Today the Community Supported Art program, a joint effort by mnartists.org and Springboard for the Arts, launches their new artshares project. Just $300 and you’ll get three boxes the size of a fruit crate with three original works of art. Even the crate will be a work of art.

The boxes could contain anything from ceramics to stained glass to tin type photographs and paintings or drawings, said Director Scott Stulen.

Over the summer, shareholders will pick up one box a month at receptions.

They won’t know what’s in their box until they look inside.

Each box will hold a small art collection, with pieces from different artists in the program.

Sure, some people may be disappointed, but they’ll be exposed to new artists for only about 20 percent of the retail cost. See, you don’t have to be rich to be an art collector.

It’s important to prove to more people they can afford art.

[Ceramic artist Maren] Kloppmann said artists have to rethink the way they connect with buyers. She says the artshare program is a good way to reach a wider and different audience — and reach it in a new way.

“It’s so brilliant, in fact, that you want to say ‘Haven’t we always done this? Isn’t this some quirky Minnesota thing we do?” Kloppman said.

This year, nine artists were chosen from nearly 175 applicants. Each artist is receiving $1000 for their work. Meanwhile, the project’s organizers are already planning for next year. They hope to include more artists, who will fill even more boxes.