We came together eight years ago as a bunch of artists wanting to go to concerts paint all the time. There's a special comradery that is born out of spending weekend after weekend at festival after festival, painting after painting. We quickly realized that what we could create together was better than competing against each other. We would set up galleries under the same tents, sometimes as small as a 10x10 canopy, sometimes a circus tent that demanded two medium-sized elephants to erect the poles. We had as many triumphs as we did tragedies, and the ones who stuck around through adverse conditions, and even a tornado once, are the ones that make up the Pigment Sanctuary.
A Home for Wandering Creatives
Once upon a time there were artists floating in the cosmos. They had no place to go and nowhere to call home. Every once in a while they’d pass by each other and wave, but they had been told it was a dog-eat-dog universe, so they would continue to go their separate ways. One day, an artist named Ashton of the Kettle Head quadrant had an epiphany: maybe we can make some solid ground to stand on if we latched together. So that’s exactly what she set out to do.
One by one artists would join, and slowly they all realized that standing together and building each other up bore more fruits than they could ever gather on their own. As they continued to work together, they bonded and became family. They understood that sometimes, one artist would thrive where another was lacking, and by pooling all of their resources and skills, they became a force for good.
They bounced from planet to planet, making their temporary homes, and using them to inspire all who dwelled there. They created magic wherever they travelled; no matter how much or little they were wanted, as long as they were together, they were home. There was one planet in particular that they always looked forward to gathering at: Earth.
Earth was where all of the amazing festivals happened; it’s where the arts were at the forefront of all culture. There, a painting could touch a place in the human’s hearts deeper than they had ever seen in all the galaxies. There, they inspired more artists, they changed lives; they felt truly appreciated and at home. Earth is where they realized they could really build something together.
The power of collaboration translated to more than the surfaces they were painting on, but the energy they created together, how they filled out their space together, even when they had an entire circus tent to fill. It was the camaraderie they expressed while dancing and swinging their brushes to the beat. It was their welcoming arms to all that wandered into their gallery space.
How did they achieve such greatness? How did they always seem to pull everything together so quickly? The magic comes from building everything like a painting: a little bit of planning, and a lot of play. They modeled their space after the cosmos: a space that felt fantastical and beautifully chaotic but when you sit with it, you recognize the patterns and see how intricately everything was put together. When you listened you would hear everyone’s voice so beautifully on their own, and together they formed a symphony.
They never knew what a finished gallery looks like, but they knew what it felt like. It was the excitement of the color changing lights, it was the focus of a brush on a canvas, it was the wonder when you would look above and see the weaving fabrics that made you feel like you’ve stepped into another world. They would envision the festival wanderer stepping up to a work of art with a hot tea in hand, greeted by the smiling face of the artist, or the dancer coming to rest and being engulfed in beauty. They would imagine the late night jams, the hugs and laughter, the tears of joy and woe. The gallery was not simply a place to hang paintings, but a safe place for all to join in the wonder and gratitude for everything in life.
The gallery continued to evolve during the festivals like a living being, breathing in the lost and exhaling the newly found. The artists would find new ways to make things more magical, whether it was finding the next big art installation from an alien world, or finding the perfect fan for the salvation of the hot summer days. No dream was ever too big, because the artists knew they could count on the help of their artist family.
Through lightning and tornadoes, the heat and the cold, their faith in each other and what they made was tested, and they survived it all, becoming all the stronger for the next time around. Nothing could shake the spirits of the artists, nor their love for the gallery and their desire to make the experience of the festival unforgettable. Though the summers of Earth never seem to last quite long enough, they were eternally grateful for their sanctuary. The Pigment Sanctuary.
Going their separate ways was never easy for the artists of the Pigment Sanctuary, but they knew that if they ever tugged on the strings that permanently connected all of them, everyone would answer the call. Even now, though circumstances may separate them for what feels like an eternity, their bonds continue to grow, and so do the number of artists in their family. They continue to dream big, and visualize what it will be like to once again come together in their sanctuary. The Pigment Sanctuary continues to be the home for all wandering creatives, and no matter where they are in the universe, you can be sure that they’re making magic.
What We Envision
Building safe and creative spaces
Creating a sanctuary for wandering creatives, a community of artists that support and encourage each other
physical (Galleries) and digital platform to connect and promote our artists
A platform to showcase our artists: Festivals, Princeton Gallery, Website
Encouraging collaboration and individual growth
Encouraging communication and communal responsibility to the well-being of each other, conversations about consent and respect, how to better support each other and how to express our needs, hopes and desires.
Hosting workshops and classes for both artists and community
Learning/teaching each other how to promote/market/sell yourself
Eventually, living creatively and impacting your community as Artists.