JKamm 1Project summary: FUNC-artCommons will explore the sharing of functional art and design objects by establishing a number of community-driven lending collections around Kansas City. A digital interface, based on the artCommons project currently being developed in New York City, will enable participants to explore, connect, and manage their local collection. The objective is to provide diverse communities of people around the city with access to locally made art and design that they will not only be able look to at, but also enjoy holding in their hands and using in their homes.

Project details: Like the system on which it is modeled, FUNC-artCommons will be shared under a common copyright, non-commercial, attribution-linked, share-alike license.

The program will explore ways for regional artists, makers and designers to make it easy for a diverse community to discover and experience their work. Functional art objects are most beautiful when they are actually functional, and objects added to a local artCommons will be available to members to borrow and use. The website will help communities connect with each other and explore their shared collection, allowing users to share pictures, experiences and stories. These collections will become a means and an excuse for participants to meet and develop relationships, both between individuals and groups.

Kamm7Pieces in the FUNC-artCommons collection will not be for sale, but will be currently in production. This will allow borrowers to purchase a similar work, and will enable and facilitate easy replacement in the event of damage or loss. As the collection grows and changes over time, pieces can be seamlessly added or removed.

Besides offering individuals the opportunity to experience a variety of work first-hand, the FUNC-artCommons collections will serve various additional functions. In education, it will offer hands-on experience for teaching about art, design, and technique. In retail, the collections will encourage customers to discover and enjoy new artists. In an office or business environment, the collections would enrich the work environment, giving employees the opportunity to enjoy a handmade coffee cup, unique piece of jewelry, or other design object.

FUNC-artCommons is currently in a research and development stage, and is seeking collaborators – including makers, web developers, and interested community members.  Please contact FUNCart [at] jokamm.com (see website for more information).


jokammJo Kamm is an artist, designer, and juggler living in Kansas City. In his studio practice, Kamm pursues a variety of projects, from functional design and sculptural installations, to collaborative projects, engaging with communities through hand-made objects.

Kamm earned an MFA from Alfred University in 2010, and has been a resident artist at various ceramic art centers across Europe. Kamm most recently completed a 2-year residency at Red Star Studios, in Kansas City, Missouri.

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