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Online buying could be financial lifesaver for local artists

INDIANAPOLIS – A new digital marketplace will offer consumers a safe, convenient way to shop for art created by Central Indiana artists who have experienced devastating income losses due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

Arts Council of Indianapolis surveys have found nearly 100% of Central Indiana independent artists, and arts and culture workers, reporting severe income losses. Specifically, survey results found average of $8.6 million in financial losses per month to the local nonprofit arts and culture community since March.

The Indianapolis Art Center’s new Art Center Market could help local artists recover some of those losses.

“The pandemic shut down art shows, but gave many artists more time to create, so there is a much larger array of art available than art shoppers may be expecting,” said Mark Williams, executive director of the Indianapolis Art Center.

The online market currently offers original art for sale that is hanging in exhibitions at the Art Center. Approximately 114 works by 33 artists from “EIGHTEEN: Black Lives Matter,” “Homebound: Indy Creates,” and more are featured on the site. Beginning Dec. 4, additional works by artists throughout Central Indiana will be added.

Artists will be able to ship artwork directly to the buyer or arrange for local pick up. Artwork is priced by the artists, who receive the majority of the revenue from sales.

The market will replace the Art Center’s annual Winter Sale and the Arts Council’s Gallery 924 annual TINY Show, which cannot safely be held in person this year due to COVID. TINY typically showcases 6” x 6” x 6” or smaller paintings, sculptures, drawings, and textiles created by more than 100 artists. The popular show, which features artwork priced from $10 to $500, draws new and seasoned art collectors.

“TINY is Gallery 924’s biggest show and sale of the year,” said Shannon Linker, vice president of the Arts Council and director of Gallery 924. “It’s not just disappointing to the many artists who count on being a part of the huge group show each year, but equally for our patrons and gallery staff. The TINY tradition is strong and creates not only an opportunity to sell artwork and connect artists to a larger audience, but also creates a celebratory vibe to kick off the holidays. We are fortunate to have the IAC partnership to allow the TINY tradition to continue virtually.”

Williams added, “The Indianapolis Art Center works to build community through art, and one thing a community does is take care of its members. “This is an example of how we are going to support our local artist community, and we’re inviting the greater community to take full advantage of it.”

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Indianapolis Art Center

The Indianapolis Art Center builds community through art. Every year, the nonprofit offers hundreds of classes and camps, more than 50 art exhibitions in six galleries, an outreach program that takes art into underserved communities, and the Broad Ripple Art Fair. Located in Broad Ripple, along the banks of the White River and steps from the Monon Trail, the Art Center includes a building designed by world-renowned architect and Indianapolis native Michael Graves and Indianapolis’ original ARTSPARK, an outdoor creativity and sculpture garden and green space with trails. More at indplsartcenter.org.

Media Contact: Jen Schmits Thomas, JTPR, jen@jtprinc.com, 317-441-2487

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