Why isn’t affordable art selling?

Northern Print had the 20:20 Print Exchange show as its first exhibition of the year. I remember that when I became a Northern Print member last year, people were working on their 20:20 prints. There were 600 artists from 45 print workshops throughout the UK participating in it in 2014.

I saw the exhibition early and then didn’t have time to see it again until its last day. I was surprised to see that more prints hadn’t sold. They were originally priced at a very reasonable £20 and for at least the last week, they were reduced to a bargain £10 each, with the money helping to support Northern Print’s activities. These prints are original, handmade artworks, in small editions and they can only be that low in price because artists have been generous enough to donate them.

How can anyone resist the opportunity to collect at least one or two? It’s an ideal way to start collecting art. Visit open studio events. There is usually very reasonably-priced work, sometimes wonderful bargains, at such events and you might even meet the artist. It disturbs me to see people buying mass-produced decorative items when they could buy an original or two for the same or less, sometimes a lot less.

When I go round Northern Print and the studios on occasions such as the Late Shows and Ouseburn Open Studios, I see so many people of all ages with smiles on their faces, even as they are just walking between venues. I enjoy seeing that art and design makes people happy. I just hope that more people come and buy some of the art and design so we can continue to have exhibitions and open studio events for everyone to enjoy, especially during these austerity years when the arts have lost so much funding.

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One thought on “Why isn’t affordable art selling?

  1. jeffhaynes

    It’s true. And sad. I have come to believe that many people will not buy art unless they are told to — meaning an endorsement from some sort of mass media channel. I think people often lack the confidence to trust their own tastes, even when presented with exceptional deals such as you described.

    Reply

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