I just saw what might be a “first” on television. An advertisement to buy art. I’m breaking out the wine and celebrating.
For years, I’ve been looking for a way to fund television advertisements that would promote the appreciation and purchase of art. Not just Van Goghs and Picassos. Art created by living contemporary artists. If the Association of Dairy Farmers can get an entire country to Drink Milk, then art organizations, whose mission is to support artists, should perhaps consider the same promotional medium to get more people to Buy Art. Imagine the power in such a marketing strategy! A concentrated effort to change the perception of art as a “necessity” rather than a “luxury” could make a difference in the lives of all professional artists, not to mention enhancing the lives of those who would welcome art into their homes.
Now, about that ad. It’s one of a series produced for Art.com, the world’s largest online retailer of posters, prints, and framed art. Here’s the one I saw:
Find your art. I welcome it as a great way to get people seriously thinking about what goes on their walls. It took a well-established corporation to take that first step. Although Art.com sells mostly prints from the likes of Van Gogh and Picasso, they also sell prints and originals by emerging artists. Granted, not all artists choose to offer their work as prints, but it’s not about the literal promotion. It’s the message that excites me the most. Getting people to consider fine art for their home and office.
There’s a lot of discussion among artists about the future of art as they scramble to find alternate ways of promoting their work, often changing their creative offerings altogether. Some say that it’s the mid-priced work that’s getting squeezed out. There’s the perception that you’re either famous and selling for top dollar, or you’re selling work in the lowest possible price range. The industry is shifting, galleries are closing, pessimists are saying that “art is dead”…..yet Art.com sees potential – at least in their particular market.
I definitely feel that potential, but I maintain that while anyone can afford an Art.com print, there are many who prefer to purchase original work. On a recent visit to my good friends in Montreal, I noticed that over the past several years, they had begun collecting art. Not expensive art. Nothing over $800. But it was all original work. They took me around their collection, telling stories about how they met each artist and what each painting meant to them. Their house vibrated with creative energy. They weren’t art scholars but they understood the value of art and they bought within their budget. I was impressed.
There’s a whole untapped market out there and I’m hoping that Art.com’s ad brings us a little closer to that critical mass where everyone suddenly “gets it”. Every home, hospital, school and business should have art on their walls.
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