Investing in Our Artists #ArtistSupportPledge
If you haven’t already heard, we’re engaging with the wonderful pandemic arts scheme #ArtistSupportPledge.
Don’t know what that is? Well, here’s the two-minute explainer:
It was all started by a guy called Matthew Burrows, an artist type, who could see the big burning issue around the arts in COVID, that, as is regularly the case, it was not to be a priority. Income streams ran dry as exhibitions were cancelled, studios closed, and audiences evaporated overnight. And the support that was there for visual artists? Well, there was nothing really.
So, Matthew came up with a devilishly simple idea using a free tool that many artists already had at their disposal, and those that didn’t could setup in a couple of minutes; Instagram and a hashtag. And just like that, #ArtistSupportPledge was born.
In his words, “Artist support pledge is a culture and economy in support of artists and makers. It is now a global movement of connected communities committed to an equitable and sustainable economy for artists and makers of all countries, media and ethnicities.”
The process is simple. Take a work with a maximum value of £200 and post it to the platform adding #artistsupportpledge to the post. Supporters of the cause, collectors, and arts enthusiasts, browse the hashtag and if they find a piece they like, message the artist and make a purchase. There are no membership fees, no commissions, the only requirement is that if an artist finds fame and fortune to the tune of £1000 worth of sales they re-invest in the scheme and buy a #artistsupportpledge piece from one of their fellow community members.
It has proven to be a popular platform for promoting, sharing, and selling work that has undoubtedly done a lot of good during these difficult times. We experienced this for ourselves when we adopted a slight variation on the pledge as part of our 2020 Winter Open Exhibition. Not practicing artists ourselves, we determined to reinvest in work under £200 featured in our exhibition every time we hit £1000 worth of sales. The artist receives payment and the work immediately goes back on sale as part of the galleries private collection, helping us to pass more profits back to the people that make our work possible.
To date, we’ve made more than ten pledges and for 2021 we’re expanding the programme. We’ll now be applying the pledge to all sales across our collections not just those in current exhibitions. This means that every sale we make pushes us towards our investment goals.
As well as this, we’re expanding the pool from which we’ll select work. Rather than it just being from our own collection, we’re inviting the wider Instagram #artistsupportpledge community to be in with a chance of receiving our pledge.
All artists have to do, is follow @artizangallery on Instagram, and tag us in any #artistsupportpledge posts they make. Whenever we reach a target, we’ll include these works when making our selections.
So, if you’re out there on the internet engaging with this wonderful arty initiative, make yourself known to us, we’re excited to show our support.