ArtStartArt is a new Texas based online marketplace that has launched this summer to facilitate the sale of artworks by university students in the USA.
Established by an art student turned entrepreneur, the idea is to bring exciting new artists to the market and hopefully open up the student art market to interested art lovers. And doubtless there’s something in it for new graduates facing a gargantuan debt and massive student loans. The marketplace will feature between 250 to 300 curated pieces of art priced on average between $300 to $400.
As an art student, I saw first-hand how the art world could be an exclusive and intimidating environment for both the seller and buyer. When Alok and I were putting ArtStartArt together, I was thrilled by the idea of creating a platform that not only gave students a place to receive real feedback on their craft but to also make art more accessible to the masses. We are committed to making it easier than ever to purchase original artwork from the best student artists at top universities across the country. My hope is that ArtStartArt is the entry point for first time art buyers.
– Erik Culver, Co-Founder, ArtStartArt
There is doubtless a market for artwork but several concerns spring to mind here, although we’re always on the look out for new horizons in the world of online marketplaces doing new things.
Is there real merit is so seriously limiting the number of artworks for sale? Yes, it might perhaps cause a bit of buzz and certainly protects from shoppers being overwhelmed by hundreds and hundreds of paintings (it does look like the site is predominantly for paintings at the moment). And curation has its merits but the taste and contacts of a small group of curators can also narrow appeal and choice. Marketplaces tend to flourish more easily when they enjoy free access from vendors, although that can also dilute quality in terms of both goods for sale and the listings created to promote them.
And the limit to university student artists, whilst obviously these represent a talented bunch, also seems needlessly restrictive. There is also scope for internationalisation. ArtStartArt is currently limited to the United States. But it could be a source of inspiration for a UK or European based art student with some coding skills wanting to create an ecommerce website.
You can find out more about the new marketplace in this video.