Guildhouse to offer arts lovers a bespoke loan
Adelaidean lovers of custom-made arts, crafts and design works now have a way to buy art that is designed for them, too. Guildhouse, the South Australian organisation that has been serving local artists for 50 years, has added a new string to their bow.
This means Guildhouse can now facilitate interest-free purchases and commissions of South Australian art, craft and design.
“Art Money is essentially ‘After Pay’ for art, craft and design,” says Guildhouse executive director Emma Fey, referring to the popular online retail service that allows shoppers to pay for goods in instalments. “We are now able to provide this option to anybody purchasing or commissioning work through Guildhouse’s Well Made program.”
This is more than, say, being able to put a painting on lay-by, especially as Guildhouse artists work across all areas of visual art, craft and design. “Art Money doesn’t just apply to paintings by Tsering Hannaford, or tableware by Stephanie James-Manttan but a beautiful custom sofa by Agostino & Brown and a boardroom table by Franco Crea.”
For Art Money CEO Paul Becker, the partnership with Guildhouse makes perfect sense. “Guildhouse is a very supportive organisation for artists and that’s what we’re all about too,” Becker tells The Adelaide Review from New York, where the start-up is now launching activities in the US.
Art Money originated in Sydney as a project of Becker’s arts engagement company, 10group. It was supported by the City of Sydney through the city’s cultural policy and has been taken up by many commercial galleries representing painters and sculptors on the east coast. Art Money also has some partnerships in the nonprofit sector, including artist-run spaces.
“The only criteria really is that there’s a buyer and a seller,” he says.
“We call it a new way to buy art,” Becker says. “We provide the interest-free payments to the customer – so instead of paying up front they pay over 10 months but totally interest-free; we pay the gallery within 10 days, and we take the risk on the customer.”
The customer then takes home their work and pays it off over the 10 months.
Guildhouse and Art Money share a commitment to increasing engagement with the arts – ensuring that more people are able to buy works, and that more artists are able to sell their work.
Fey and Guildhouse program manager Megan Rainey say they are particularly thrilled that the organisation is now able to further facilitate the selling and buying of bespoke works, as people are more and more seeking one-off works of art, furniture, ceramics, jewellery, and more.
As a creator of bespoke furniture pieces, Guildhouse member artist Lex Stobie is observing this trend first-hand. “People have had enough of the disposable. They remember what it was like to grow up with a beautifully made piece of furniture, for example. There was something unique about the piece of furniture that really encapsulated and embodied simplicity, elegance, timelessness... everything’s coming back to that again.”
Stobie says he expects that Art Money will increase interest in his works from a younger audience. “I think for these people it would be a fantastic opportunity – I do get approached by younger people who would love to be able to acquire some work but they’re in the process of setting up their lives and are hesitant about buying something outright.”
Guildhouse’s Well Made program (for which The Adelaide Review is a media partner) features artists and makers such as Stobie, and will be naturally enhanced by the availability of Art Money.
Guildhouse program manager Megan Rainey says that being able to offer Art Money means “the opportunity to commission works becomes more affordable, and we can promote this in a broad range of contexts while emphasising the value an artist will bring to your project, build or gift”.
“We hope this additional option for buying and commissioning artworks will help increase the value of the arts in the broader community, and stimulate the creative economy in South Australia.”
Written by Ann Deslandes. First published in The Adelaide Review Issue 454.
Images (top to bottom): Lex Stobie, Dela Livet Side Table, 2007, American white ash, 700 x 400 x 300mm, Photographer Jonathon VDK; Jess Dare, Conceptual Flowering Plant, 2013, Flamework soft glass, Largest 170 x 80 x 30mm, Photographer Grant Hancock; Stephanie James-Manttan, 2010, Altered Forms, Porcelain, Largest 70 x 120mm, Photographer Grant Hancock; Tsering Hannaford, Julia and Protea, 2015, Oil on board, 1200 x 900 x 30mm, Image courtesy of the artist.