Monday, July 22, 2024

Victoria-based entrepreneur launches online art market to improve accessibility for artists


Following the pandemic, many industries have seen big changes in how business is done and the visual art industry is no different.

As of Thursday, October 12th, a new online platform for artists and collectors across BC, Canada and the rest of the world launched to buy and sell art at their leisure and it was created by Victoria-based entrepreneur, Dr. Lara Tomaszewska.

She went to school at UBC and achieved her PhD in Art History before working on the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) Arts Advisory Council. 

Now, Dr. Tomaszewska has launched ArtRow, her online platform for artists and art enthusiasts to be able to find what they are looking for in an easy and accessible way.

According to Dr. Tomaszewska, the website is meant to “democratize” art transactions by giving buyers access to works that have been vetted, while remaining accessible. 

“The art industry experienced a major transformation during the pandemic, highlighting the need for new art market models,” says Lara Tomaszewska, Founder of ArtRow. “As travel to art fairs halted and galleries shuttered, gallery and auction house online sales skyrocketed.”

“This revealed an opportunity for a new digital platform where independent buyers and sellers could participate in art transactions through an easy-to-use marketplace model, and thus, ArtRow was born,” she continued. 

ArtRow has works from both historical and contemporary works from private sellers and artists alike.

Being Canadian herself, Dr. Tomaszewska has made sure to put an emphasis on artists from her home country including renowned Canadian artist, Jeremy Herndl, who specializes in landscape painting.

“ArtRow’s launch marks a significant milestone in the art market, ushering in a new era for both established and emerging artists,” said Herndl.

“From the detailed descriptions of each piece of art to the team’s commitment to transparency, the platform not only promises to be a vibrant hub for art enthusiasts but also an avenue for independent professionals to present their work globally.”

The works of art in the earliest days of ArtRow being launched so far vary from $300 to around $165,000, giving plenty of options for people regardless of their price range. 

In addition to allowing for people to use their purchasing power in a mindful, safe manner, ArtRow allows for people looking to take the leap into the world of buying or selling art to learn the basics and go as far down the rabbit hole as they wish.

“I see an exciting future,” Tomaszewska says, “Where anyone can experience art and participate in the art economy. A future in which we can hold the art world in our hands.”

Curtis Blandy

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