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Getting art out there

Date Released: Mon, 10 May 2010 16:07 +0200

By Cathy Gush

The Rhodes University Postgraduate Diploma in Enterprise Management (PDEM) students have launched Campusart.co.za, an innovative small business project that constitutes the practical component of their course. 

Campusart.co.za is an online art gallery with a difference. Where normally these would be for established and popular artists, Campusart aims to give exposure to students and other emerging artists, and help them sell their work.

In addition to using a website to sell student art, the same art will also be sold through art exhibitions. The first of these exhibitions took place on the Kaif lawns on campus, on Saturday 8 May.

Matt Collins, one of the co-ordinators, says they favour outdoor venues with a slightly different flavour, rather than the traditional venues for art exhibitions. This theme of freshness and originality is one that they would like to maintain throughout the project, especially as student art work is often where the most innovative techniques are displayed.

Collins says it is as much about serving their artist clients as it is about making a profit. They do not charge the artists to register on the website, but they will take commission from any sales made. Although it is early days (the website was launched on 3 May), there has already been quite widespread interest in this concept.

Of interest is the fact that the group of six running this project are from a range of different disciplines and faculties. There is only one Art History student among them and Collins himself majored in Legal Theory.

The group of six did some background research necessary to identify a suitable service provider that would meet their technical needs for a website of this nature, as well as be affordable.

The works currently being showcased are paintings and photographs, but they hope to expand to other art forms such as sculpture.

About 30 pieces from 4 artists (all Rhodes students) formed the exhibition on Saturday, but there are more works on the website. Prices range from R180 to R8 000 at the top end of the scale.

According to Collins, they will assess at the end of 2010 if the project has the power or potential to carry on, but it is their dream that it will go from strength to strength.

To find out more about how you can support talented young artists, while acquiring a good piece of art at a reasonable price, visit www.campusart.co.za.

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