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bhag meeting groups

The Bhag Meeting Group is a format for self-organizing groups of artists or authors. The vision is a practical discussion group, sharing working insights and informative life experiences in all facets of artmaking: aesthetic, technical, conceptual, and administrative. Like a book club or study group, the Bhag Meeting Group offers artists an opportunity to share insights and talk shop in an intimate, face-to-face setting.

Some of the benefits of forming a Bhag Meeting Group are camaraderie, friendship, mutual inspiration, an expanded circle of artistic contacts, the opportunity to share your practical insights about making and disseminating art, and the opportunity to learn from the experience of others.

Anyone, anywhere in the world is welcome to form a local Bhag Meeting Group. Invite whomever you wish to join, agree together to use the Bhag format, and meet. You are an official Bhag Meeting Group. You don't need authorization from anyone. You are welcome, however, to let us know about your group and share your experiences by emailing us at

the philosophy behind the format

The Bhag Meeting Group constitutes a living embodiment of the philosophy that human individuals together make the massive work called culture through a continuous feedback of images and ideas. Sharing out: Producing effects in the world around us. And receiving a share: Responding to the effects everyone is producing, and synthesizing our own future effects out of their raw material. We make culture. And we give each other the materials to make it from.

The group does not restrict itself to any single artistic discipline, because just as a single artwork can be made of mixed media, so an aesthetic or technical stumbling block in any medium might be resolved through insights from a mix of other media. Your group might be all writers but a mix of novelists, essayists, and poets. Your group might be painters, sculptors, and photographers. It might even be writers, artists, philosophers, and musicians. Choose the mix that's right for you and your creative circle.

As a discussion group, the Bhag Meeting Group benefits from personal connections and small size. New membership in each group is by invitation from current members of that group. The recommended maximum number of members per group is ten. Any number of groups may be created. Anyone anywhere may create a group by inviting any artists they choose and following the vision and format of the Bhag Meeting Group.

All group participants are welcome to enjoy the benefit of publishing samples of their work online at It is hoped that the banding together of face-to-face Bhag Meeting Groups will inspire the online community and vice versa.

how to form a group

  • Read the information presented here and decide whether the philosophy and format of the Bhag Meeting Group is right for you.
  • Invite a small number of local artists or authors whose company you enjoy and whose work interests you.
  • Agree on a comfortable location to meet: a coffee shop, a bar, someone's home or studio.
  • In the first meeting, ask each person to discuss their hopes and expectations for the group. Why are they here? Then discuss the format to see if you all agree on how it works. Apply the format strictly for the first several meetings. Before leaving the first meeting, agree together on the date, time, place, and moderator for the next meeting.

making your Bhag Meeting Group successful

  • Keep it practical. Share useful information and you will always have a useful group.
  • Keep it down to earth. Only talk philosophy if your philosophy is central to how and why you do your work.
  • Focus on how to do and show work, not on the conventional image of "being an artist".
  • Be open. Generously share your knowledge, and welcome the ideas of others.

format and topics

  • Meet monthly, for a session one to two hours in length.
  • Each session led by a moderator, selected from among group members at the previous session.
  • Rotate moderator position session by session.
  • Moderator invites members to introduce themselves: name, media, current focus.
  • Moderator asks each member for one discussion topic, creating list of member names and topics to serve as the agenda.
  • Once the list is assembled, the moderator invites each each member, in turn, to describe their topic and invites the group to discuss, ensuring time is allowed for discussion of all topics. Discussion is open, but the moderator may solicit input from quiet members or limit monologues by talkative members.
  • If topics are exhausted early, the moderator makes a second round of requests for topics followed by discussion as before. If topics still are exhausted within the hour, the moderator introduces a topic from the ready-topics list.
  • At the end of the session, the date, location, and moderator for the next session will be agreed by consensus.
  • The meeting is adjourned, and members may depart or mingle.
sample topics
  • Ask for input on solving an artistic problem: aesthetic, technical, conceptual, administrative.
  • Share discoveries and real-life experiences that might be helpful to others.
  • Share examples of artworks—completed or in progress—for critical feedback.
  • Any member may volunteer an instructional workshop to other members which, with consent of the whole group, may be scheduled to occur in place of topic discussions during a regular session.
ready topics (when other topics are exhausted)
  • Where and how to show.
  • Where and how to learn new techniques.
  • Where and how to get materials.
  • Pricing your art.
  • Work habits and methods.
  • Balancing time, money art, and life (but no griping!).

printable resources

For answers to your questions about the Bhag Meeting Group, please contact