CANADIAN ART MARKETING: Opportunities and the future of marketing art worldwide

The Happy Show at  Museum of Vancouver - art installation by Stefan Sagmeister, photo Brandy Saturley

The Happy Show at  Museum of Vancouver - art installation by Stefan Sagmeister, photo Brandy Saturley

The planet is getting more crowded, the Internet can connect us to a worldwide market. I used UBER instead of traditional cabs on a recent trip to Edmonton,  and it was a great experience. The largest cab company owns no cabs (UBER), the largest tv & film business owns no films (NETFLIX), the largest telecommunications company (SKYPE) owns no telephone lines. It’s that adapt or die thing, the Artworld is slowly changing but it must adapt as well or it will eventually die. 

Now is The Time; Basquiat Show at the Art Gallery of Ontario, #selfie station, photo Brandy Saturley

Now is The Time; Basquiat Show at the Art Gallery of Ontario, #selfie station, photo Brandy Saturley

Last year I did an art tour of rural Canadian communities on Vancouver Island and the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. This year I toured three major art centres. Toronto Ontario, Vancouver BC and Edmonton, Alberta. I spent time visiting and speaking with the national voice of Canada’s professional visual artists CARFAC, artist run centres like Harcourt House, independent artist galleries, pop-up galleries, traditional established galleries, and art museums. I now have a broad view of what the current market really looks like off-line, and get to see how on-line can benefit, and  in some cases, create a market that can enhance the traditional art gallery system in Canada. I understand what is being promoted, what is popular, and what is coming. I also understand pricing differences between markets.

I have made face-to-face connections and shaken hands. It is truly amazing what a huge impression it makes on someone when you actually show up in person, especially when you live on an island on the Western most coast of Canada and you get on a plane to be where they are located. Traditionally galleries draw from their regional market when it comes to art, and artists built their careers regionally first, later branching out. This is slowly changing because of access to a worldwide pool of talent, online. Right now, the value of the Canadian dollar and overhead are causing galleries to close their doors, at a time when many are reining-in their purse strings, there is huge opportunity for an artist with a little marketing ingenuity or guidance and you can be ahead of the crowds.

In my series; FIVE QUESTIONS FOR ARTISTS ON ART MARKETING, I asked established artists how they have been successful in the Art Business, both through gallery representation and self-representation. I spoke with Canadian artists; Andrew Valko, Jeff Molloy, and Gordon Milne, while also tapping into a NYC artist by the name of BORBAY.

I am energized by all the possibilities available and all the opportunities that can be created, simply by having conversations and staying in touch. 

It has been said that success comes to people who are centered, intuitive, creative, and reflective - people who see problem as an opportunity. The only question is, how will you find resolution?