Jennifer Reynolds, owner and founder of StateoftheART Gallery chats to artist Claude Chandler in this Art Pod episode by Blended Podcasts!
Blended Podcasts is a podcast network created at Blended Audio Studios and ‘Art Pod’ is their weekly art feature - aiming to explore the visual arts community locally and nationally. Every Saturday Claude Chandler interviews guests from all sectors of the visual arts community. This ranges from fine art, logistics, framing, graffiti to tattooing. The idea is to share the stories and advice of professionals in their particular fields to expands people's knowledge of the visual arts community and hopefully be entertaining at the same time.
We have collected some of our favourite snippets and quotes here, or keep scrolling to the end to listen to the entire Podcast.
CC: Why I wanted to have you on this podcast : your future vision of the Gallery space. In terms of an ambassador you’ve done an amazing job. StateoftheART is a standalone example of what an online gallery should be. - just in terms of form and function.
CC: Can you give a bit of a background to yourself and how you came to the art world and into the art scene?
JR: I’ve always had a passion for art, in fact I studied art at school many years ago and I have always followed art and enjoyed art exhibitions. But I had a long career in financial markets and technology - in fact that has been the majority of my professional career. So in 2009 I was looking to do something new. I was going to be relocating to Cape Town and I wanted to take an opportunity to move away from my past career, but do something useful with the rest of my professional career. So I had a look at what my passions were - and of course art resurfaced - but then it was about how can I do it differently and how can I do it for the next generation of art buyers.
I had seen a television programme - Dragon’s Den - about an online art gallery startup in the UK, and everyone scoffed at it and said, “Oh, no ones going to buy art online.." But they proved them wrong!
So I decided that that is what I wanted to do in South Africa, because there were a couple of online galleries, but there wasn't anything very professional and nothing curated. So I decided to do this but really focus on the technology and that I would also be very specific about the art market to cover: I was going to have a niche offering, and then create a suite of tools to make it a gallery experience - but in the online world. Aiming fairly and squarely at new collectors - millennial collectors - who spend most of their time in the digital world rather than the analogue world.
I moved to Cape Town in 2009 and launched StateoftheART in its first version in 2010. It is a bespoke, in-house built website - so nothing off the peg - it is built from scratch. And it's been a very exciting journey.
CC: No wix.com!
JR: No, I am fortunate that my daughter is an extraordinary web developer and she was able to build what I wanted.
(on the Artist films and StateoftheART YouTube channel
JR: Films are another way of reaching our customers. And not only that - it is also about accessibility. And that is really what the website is all about : accessibility and transparency. You can see what you get, how much it costs, and then you also get a glimpse into the artist's practise - this creates a whole different value and appreciation of that artist. So the films are an integral part of creating awareness and building that whole new audience of collectors.