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Oregon Collective Offers Support To Artists From Around The World | Deal

Linda Syth was talking to a friend, an artist like her, when she came up with an idea. Both had expressed their frustration at how difficult it could be to maneuver in a creative life, especially when struggling with mental and emotional health issues. Their conversation and Syth’s experiences of navigating the publishing world for her novel ultimately led to the creation of The Layered Onion.

The female and gay-owned business was founded in 2021 with the help of a close-knit team that includes Edward Syth, her son, and Lili Caruso, a family friend she’d seen growing up as a neighbor in Oregon. Together, they formed The Layered Onion as a virtual collective that aims to support struggling artists through three core principles: interaction, collaboration and promotion.

After registering, artists receive perks such as access to a network of organizations willing to promote their work, a space for discussion with like-minded people, opportunities for mentoring, and more. Their website also hosts an online exhibit and shop, where members can display and sell their artwork. Membership is broken down into three tiers that gradually offer more benefits, but there is also an option to use a coupon code that provides free access to artists who may not be able to pay.

“We work directly with the artists, so everything. All the business decisions we make and all the goals … have come directly from the need of the artist, “said Caruso.

Even as the Oregon-based company quickly grew to be an international organization spanning seven countries, feedback and direct collaboration with participating artists remained a top priority. “We thought it would be much more difficult to find artists, but… they found us. And it’s exciting, ”Scythe said. “But I think the most important part is being open to where your members want you to go.”

Layered Onion members did not hesitate to lead Syth and the other co-founders. For example, the group recently accepted the presentation of a fall literary magazine as the culmination of multiple discussions with artists who have expressed a desire for an outlet for creative writing. Syth said he would never have considered such a publication without those precious conversations.

“I think the goal of most artists is to make a living, and that if we can help them by breaking down some of the obstacles … so that more people can find their work, then I think we will have done a really great thing because then they can do what they are passionate about. And do it in a way that doesn’t stress them out, “he said of The Layered Onion’s efforts.

He added that the future could host in-person exhibitions and events, ongoing literary magazine publishing, and more.

“We are based in Oregon … but our artists come from all over the world,” said Caruso. “And this is just a testament to mental health and living with these kinds of challenges. It unites us everywhere. It is not just a local problem. It is a global thing that connects us ”.

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“The Layered Onion is a social impact company created to eliminate the stigma of mental health by sharing and promoting works by experienced artists.”

To learn more about The Layered Onion, view virtual galleries or join the organization, visit thelayeredonion.com.

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