Original artworks hung in private homes are traditionally seen as the domain for the elite, rich or famous – or generally a combination of all three. But the City is considering support for an interest-free art loan program that aims to make collecting art possible for more people.
Under the program, you’ll be able to apply for an interest-free loan to purchase artwork between $750 and $20,000 in a participating gallery in and around the City of Sydney area.
The approval process can be completed within minutes and the buyer can take the artwork home on the same day. The scheme is based on similar, highly-successful models operating in the UK, Netherlands and Tasmania.
Designed to support commercial galleries and help artists to build sustainable small businesses, these successful programs have seen locals and visitors take up the opportunity to buy art in droves. Tasmania’s COLLECT Art Purchase Scheme includes 17 participating galleries across the state. Over the past six years, it has had almost no defaults on the 1,893 loans issued, valued at $5.6 million.
In the UK, a quarter of the purchases using the Own Art scheme were by people with an income of £25,000 a year ($AU44,900) or less, and over a quarter were first-time buyers. For many, this was the impetus to buy art for the first time.
These models operate in several ways. Some are fully operated by government entities, others through public/private partnerships. We thoroughly researched different models to develop the most effective program for Sydney.
The City concluded the most viable and sustainable approach is for an external, independent organisation to operate the program and act as the credit provider. Art publishing business and for-profit organisation 10 Group, intends to pilot the program. The City is considering providing one-off seed funding of $60,000 to help establish the program. 10 Group is the producer of the popular, non-profit festival Art Month, and has extensive networks with commercial galleries in Sydney.
The new interest-free art purchasing program is one of the first actions to be delivered from our new Creative City cultural policy. We think this is a great opportunity to unlock and build new markets for visual arts, better promote and sell work by local artists. It will provide a starting point for new collectors as well as support commercial galleries and emerging and established artists.
You can review and comment on the City’s support for an interest-free art purchase scheme until 14 October 2014.