlapping and interlocking to form a greater image, the colorful finger-prints (each one distinct) represent the spirit and beauty of artistic collaboration and community.  The illustrated row of houses, copied from a picture taken in Ludlow, Massachusetts, is reminiscent of the artist’s childhood home in the clustered suburbs of New England.

We are offering a limited edition of 22″x15,” poster-sized duplicates for $25 each (shipping included) in the NEW ART SECTION of our store page.  These are going to be extremely rare, so get yours today!  Purchase by clicking the links below or going to the store 

Buy Fingerprints.

Buy Houses.

If you are interested in buying original and/or relief prints, contact the artist here.

As always, money made off our merchandise is put into the revolving fund which keeps us alive.  Every purchase is a contribution to our cause.

Wednesday, June 27th: IGNITE THE MIC@ THE BING w/ Teatro V!da

June 25, 2012

This Wednesday at 7:00pm, Teatro V!da will host another awesome installment of their IGNITE THE MIC Spoken Word & Music Series @ The Bing Arts Center in Springfield, MA.  Poets, performers, musicians, and human beings of all varieties are welcome!  Writers and artists from The Guild and Teatro V!da will be there selling their wares and doing their thaaanngg!

C’mon.  It’ll be great.

For directions, information, and to RSVP, direct your computer’s mouse HERE and apply pressure with your index finger.  That’s the magic of The Interwebs.

Sunday, June 24 @ The Owl and Raven: THE CRAZY EXES FROM HELL + Open Mic Poetry & Art Sale

June 18, 2012

Join the Starving Artists Guild and Abstract Northampton this Sunday at the Owl and Raven community arts space in Northampton, MA  for a poetry open mic and art sale + live music from Cambridge-based acoustic duo The Crazy Exes from Hell.  Resident Guild poet Zachary Novak will be performing in support of Variorum, selling zines, and distributing propaganda.  Any and all other poets and friends who’ll be in the area are beseeched to attend as well!  The awesomeness ensues at 8:00 pm sharp!

Poetry Reading in the Rotunda

May 31, 2012

The culminating event for the workshop series Ekphrasis, led by renowned poet, artist, teacher, and local hero María Luisa Arroyo  will be an energizing Poetry Reading on June 16 from 1-3 p.m. in the 100 year old Central Library Rotunda.  All but a few of Springfield’s writers, artists, and other creatives are gathering to perform, showcase, and sell their work(s), including the Starving Artists Guild’s very own Zachary Novak and Nick Wedlake!  So join us for a family-friendly, bilingual (Spanish & English), all ages, ass kicking event.  If this is any indication of what’s in store for the Happy Valley’s literary scene this summer, then it’s gonna be buh-buh-buh BUMPIN’!

Ms. Arroyo is going to be emceeing the reading (a fact that we couldn’t be happier about).  The author of Gathering Words: Recogiendo Palabras (2008), she is a truly inspiring educator and artist who has facilitated numerous poetry workshops regionally, and has performed in various parts of the country and in Puerto Rico.
More information is here!

More responsible business practices.

November 14, 2011

Recently the Guild decided that 650,000 people can’t be wrong, and in acknowledgement of the message our brothers and sisters are fighting so hard for across the country we will be shifting all of our funds and banking to a local credit union this january.  Although an ostensibly small act, it is just one way in which we, as a collective/organization/whatever we are, believe we can show solidarity and, frankly, feel better about ourselves.  This transition will breifly disrupt the ability to use the Paypal buttons in the Store, but it is a small price to pay (no pun intended?) in the grand serenade of things.

More direct support of the Occupy movement is already being planned for the coming months.  Accordingly, we are brainstorming ways to integrate OWS activism with art and the political/anarchist agenda of art workers we are so fond of.  Additionally, fundraisers for food and other necessities are being organized.  If you are interested in participating or leading one of these PLEASE contact us with your ideas.  We like OWS a lot.  We’re broke too.

LIVE @ HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE: THE LOOM // MERCIES // IPOMOEA

October 5, 2011

THE LOOM is a six-piece, alternative folk-rock/magic band from Brooklyn, NY, whose searching, delicate sound indulges equally in Americana and psych-influenced dissonance and atmospherics.

MERCIES creates heavily resonant, spatial songs that walk a fine line between introverted, Conor Oberst-esque folk and lazy, speak-easy rock.

IPOMOEA is the working alias of multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Thom Lopes (Renaissance Sun), who has played in and led more bands than seems humanly possible. 

Come on out to THE HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE RED BARN for an evening of heartbreakingly beautiful music and happiness, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST.  Doors open at 6:30PM.  Show starts at 7PM and ends at 10PM.  Admission is FREE, but we will be suggesting donations to help pay the traveling bands.

Check out/download The Loom’s Daytrotter Session HERE.

Declare your allegiance on the The Facingbook!