Are Traditional Brick-and-Mortar Art Galleries Going Extinct?

 

In short, art gallery sales have taken a nosedive in recent years, resulting in art galleries either struggling, or worse, failing completely. So why the sudden decline in sales? Are people simply not buying as much art as in previous years?

Art Gallery

ART GALLERIES HAVE MOVED ONLINE

As with many retail stores, the online shopping trend has proven fatal to traditional brick-and-mortar art galleries. Online shopping offers customers everything that they could possibly need at their fingertips; particularly with features like next day delivery and click-and-collect. The truth is, online shopping is simply easier and more convenient.

With this trend, has come a surge of online art stores now enabling any aspiring Artist to sell and showcase their work online, with some of the most competitive commission rates seen before. Online art galleries have now opened up a new portal within the art market for emerging talent. It seems that the days when experienced art buyers would only purchase artwork by the very best, reputable Artists are gone. Now, with a plethora of artwork to choose from, young and first-time buyers are given the opportunity to buy original art with the click of a button.

Online Shopper

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT BUYERS?

From a buyer's perspective, art has become more accessible across the board. There is now a plethora of different styles to choose from and buy at the click of a button. The accessibility of artwork means that buyers can now buy original artwork from Artists for a fraction of what it would normally cost from an art gallery.

Artist Painting

FROM AN ARTIST'S POINT OF VIEW

From an inexperienced Artist's point of view, this turn of events has opened up more opportunities to sell and showcase artwork in a fairly intimidating industry. Now, emerging talent has a stage to exhibit work that, otherwise, would not be seen by dealers and buyers.

From the point of view of a more established Artist, however, there has been some concern. Previously, Artists would need to build up relationships with art galleries and their customers, not to mention establish a reputation in the art world in order to be successful. Exhibitions would allow Artists to showcase the crème de la crème of their work and network with others. The art world has previously been more of an elite clique and those who were lucky enough to be successful in it would reap the benefits.

With the move online however, art has become overwhelmingly accessible and it is easy to become yet another blurred face in amongst the masses. Many fear that online art stores lack the 'personal' touch of brick-and-mortar galleries. Expensive purchases will always require a certain amount of trust from buyers. There is a fair amount of fear that big online art stores lack those invaluable relationships between Artists, galleries and customers.

Art Gallery

HOW CAN WE ENSURE THAT THE BENEFITS OF A TRADITIONAL ART GALLERY ARE PRESERVED?

At Art Basket, we have made the bold decision to revive the traditional art gallery approach online. As with traditional galleries, our team of experienced curators handpick only the best Artists and artwork to present to our customers. We strive to build and maintain relationships with both our Artists and customers. At Art Basket, we regularly advise our Artists, help in their professional development and promote the building of relationships with their own customers. Customers can also now communicate with Artists through our system and commission their own bespoke pieces of artwork by their favourite Artists.

Previously, walking into an art gallery and picking out a piece of artwork could be quite a daunting prospect for an average person on the street. Customers that are not art dealers or experts would often feel intimidated by the idea of walking into a prestigious art gallery. At Art Basket, we believe that it is important that customers feel confident enough to make a decision about which artwork they would like to purchase. We aim to educate our customers and remain completely approachable. Our online chatbot allows customers to chat to a member of our team at any time during the buying process.

Through building these relationships with our Artists and our customers, we aim to preserve the traditional 'personal' quality of buying art through a brick-and-mortar gallery, but with all of the convenience and ease of purchasing online.

 
Sophie Green