JULY 24, 2008--CHICAGO--The most recently launched internet marketplace, DiscoveredArtists.com will invite eight-hundred, pre-qualified artists to sell their work on the art gallery's website.
Site owners and operators, Brian Walker and Renee Castelluzzo conducted an exhaustive search for artists whose work will appeal to their target audience of art buyers and interior design professionals.
The business partners began their search for artists at art shows and exhibitions, and then turned to the internet where they viewed thousands of individual artists' websites to check credentials, read career profiles and to see the work.
"We probably looked at over ten-thousand artist websites over the past six months," said Castelluzzo who will focus on marketing the artwork to buyers.
"We're not limiting our choices to juried artists, or to artists with advanced art degrees. We're totally focused on the artwork and not necessarily concerned with credentials and awards, although we want to make sure that we’re inviting serious artists to sell on our site."
She added that artist credentials and awards are helpful in that they explain why an artist's work is popular, but the style and quality of the artwork is what really matters. The website sells original and limited edition wall art, fine art photography and one-of-a-kind art objects suitable for display inside and around homes and offices.
"It's not much different than stocking a retail store," said Walker whose main focus is artist relations. "We need to build an inventory of artworks that are of a certain quality and style, but we need to also offer buyers a wide range of price points."
This is the reason why DiscoveredArtists.com is inviting artists at a wide range of career levels. Their invitation list includes student and starting artists whose work might sell for under $100, as well as mature, gallery represented artists whose work sells for thousands of dollars.
According to the two marketers, the price isn't as important as the product because people are looking for value. "It's really a combination of the two," said Castelluzzo, "quality and price equal value and that's what makes a sale."
She explains that because art isn't a commodity the price is totally subjective, "So people need a way to understand its value. Buyers first need to love the artwork, and then they need to feel good about the asking price."
An artist's training and experience can factor into perceived value according to Castelluzzo, who adds "If it's a new artist and the work is wonderful, it could be seen as a bargain, but if it is perceived to be over priced, no matter what the artist's credentials, it's not going to sell."
Walker has the difficult job of turning down artists when their work doesn't fit the website's merchandising focus. He explains that they are not being art critics because, "much of the artwork we see is amazing, but it just won't appeal to our audience. And, if the price is in the stratosphere, people will admire it, but they won't buy it."
He added that, "Same goes for art objects and paintings that are low priced. They would sell at a craft fair or local art show, but aren't the right fit for DiscoveredArtists.com." This is why Walker prefers to screen the artwork and invite artists to join the site rather than have to turn artists away.
What's odd about the invitations to artists is that DiscoveredArtists.com is not a free website. Artists are being invited to join and pay from $59 to $99 per year for the privilege of selling their work on the website (similar to an invitational art show).