What is INKAA's mission or purpose?
The mission is to provide equitable access to the arts and art opportunities to established, independent, emerging, and aspiring artists and artisans from the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas.
What does the mission mean?
INKAA and the people, businesses, organizations, affiliated partners with the organization located at the Art House are all committed to the empowerment of independent artists and artisans as entrepreneurs and creatives by helping them to achieve success by accessing needed resources, business opportunities, and arts opportunities. Simultaneously, all parties are committed to ensuring that undeserved populations (however defined) have access to the arts, arts activities, and arts opportunities as well as working with aspiring artists to help building upon their desire to be creative.

Is the INKAA a non-profit organization?
INKAA Education Program (the primary founding organization for the Art House) registered in the State of Kentucky as a not-for-profit education organization in August 2014. INKAA also is recognized by the Federal Government  and has acquired its  501c-3 designation from the Federal Government.

What is the difference between and artist and an artisans?
Mark Nichol states: “What’s the difference between an artist and an artisan? This unnecessarily sensitive question is equivalent to the issue of what constitutes art and what is designated as craft.

In both cases, the former word essentially refers to the making of tangible or intangible products as an expression of creativity and imagination for purely aesthetic reasons. An artisan, meanwhile, though spurred by the same impulses, produces crafts, which, though they may be acquired only for decoration, are designed to be practical.

Therefore, though some tension between artist and artisan — between producers of art and designers of crafts — may exist because of a perceived differential in their relative cultural status, the technical definitions are just that: precise distinctions not in quality or artistic achievement but in function” (Mark Nichol  Artist vs Artisan http://www.dailywritingtips.com/artist-vs-artisan/)

An Artist is someone who creates objects which exist purely to excite our imaginations, our sense of beauty, our souls. These objects can be useful or useless; they can be audio, visual, tactile, or appealing to the other senses. The key is that the object is a work of art whose primary reason for existence is to be a sort of non-sentence, non-verbal communication of an idea, or evocation of a state of being.

 An Artisan is someone who creates utilitarian objects, but applies artistic touches to them to elevate them into the realm of beauty. He or she usually does this by working on the original materials with their own hands, or with very simple tools and techniques. The whole essence of artisanal work is that it has a hand-crafted feel to it.

 When I think of an Artist, I think of someone making a painting. When I think of an Artisan, I think of someone carving a beautiful chair. These are both oversimplifications. But they give you a hint of the basic difference.

Another great answer can be retrieved from  author Mark Nichol  “Artist vs Artisan”  http://www.dailywritingtips.com/artist-vs-artisan/

Mark Nichol,  “Artist vs Artisan” retrieved on May 2, 2015 from http://www.dailywritingtips.com/artist-vs-artisan/

What is an “independent artist”?
The term “independent artist” is typically associated with the music industry however in any creative arts genre an independent artist is typically an unsigned artist, not represented by an agent or agency within a specific region.  Typically independent artists are ‘working artists’ that take a primary role in representing themselves to the public, release their own work, sell their own work, or have work present in a gallery, boutique, or shop on consignment or for a small percentage of the sales.
What is meant by “a working artists”?
A working artist is a professional artist whose regular efforts and activities include trying to get their work seen and sold. Working artist are typically characterized as people who depend upon the income derived from the sales of their work or services.
What is the meaning of the INKAA's motto, shield and branding?
“Working today for a better tomorrow”©

“P-art Business Incubator, P-art Gallery, P-art Artisan Gift Shop, P-art education, ALL cooperative”™

Both mottos are reflective of what the Art House and its primary supporting organization are and stand for. The Art House is not just one thing; it is evolving into an innovative organization that supports artists and artisans in different stages of their artistry. This includes established, emerging, and aspiring artists and artisans.
Do you have well known artists at the Art House or investment art?
This question is complex but easily answered this way, "Yes, we have well known artists in our gallery as well as art that is considered to be investment art". But then answer is not really a good one nor does it fully illustrate the bigger picture. What is unique about the INKAA culture is that you have famous, established, or internationally recognized artists and artisans right next to new and emerging artists and artisans.  Who we have at in our gallery is less important than what we are doing.

Why is there such a diversity of artists and artisans?
INKAA prides itself on having created a unique inclusive art community that embraces diverse artists, artisans, and creative styles. What makes us innovative is that you will see well-known established artists in the same space as emerging artists and artisans. We even include student work in each of our shows. We find that viewers and visitors rarely ask for an artists or artisan’s pedigree, years of experience, or the schools that they have attended or the degrees that they have acquired or the accolades that they have received. These things are however important to a small group of people. What we have found is that working independent artists and artisans often face some of the same challenges when trying to achieve their own prescribed level of success. Consequently, this is what many of our artists and artisans have in common. Our gallery is therefore not for everyone; it is however, for people interested in embracing the idea that working together is better than going it alone and that each person has something of value to offer another person. The artists and artisans here do not look at each other as competitors but instead see each other as fellow creatives trying to successfully navigate through the world of art.

Why should I support the INKAA?
Take a moment and do some research and you will see that nationally speaking there are very few  other arts organizations or businesses that do what the Art House is doing on behalf of independent emerging and aspiring local artists and artisans. We endeavor to educate, engage, and empower individuals in all stages of their creativity because we believe that human beings are essentially and naturally creative and therefore need an environment that nurtures their creativity. Our logo…the “No Starving Artist” logo, speaks volumes about our mission and our efforts to help ensure that talented artists and artisans have an opportunity to achieve success while using their creativity. The Art House nurtures creativity.

Creativity is a way of living life that embraces originality and makes unique connections between seemingly disparate ideas and concepts. Creativity is about living life as a journey into seeing and communicating the extra-ordinariness of the simplest, most every day acts. Some creative people need help and support in navigating through the professional world of art; we are that needed system of support for independent artists and artisans. This is why we exist...

INKAA Education Program focuses on:

job creation and economic opportunities for artists and artisans including assistance with small business and legal matters (filing taxes, applying for grants, seeking gallery representation et cetera);

offering regular art business education  programs for the general public, emerging artists, and students in art related fields;

expanding the public's interest and support of the arts, local artists and artisans, small businesses, entrepreneurship, and local economies;

developing networking opportunities and mentoring relationships for emerging artists and artisans;

offering inclusive art education programs and outreach for underserved populations and communities;

offering art education programs for  early childhood development, special needs populations, and the regions elderly population;

creating individualized service plans, strategies, and development plans, programs, and initiatives that support emerging  artists, the creative process, and the development of new ideas and new work

Now, back to the question: Why should I support the Art House? You should support the Art House because it directly supports individuals from your community, local economies, small locally owned businesses, and small business owners as creative entrepreneurs.   

We are not contributing to curing a disease, addressing poverty, or solving world hunger on a national or international scale; however, we are helping to create economic opportunities; empower individuals and families; and addressing the economic and educational disparities that exist involving artists and artisans. Every one of us knows a talented artists that could use or could have used some support.

Are the artists and artisans all local?
63% of our artists are from Northern Kentucky while approximately 37% are from the Cincinnati area. 100% are local artists and artisans from the Greater Cincinnati area.  
How many artists and artisans are there ?
We currently host approximately 49 artists and artisans however, we also house 18 small art related businesses like: Atlas Oils, Jamie Anton Art, What2Ulike Pet Store, Accidental Art et cetera. . 

Why should I support and patronize the INKAA’s mission to empower independent artists and artisans?

Independent artists and artisans often face genuine obstacles when seeking support, resources, opportunities, and the funding necessary to continue their work, achieve success, and realize their dreams. A lot of artists and artisans struggle with the "business side" of the art world. Most artists and artisans just want to create and not be distracted by other concerns such as building websites, social media, marketing et cetera. Coupled with the human element (e.g. attitudes and perceptions concerning defining art, art quality, aesthetics, emotional impact of art, utilitarian purposes of art, purchasing unnecessary art et cetera) becoming a successful artist or artisan can be challenging even when a measure of individual success has no monetary value attached to it. However, art is all around us all the time on the walls of our personal spaces or even present in the packaging and design of consumer products that we use on a daily basis. Yet, we continue to live in a society that perpetuates myths and misconceptions about art as a profession and artists as professionals. In essence, arts based industries are flourishing and growing and the days of success in the art world coming after one dies or has spent decades in the art world are gone. Creatives can now work towards achieving success without having to hold back or repress their creativity.

 Like many human endeavors however, the realities of the 'business side' of the art marketplace often places undue strain and barriers that sometimes get in the way of artists and artisans achieving their dreams and successes. The difference between a successful artist and the proverbial 'starving artist' is often a combination of factors with access to market opportunities and increased exposure being primary obstacles for many artists. Consider any creative work or person considered to be an artist-whether they are a musician, dancer, clothing designer, architect, culinary artists, athlete or writer, there are always very talented people that never get the chance to realize their dreams or achieve success. Fortunately, the Independent Northern Kentucky Artists and Artisans Business Incubator is seeking to be one conduit to help bridge that gap of success for independent Northern Kentucky artists and artisans on an individual basis.

What is the management and leadership structure of INKAA?
The existing management structure will evolve into a leaderless (not directionless or rudderless) organization managed by its members and governed by a Board of Directors. Until then, Parrish Monk is the Executive Director and works closely with dependable volunteer staff and a small group of trusted advisors.
Why is INKAA Education Program unique?
INKAA works diligently to fight against the myth of the proverbial “starving artist”. INKAA is unique because it serves as a dedicated business partner for independent artists and artisans in hopes that our combined and collaborative efforts help to empower artists and artisans as entrepreneurs or as successful creatives using their talents and their gifts to achieve success.

INKAA is developing specific programs and initiatives to help artists and artisans succeed with our efforts focused job creation, economic empowerment, and accessing business opportunities;

•             We are becoming a bridge builder and community arts-based force for the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati area while being headquarter in Fort Thomas;

What does INKAA stand for?
Independent Northern Kentucky Artists and Artisan Education Program, Inc..
What is INKAA?
INKAA is in essence a social enterprise and a diverse art collaborative with its members ranging from internationally recognized and established artists to emerging artists. INKAA is part an art business incubator, an art education program, an art gallery, an artisan retail shop, and a community art center.

Who is Parrish Monk? Tell me about the Founding Director.
You can find out more about Parrish Monk by visiting his website at www.parrishmonk.com or by calling him at (8590 279-3431 or  by stopping by the Art House and talking to him in person. Parrish is open, honest, and friendly. Here is an excerpt from his bio found on his website:

 Parrish Monk is a nationally known, African American visual artist who lives and works and lives in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. A recent transplant from Tampa Florida, Parrish is a military brat with no definitive place to call his hometown. Although his work appears in several galleries across the nation Parrish considers himself as an independent working artists who recently (as of January 1, 2014) became a full-time artists first launching Parrish Monk Arts and creating his own line of jewelry called ManHandled Jewelry™.  Often called a “Renaissance man”, Parrish is a self-taught and versatile artist and artisan who when asked, describes himself as “a work in progress.”  Parrish works in a diverse variety of mediums but is best known for his creation of a unique style he calls “Abstract Figminimalism”, a combination of complex abstract art with minimalist figurative drawings.  

With over 246 sales of original art work across the globe Parrish considers himself to be a working artist but is still a part-time adult educator in business and general education courses at various colleges. Professor Monk is an expert adult educator who teaches  developmental math, computer science, psychology, and business management courses to adult learners at Indiana Tech, Tiffin University, and National College. Yet, as an adult educator and a recent doctoral degree recipient in Educational Leadership from NKU and a self-proclaimed life-long learner, Dr. Parrish Monk  still feels like he has a lot to learn about himself, art, and life.  

While Parrish does not have a long pedigree of art degrees, art schools that he attended, or art masters that he has studied with, Parrish can boast about a very short, yet successful career as an artist which began in November 2011.  With pieces sold to HBO (for the show Enlightened), Eye Productions (for the show Hawaii Five 0), PB&J Productions, Southern Girls, Inc. and over 200 private collectors and art enthusiasts across the globe Parrish does not make or sell any prints or copies of his work. Parrish continues to show his art work in local galleries across the nation and has won several awards for his artwork; an honor that he does not take lightly since he is a self-taught artist. 

In addition to owning Parrish Monk Arts and ManHandled Jewelry, Dr. Parrish Monk is now the Founding Director of the INKAA Education Program located at the Art House in Fort Thomas Kentucky (www.INKAAcollaborative.org). This is a held position which he believes is only temporary as he is spearheading the development and growth of the Art House. Under his direction the Art House currently host 18 small art related business and 50 local artists and artisans from the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region and three arts organizations.  

With a lot of irons in the fire, Parrish’s stated priority is devoting time to his family and more specifically to his wife (who recently won her long fight with cancer) and his youngest son who is on the Autism spectrum. His wife loves that fact that he is passionate about so much yet devotes his time to his family and serving others in the community as an adult educator. As a father of three boys (ages 22, 21, and 9 years old), Parrish enjoys spending his rare free time at home being creative with his youngest son at his side. 

 In Parrish's words:

 "It took me almost 40 years of wandering through the wilderness until I emerged out of the darkness and became a full-time artist. I love proclaiming that I am a self-taught artists with no particular style, medium, or master. My work encompasses fine art to folk art to American arts and craft to functional art. I love the processes involved with being a self-taught artist and artisan…the learning process; the discovery process; learning from your mistakes; making happy accidents; moments of revelation that I actually learned something new; zoning out and realizing that hours have passed by unnoticed; the mindlessness and relaxing moments. I love not having other people’s voices in my head telling me right from wrong or how to hold my tools properly. I love the freedom that I feel from being finally free of those paralyzing and crippling fears that many artists experience when considering others (critics, the public, other artist) in their creativity and creative processes. I create for myself and myself alone first and then it sells or becomes part of someone else’s life and a whole other set of positive experiences and feeling emerge thus reminding me why I had finally submitted and embraced this life and path that chose me after decades of hiding and repressing my creativity. I love being an artist with the knowledge and foresight to know that I am still learning, still growing, and responsible for creating my own door".  


What have been some of INKAA's biggest challenges to date?
Finances are always a challenge. INKAA started off lean and debt free however there is always a need for more capital to cover overhead. However, a related challenge has been marketing and successful grant writing. 

The most common and incorrect assumptions about the Art House are:

1.     We are just an art gallery and all we do is sell art;

2.     The art that we sell is only for rich people;

3.     We only have art classes for young children;

4.     Our artist are not local artists and are outsiders;

5.     We are a for-profit business with a single owner;

6.     That we are a well-endowed organization.

We are working diligently on dispelling these myths and helping people to understand what and who we are.

How do I make a donation to the Art House or INKAA?
While we love and need donations we would prefer that you receive something or some type incentive in exchange for your donation. 30% of all your purchases (art, gifts, classes, or participation in special events) goes back to the Art House.

You can make tax deductible donations to the Art House several different ways.  You can donate directly through the donation button on our website or by clicking here: DONATE.  This will take you to a secure online site managed by PayPal.  You do not need to have a PayPal account.


You can come to the Art House and donate by check or cash in person or by adding extra to your purchases


You can mail a check made out to INKAA Education Program to The Art House,  19 North Fort Thomas Avenue, Fort Thomas Kentucky 41075


BUT WAIT… if you donate to us please do not make it an anonymous donation. We want to acknowledge your donation, send you a donation receipt and/or at the minimum thank you publicly on our website.


We have some great incentives and reward for donors as well. Click here to see 
I want to donate to the INKAA as a business. Is that possible and what can we get in return?
Corporate sponsors, businesses, organizations, or foundations that donate will receive special incentives and perks including placement on our website, on our wall plaques for donors, and advertisement on brochure during our regular events. Also, there are opportunities for tax deducatibel donations.
When I buy something from the INKAA where does my hard earned money go?
INKAA only carries original art, limited prints of photography from local photographers, and one-of-a-kind artisan created items. 70% of all sales of items goes back to the artist or artisan whereas the remaining 30% goes back to the INKAA. 100% of the sales of classes like our watercolor or crocheting classes and fun art events like Dine and Design goes back to the Art House because the instructors (Art House artists) volunteer their time.  Occasionally, the proceeds from a special event is split between the artists and the Art House.

From the minimum 30% that comes back to the Art House approximately 6% is reserved for sales taxes and the remaining percentage goes back to the Art House to pay our rent, utilities, phone, and internet bills.   Proceeds are also used to buy office supplies, purchase art supplies for the art programs, purchase beverages and art books/magazines offered for free to our guests et cetera. Our monthly expenses are approximately $2,100 dollars per month. Funds are typically directed to support the Art House mission which includes help artists and artisans out with a variety of needs.

Our vow to you is that:

•             30% of all proceeds from sales go back to the Art House to support our emerging and aspiring artists and artisans

•             30% of all proceeds from sales help us to offer business support services, programming, classes, mentoring, and outreach initiatives to youth, adults, special needs populations, and artists in all stages of their artistry

5% > of the money spent at the Art House will leave the local economy with the exception of art supplies or office supplies purchased from vendors outside of the local economy.
Where do my donations go?
Of course, common sense would dictate that our beneficiaries (i.e., our artists, artisans, the children, the community we serve et cetera) do not often grow, mine, produce, or own the sources or means to produce their own art supplies (e.g., semi-precious stones, raw clay, exotic woods, canvas, teas, coffees et cetera) that the Art House will purchase with your donations. But any donation that is made to the Art House stays with the Art House for the purposes of achieving our mission.

Your donations DO NOT GO DIRECTLY INTO THE POCKETS OR BANK ACOUNT OF ANY INDIVIDUAL nor do they leave the community or local economy directly because our art and artisan created items are made by local artists and artisans and ARE NOT massed produced in factories or by companies abroad.

When you buy from or donate to the Art House in Fort Thomas your hard earned money has an immediate and long lasting positive impact on individual artist, underserved populations, and the local economy. The Art House directly supports and empowers local independent artists and artisans as well as aspiring artists who are typically young school-age children or college students studying in an art related field. 

More specifically, donations are used to support the overall mission of the INKAA whose monthly overhead is approximately $850 dollars per month. As a donor you can specify where you want your donations to go.

If you want to support a specific artists or sponsor a children’s program or buy art supplies for people that cannot afford them, the choice and power is yours; just let us know how you want us to help others. For example tons of artists need secure easy to manage website; we can build it for them and teach them how to manage their own site. The cost is approximately $146. Some artists need help with entry fees or booth fees to various juried shows. Fees can range from $25 to apply to a $350 fee for a 10 x 10 space.
Is 70/30 split common?
The 70/30 artists to Art House split is common however most galleries takes 50% to 60% commission from the sale of an artist’s work.

Boutiques and consignment shops that use the consignment business model take a specific percentage of sales as well as often make artists or artisans rent space or “pay to play”. The percentage can vary but should be expected by the artist or artisan.  The “pay to play” model, as many artists call it, is indicative of arts and craft fairs, juried or not, where an artist pays a non-refundable fee to apply to be a vendor at the event and then if accepted they pay a vendor fee to rent a certain amount of space to sell or display their own work or a product as a vendor.  Most vendors get to keep 100% of their sales (minus expenses) if the product is theirs and they are not really retailers.

Unfortunately, for some, many of these events  are high risk, meaning that there is a higher risk that the vendor will lose money because of a plethora of uncontrollable circumstances such as  weather, lack of advertising, lack of buyers, minimal foot traffic or more commonly, a saturation of similar artist or creations (e.g., 12 jewelry makers and 10 potters within a 100 yards of each other).  Plus many of these events are only for a day or over a weekend period. However, let’s not forget the real expenses that dip into a creatives profit. These may include: booth fees, traveling expenses, equipment for set up, time et cetera). Moreover, many of these “pay to play” venues are saturated with similar products or vendors.  

How does INKAA sustain itself as an organization?
Ideally INKAA, when fully developed will be self-sustaining and self-sufficient or in essence, non-reliant on any one source of income.  Currently INKAA is sustained by inside and outside sales of art and artisan created products; donations from the general public; and regular financial contributions from our affiliated partners and supporters.  As it develops and grows, INKAA is currently seeking applicable grants and other funding sources to support and expand the impact and reach of its mission.
Who makes the art and products in the gallery and retail shop?
Everything in he gallery is created by local artists and artisans from the Greater Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky area.

What are the art shows like and who is in the monthly art shows?
The philosophy and culture of INKAA ensures that it does not promote one artist over another nor does it normally host shows featuring only one artists. Consequently, the art shows are curated events featuring a theme-based show featuring local artists and artisans from the Greater Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky areas.

Is the art work in the gallery quality art work?  Is it real art?
Yes, the art and the artists in the gallery present quality art work and creations even though they may come from different backgrounds and skill levels. The more complex or appropriate answer is that art, however defined, resonates differently with each individual. Each viewer can have a different experience or feeling about the art that they are viewing and therefore issues of “good or bad” art are merely subjective and relevant only to the individual.

Does INKAA ever donate to the community?
Yes. INKAA has made a lot of donations to community organizations, worthy causes and for special evenst.
Does INKAA have outreach programs?
Yes, Community outreach is a core part of INKAA's mission. All of the outreach programs are under its KY-mmunity Outreach Program. This program has included bringing the arts and art activities to underserved populations; children and adults with special needs; and individuals, like the elderly or critically ill children, who are bound to a fixed location for whatever reasons.

Embedded in our mission statement is the goal to help provide “…equitable access to the arts and art opportunities…”

Call (859) 279-3431 for more details or if you have a great idea and want to partner with the Art House.

Below are responses to frequently asked questions about the Art House and INKAA Education Program

The Independent Northern Kentucky Artists and Artisans Education Program (INKAA)


P-art business incubator, P-art gallery, P-art artisan retail shop, P-art education...ALL COOPERATIVE!