In a new twist on art collection, Washington, D.C. startup GoARTful, a gallery for the 21st century, lets members try out pieces of art in their home via subscription for $15 to $50 per month. After signing up, members choose between limited prints or original art from an artist’s studio, based on the member’s budget. Members can try different pieces to see what best fits their tastes and space and exchange it for another piece when they’re ready. Members also get the opportunity to join their local artist community to meet the artists and get free admission to exclusive art events in their area.
Launched last November, GoARTful comes with four different membership options, starting with the basic plan.
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According to GoARTful’s FAQ page, members can acquire art in a simple, five-step process:
- After subscribing, members read about artists and their stories.
- Members choose pieces of art that fit their space or mood.
- Members then wait for the art to be delivered to their door. Deliveries are made on Sundays.
- ‘Display and bask in the creative vibes’ of the art.
- Exchange a piece of art for another piece or pay a bit more per month to purchase the art to build their personal art collections.
DCInno interviewed the founders of GoARTful – Brandolon Barnett, Meghan Ball, Messay Derebe, Nacho Cerrato – to learn more about the new art subscription. GoARTful is just as much for the artists as it is for members, and the ultimate goal is about creating accessibility to art through the subscription model.
‘There are a lot of artists out there who don’t have the resources to build a business on their own,’ said co-founder Barnett. ‘And on the subscriber side, it’s expensive to have local, original art to be hanging up on your walls – that idea evolved to think about how we can have the subscription service.’
‘We’re excited to be a social enterprise. We want to change the world through art, and that’s why we’ve chosen the tagline that “art is for everyone,”‘ Barnett added.
As a social enterprise dedicated to expanding access to art, GoARTful shares 33 percent of subscription revenue with the artist whose art is, essentially, being rented. If members choose to purchase a particular piece, 85 percent of the purchase price goes to the artist. Artists retain the right to sell their art at full price. If that happens, members are notified and they can replace the piece that was sold with another piece. Members who want to buy pieces themselves can add to their monthly subscription price to pay off their purchases over six months.
Thirty-two percent of subscription revenue goes to developing a community of artists and members through artist meetups, platform improvements and education. Another 32 percent goes to support the GoARTful team and their families, and 3 percent of revenue, and additional funds, will support the GoARTful fund to support the arts, arts nonprofits and artistic movements in the U.S. and around the world.
Artists may submit pieces to GoARTful for consideration. All pieces must be made available for sale to members. Each piece is insured, so artists are reimbursed for any piece that is lost, damaged or stole. Another benefit to artists who use GoARTful as a platform is to give them the opportunity to build a brand and audience with GoARTful members.
‘The GoARTful model can allow you to access new markets, including individuals who may not be able to invest in quality art, due to budget, time, or space constraints. GoARTful will showcase your story and that of your piece to any member who selects it. GoARTful will also communicate new pieces you’ve showcased, or events you’ll be hosting to members in the GoARTful community. The possibilities are endless and GoARTful is your partner in expanding your brand, artwork, and business,’ says GoARTful.
On GoARTful.com, members can view the current collection which features a variety of medium, subject and color including everything from digital illustration and photography to abstract painting and drawing. There are currently 10 artists displaying their work on the site. Members and non-members can also subscribe to an email list to be notified of new pieces and artists. Shown below is the work currently available from artist Dave Williams.
You know what we’re going to say – we LOVE innovation, and we love that GoARTful used technology to create a platform to connect local members and artists and to increase accessibility to art in an affordable way. This is a great example of how the subscription model has been used to put an innovative idea in motion. In terms of best practices, we also love that the company is transparent about where the subscription revenue is going and how it will be used. If the execution and user experience are seamless, GoARTful could be successful enough to expand into other cities.