SCOTTS VALLEY -- With an abundance of artists in Santa Cruz County, but few bricks-and-mortar locations to sell their work, an arts nonprofit plans to establish a website where hundreds of painters, sculptors, woodworkers and others from around the county can show and sell their work.

The effort is being spearheaded by Scotts Valley Artisans, almost exactly a year after the organization moved to the site formerly occupied by the Scotts Valley library on Mount Hermon Road. Local artists pay a monthly fee to display their hand-crafted jewelry, clothing, paintings, drawings and sculptures there, and the nonprofit takes a 15 percent commission on all sales.

Now its co-owners, Dawn Teall and her mother, Pam Nielson, are pulling the pieces together for a spring launch of www.santacruzartists.com. Dozens of artists have already signed up for the initial launch and, last week, they launched a campaign on crowd-funding site Indiegogo, with hopes of raising $12,000 by the end of February.

"It's easier to get people to go to that site than to say to them once again, 'Now we're raising funds for something else, so please go to our web site and donate,'" Teall said of partnering with Indiegogo.

Some of the funds will be used to offset such start-up costs as creating the actual site, photographing, describing and downloading more than 100 images, then setting up a payment method. The funds also will be used for-outreach efforts to let other artists know about it, in case they want their work featured there.

Once it's up and running, various packages will be offered, starting with 10 images for a $50 annual fee. How much of a commission the organization will take has not yet been decided, but it will larger than from storefront sales because of the particular issues that arise from selling items online. For example, Teall said, "each piece is usually one-of-a-kind, so every time one sells, we have to replace it with a new image."

Scotts Valley Artisans will handle the marketing and transactions, including ordering, shipping and "all the horrifying details that go with selling art that prevents artists from selling their work online," she said with a chuckle. The group also will maintain the site, which will be juried to ensure it includes professional work.

That should free up time for the artists to do what they do best: create high-quality art.

The Santa Cruz-Watsonville area has the fifth largest population of artists per capita in the country, according to a survey by Atlantic Monthly Magazine in late 2010. Putting all the artwork under one roof, Teall said, will "provide an unprecedented snapshot of the vast natural resource we have in this county in the form of resident artists."

Follow Sentinel reporter Kimberly White on Twitter at Twitter.com/kwhite95066

At A glance

SCOTTS VALLEY ARTISANS FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN


WHAT: Nonprofit arts center hopes to raise $12,000 by the end of January to launch a website featuring work from artists around the county.

OPERATED BY: Scotts Valley Artisans, a nonprofit founded last year with the goal of promoting the arts in Santa Cruz County and establishing the area as a national arts destination.

INFORMATION: For a full description of the project and to donate, go to www.indiegogo.com/santacruzartists?c=home