By Lindsey Davis
Cambridge, MA- When you think about it, there’s a lot of empty wall space in public places. From restaurants and bars to offices and libraries, some businesses take it upon themselves to decorate but some just don’t have the budget.
A new website called ArtVenue is working to fix that — connecting local artists with the bare-walled businesses that surround them and only taking a commission cost like any other sort of art manager or representative. Based in Cambridge and expanding throughout the Boston area, ArtVenue functions as an online intermediary between artists and any kind of business interested in hanging complimentary art for their clients and customers to enjoy.
Getting involved is just as easy for interested artists as it is for businesses. Artists only have to create a profile that features their work before they’re able to request venues and schedule a show. They can browse the different venues in their area and contact them through the site. Their requests are then kept as a “pending” list until the business either passes or books a show featuring the work.
The shows typically last anywhere between one to two months, depending on the specifications worked out between the business and the artist on the site. ArtVenue works to facilitate the process so that selected artists are able to suggest the work they want included in the show before confirming with the business on the final list. ArtVenue even facilitates the show’s setup, allowing artists to select a scheduled time that’s most convenient for them to come and hang their work.
Probably one of the coolest features ArtVenue offers is the way those in the restaurants and conference rooms actually purchase the art. ArtVenue includes QR codes alongside every placard, so all a viewer has to do is scan the code to instantly purchase the artist’s work through their phone. They also have the option of picking up the work at the venue or having it shipped to their home.
ArtVenue takes a 30 percent commission from the works sold through the shows it facilitates, but some of that money is kicked back to the businesses for hosting the space in the first place. Connecting public viewing space to local artists who have work to share and sell creates a win-win situation for everyone. The process begins online before extending into the real world, with the end goal of placing local art in the homes of those who would’ve never seen it otherwise.