It is no secret that everyone has felt the pinch in some way since quarantine started in March. Artist, Collectors, Galleries, Museums, and Art Institutions are just a few among those hit hardest by the business closings for COVD-19. Scarcity isn’t new to the art world. Many artists and small privately owned galleries are well acquainted with the feast or famine model that is so prominent in the art world and many have spent years succeeding based on their largest contributing collectors. With galleries and museums closed, not only are the artists that are represented by those organizations suffering without the same level of exposure to the collectors that purchase their work, but galleries depend on wealthy collectors that appreciate not only the art, but the ability to use it as a tax write off.
Collectors are needed to reach out now more than ever and gallerists have a responsibility to reach out to these collectors while digging deep into the internet and upping their online game. The truth of this pandemic, at least for now, is that it isn’t going anywhere. Virtual media is now king, and if you want to survive, your online presence needs to be electric or you will fail to be seen! Your collectors are not going to buy art they haven’t experienced, and artists, if you have a gallery representing you and you feel like you don’t have a strong online presence, you need to speak up too! If we each stay quiet, no matter what our role is, then we can be sure to see more and more art-related businesses that are either shut down or filing bankruptcy.
Art is an essential form of not only expression but a shared vision into a history that we all share. The question really is, what will each of us do to support local artists and galleries to help reduce the damage already done? This coin has two sides. We need the business side of art to survive and thrive during this pandemic. Why? Without the business side, we leave an entire industry of culture, history and the freedom of artistic expression to be bled dry until all that is left are the crayon drawings our parents kept when we were children. You have to admit, those drawings weren’t very good.
The world needs to continue to be inspired by incredible sculptures, amazing abstract painting, mixed media, and since creativity knows no bounds, there are so many that we still have yet to experience because it hasn’t been invented yet. We have a responsibility to the history, culture, and necessity of our local and global art community. What are you waiting for? It’s time to find your local gallery and reach out. It’s time that the artistic visionaries of the world let their voices be heard. Art is life, and life is essential.