A feasibility project idea suggested by her boyfriend’s mom could be the future of art galleries.
Mallorie Brodie, an ambitious Western student, launched Start Gallery in July 2011. Start Gallery works to promote and sell the original artwork of Canadian students. When researching for her feasibility project, Brodie noticed that although there was an online gallery in the United States, it failed to showcase any Canadian artists. Noticing a gap in the market and having a passion for art she decided to start an online gallery that would serve as a platform for students to gain gallery experience and to start their art careers.
An interesting aspect of the website is that it allows you to search by medium, size, price, colour and artist. Brodie explains “it’s cool because you can narrow it down to exactly what you are looking for without having to go through dozens of pages to find it.”
Brodie tries to create a welcoming environment for students.
“A lot of students do go to the site because they’re interested in seeing their classmates or people that go to their university’s artwork,” she says.
To foster a student-friendly atmosphere she has added some cool features such as “Study Tunes” which suggest some good songs to listen to whilst cramming for midterms and “The Professor’s Favorites” which promotes popular pieces. Unlike other art sharing sites such as Tumblr or Flickr you can actually purchase the artwork directly from the site without having to track down the artist.
Start Gallery makes purchasing art easy. “It pretty much works like buying a T-shirt,” Brodie says. It also makes promoting and selling your art easy—since everything is in one place, it attracts a lot more traffic than individual blogs.
Even with the advent of Google’s Art Project, which allows you to digitally tour world famous galleries such as the Tate or MOMA Brodie believes there will always be a need for traditional “brick and mortar” galleries, as some people still prefer to see art in person. However, when it comes to lower price point art she says there’s a major movement towards online galleries, as people are more willing to purchase online.
The future of Start Gallery looks bright. At the moment Brodie is reinvesting all the profits she makes off commission back into the website, but she hopes that after she graduates she can make Start Gallery into a profitable side project or perhaps even a career. “Eventually I would like to add a sister site for students that have already graduated […] and then possibly have a physical gallery,” she muses, but for now she is focused mainly on school.
Any student interested in having their art on the site just needs to contact Brodie at firstname.lastname@example.org.