Finding a market for their work is a perpetual challenge for artists. Yet ironically, many potential customers don’t know where to find high quality artwork.
Susana Reisman ’05 (master’s, fine arts) and her business partner, University of Rochester graduate Claire Sykes, have turned to the Internet for a solution to both of these problems. The two have developed Circuit Gallery, an online enterprise offering limited editions of contemporary photographic, digital and print-based works on paper.
“Our primary goal is to make interesting, significant, quality, contemporary art more accessible by making it more affordable,” Reisman says. “We want to make collecting or buying art an activity more people can actually participate in, rather than a privilege that only a few can afford.”
Unlike traditional galleries, which sell limited editions at higher prices, Circuit Gallery keeps prices down by offering larger editions. Reisman and Sykes, who both live in Toronto, believe this concept makes perfect sense in the world of digital art, where the difference between “original” and “reproduction” has ceased to exist.
“This is the case with so much of contemporary art these days, and especially photography,” says Reisman. “The turn to the digital, along with incredible technological advances in printing methods and papers, has in many ways forced a consideration or questioning of ‘value’ and made our model a logical response.”
Circuit Gallery currently features the work of a dozen artists, some of whom are just starting out while others have international reputations. Among the 12 are five RIT photography grads: Stefan Petranek ’06, Akihiko Miyoshi ’05, Bill Finger ’05, Reisman and Dan Larkin ’83, chair of the fine arts photography program in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences.
The partners expect the gallery to grow. They plan to add new artists on a regular basis and are always on the lookout for new and exciting work. They are also developing projects and exhibitions for “physical” gallery spaces in Toronto and elsewhere.
The Circuit Gallery Web site has been live since December 2008 and Reisman says they’ve been delighted with the response so far.
“Although we haven’t advertised, we’ve been receiving excellent traffic, decent sales and really positive feedback,” says Reisman. “It is remarkable how far and fast good ideas and content can spread, due to the ‘viral’ nature of the Web.”
To learn more, visit the Circuit Gallery home page.