Membership

“Artists work well on their own, but every artist needs a tribe.”

Join & Thrive

Find support for your creativity!

It was Steinbeck who said, “the only creative thing our species has is the individual, lonely mind.” Often, we need to retreat, withdraw, isolate, to find that rare jewel of truth. And yet, a consistent theme for creatives who thrive is a robust support system that is available when the lonely artist emerges.

At Flagship, we witness the positive effects of artists in community.  We can encourage and engage each other in our work in a meaningful way. If you find yourself aligning with our core values, we invite you to join us as we grow and learn how to more effectively achieve this.

There are three streams of Flagship Gallery membership:

PROFESSIONALS:

Benefits: Artists receive a month-long solo exhibition opportunity once every exhibition cycle, representation on the gallery website, and more.

Requirements: Artists must have been working professionally, whether full or part-time and who have achieved a level of mastery in their discipline while yet maintaining a desire for professional development.

Those who align themselves with our unique values and goals are invited to apply.
Membership fees are $50/month.

STUDENTS:

Benefits: Opportunities to exhibit are available through our annual Semaphore exhibitions for Firefleyes, Headwaters, Apertures and Forerunner classes.

Requirements: Students of all ages with a desire to learn more about various disciplines from our community, and to gain experience in the operation and maintenance of a gallery.

Those who align themselves with our unique values and goals are invited to apply.
Student membership fees are $25/month.

ART ENTHUSIASTS:

Benefits: Members have the opportunity for committee and Board participation, a voice and vote at the Annual General Meeting, as well as invitations to our members-only events.

Requirements: Art enthusiasts and supporters who align themselves with our unique values and goals, and who are interested in being an active participant and voice in our artistic community are invited to apply.

Membership fees are $25/month, or can be arranged with the Treasurer. These fees are also eligible for a tax receipt through our charitable status.

Values

Our membership is united by some specific core values that, straight out of the gate, will be an important reason one is or is not interested in joining us. In broad terms, we all adhere to the historic Christian faith as confessed in the Apostles Creed. Flowing out of this is an understanding that our faith is evidenced in our creative work, as image-bearers who honour the original Artist, Jesus Christ. This is a strong bond that unites us to each other and allows us to dig deep into our many creative expressions. More information about this can be supplied upon request.

Membership FAQs

Why is membership with Flagship awesome?

We promise to get you spending more time making art. All types of busy people have joined us, and we all have valid reasons for avoiding the creative studio. If creating art is nourishing your soul and impacting the lives of others around you for good, then we can help you exchange your to-do list for a sketchbook. Much prettier paper, too. Flagship requires your artwork all year round in the back gallery, several times a year for group member shows, and once every show cycle for a solo exhibition. We will help you make creating new work a priority in your life!

Joining a group of artists who are committed to serving Christ is a bold undertaking. In our artwork, music, discussions and the rest involved in our daily operation of the gallery, we are a group devoted to the Lord by grace alone. It is a precious thing to enjoy expressions of faith in a community of redeemed sinners.

Flagship is a ”Semaphore Fellowship Gallery”. What does that mean?

This means that the gallery is just one physical extension of Semaphore, which is a think tank and Christian ministry devoted to building up a community of Christians involved in the arts. For this reason, the gallery space is used not only for representing the artwork by its members, but also for hosting important discussion forums, art classes, music evenings, conferences, etc. All gallery members are encouraged to participate in this community-building process by attending events, or sharing these opportunities with friends and church members.

How will Flagship help my creative career?

In addition to the gallery being a creative motivator and a continual exhibition opportunity for you, perhaps an understated benefit is how you manifestly benefit from the wealth of communal knowledge and experience within our membership. As we pursue excellence in various mediums and methods, there is a spirit of generosity which provides countless opportunities for professional development or creative exploration.

The gallery’s location is part of a vibrant community on James Street North in Hamilton. We are excited to be just one of the beautiful spaces on the street, attracting more and more out-of-town visitors as well. We are part of the monthly “Art Crawls” (the largest being September’s Supercrawl) where thousands of visitors explore the shops.

Flagship also has an active online presence through our website, social media and our newsletter. Each member has their own feature page on the website with a bio and some artwork, and an online gallery where you can submit your artwork to be uploaded. This allows you to have an online presence without the cost, time and worry of maintaining it yourself.

Why are there membership fees if the gallery is not a traditional collective or co-op gallery?

Yes, there is a membership fee. No, we are not a co-op. The gallery is managed by a Board of Directors who are elected by you, the membership. The Board of Directors is in turn responsible to The Semaphore Fellowship. This is to effectively preserve and achieve the starting goals that Semaphore has for Flagship, namely to be “salt and light” to the creative community here in Hamilton. There are different levels of membership varying in cost. All the money goes to the operation of the gallery, and no one on the Board is paid. Your membership fee contribution is gratefully recognized as a commitment to Flagship’s ministry, as well as to your own professional career as a creative person. The membership fees offset approximately 25% of the gallery expenses.

I live far away from the gallery – How would I contribute? 

We have a few members who live far away, and this can be a real challenge. However, there are meaningful ways to become integrated into the happenings of the gallery without continually driving the distance. All of the gallery members are needed for the operation and management of the gallery, but some of them can be done from your home studio. For example, while you may not be able to staff the gallery, you could assist with the monthly newsletter or on social media, or assist the Education Team in various events like our national/provincial Juried Exhibitions.