It is with great sadness that two of our biggest supporters are having to close their gallery doors. It is indeed a blow to the high streets that they grace and we wish them both all the best for the future. They are by no means alone, what does this mean for artists hoping to get their work out there?
Research from Mintel says: 'Nearly half of every £1 spent in shops online in 2015 was spent in online stores that have no permanent physical presence on the high street or out of town shopping park.
These shops might have a stall sometimes in a market or fair, but that’s it. This is not a blip – it’s actually a growing trend – up from 41p of every £1 spent in shops online in 2010.
87% of all adults used the internet daily or almost every day in 2019.
In 2019, for the first time, more than half of adults aged 65 years and over, shopped online, at 54%.'
These figures are sobering for the high street galleries but should guide the artist as to where things are heading if the current government does nothing to change this situation.
Not having your own online presence showcasing your work is no longer an option if you want to sell your artworks. As is having the occasional presence at a stall or as part of a local exhibition.
Fortunately in Derbyshire, we have many options to be part of art festivals including Derbyshire Open Arts, Belper, New Mills, Wirksworth, and Melbourne. We also have many art groups that you can join up and down the county and there are also many support organisations that can offer advice. There is strength in numbers and forming a collaborative group is a way of having strength in numbers being able to share hire costs for halls and venues is just one of the benefits.
Over the years we have seen many of our artists thrive by doing all of the above. If you look through this blog you will be able to read about some of their journeys.
Please support your local high street shops and your local artists this festive season by visiting their stalls, exhibitions or buying from their online shops, support in any way even if it's just in a small way pennies add up to pounds and enables artists to carry on.