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Brockville start-up gives artists’ new platform to sell creations
BROCKVILLE -- Alissa Sexton is an artist consultant that has been helping artists sell their work for years.
However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, galleries closed their doors and artists both locally and nationally saw their art shows cancelled.
“We love our gallery settings but we are without our gallery settings right now so the artists need a place online to present their work and often setting up an e-commerce business is quite difficult and expensive, time consuming,” Sexton said.
“Artists have excess artwork and they need a place to sell it.”
Sexton came up with an idea during the pandemic - a virtual space called ARTWRK.
“ARTWRK creates a beautiful curated site for the artist with their own unique URL so that they can share it with their followers and then the artist followers can go to the site, make purchases and view the whole show,” said Sexton.
“This site is capable of hosting shows for anyone across Canada and they will fan it out to their own individual networks and it has a local and national range.”
The site launched two weeks ago with a soft launch to highlight her uncle’s pottery, and the collection nearly sold out.
She quickly had other artists wanting to showcase their art and has launched a few shows since.
And they have been a big hit.
“We had a sold out show just this week for Jules Crowley, a local Brockville artist and we are launching two more shows today, including Lisa Free’s show.”
Lisa Free is a local artist whose subject matter is based around The Thousand Islands region and usually focuses on waterscapes.
“One of the galleries actually closed permanently. So ARTWRK is like a perfect venue and as a matter of fact we launched them this morning, nine of them, and three of them actually sold already. So it’s a great opportunity for sure,” said Free
By the end of the interview with CTV News Ottawa, that count was already up to four, and the collection had only been live for an hour-and-a-half.
The paintings showcased are based on the historic train tunnel in downtown Brockville, something new Free decided to paint during the pandemic.
“When you walk through its a very colourful light show reflecting on the stone....I thought you know I would like to try and put this on canvas to see if I could put my spin on it by giving it light and see how I could make that work.”
The website creates a unique URL for each artist so they can share it with their followers
“It benefits artists by giving them an easy way to get their show online and to almost effortlessly host a show for themselves and it’s a minimal cost to the artist,” said Sexton.
And Sexton says the response has been great from both sides, with clients being able to see their favourite artists work once again.
“They’ve been making purchases online and the artists have been dropping off paintings safely on their porch,” she said
“I feel like this is a logical combination of all the work I’ve been doing with artists for quite sometime and this idea has been sort of knocking at the door and the quarantine gave me an opportunity to really flush it out along with my partners in the business,” said Sexton.
Free says she is happy to have a place to showcase her art.
“For now it’s definitely the best way to sell your art and I think it’s the future of selling your art. This is just the time that we are in right now. It’s the best for artists,” she said.
A typical show on the website lasts about a week, and its not just local artwork showcased, it can come from anywhere in the world.
To browse the live shows happening now, visit www.artwrk.ca