Ask people if Reciprocal Relevant Links help your SEO and you’re likely to get different answers from all of them, some saying yes, some saying maybe and some saying no. The one thing that seems to be consistent is that you shouldn’t ask for linkage.
The other thing that remains consistent is that IF you DO create a links page, the links MUST be relevant. In other words, a house builder should NOT have a reciprocal link to an artist. This will not help their SEO. A relevant link that will help is a realtor, a house painter, a contractor. Be aware that when you create a links page you are encouraging your visitors to leave your website and that’s NOT ALWAYS beneficial. The longer someone stays on your website, especially if you have a retail site, the better the chances are that they will become a customer.
However, creating an artist page MAY help your SEO. I broke the rules a BIT by adding links that are NOT ALL relevant. I've done business with most of these people, so I feel confident that I can recommend them here. However there IS a healthy dose of photographers and artists as well.
My links page is a work in progress and those who are already on the page can feel free to add my site to yours.
In the meantime:
Focus on what’s ahead of you.