12 December 2009

Art for the Elite, or art for the masses?

I just learned about a programme run by the Arts Counsel England called Own Art. The programme is designed to make it easy and affordable for everyone to buy contemporary works of art and craft including paintings, photography, sculpture, glassware and furniture. Interested people can borrow up to £2,000, or as little as £100, and pay back the loan in 10 monthly installments: interest free.

BBC One ran a story about this programme on Imagine (1st December 2009) where they profiled a factory worker, a pig farmer, a policeman, and others who have bought art through this programme. The amazing thing is that people you wouldn't think of owning original art are now collectors of fine art.

Similar Programmes are run by the Scottish and Welsh Arts Councils.

These programmes have created £10.5M in art sales. Now, that's what I call an economic stimulus package.