Online Art Gallery Celebrates Decade of Progress in Making Art Accessible

UGallery.comUGallery Art in Room, a curated online art gallery, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. The milestone marks a decade of devising new ways for buyers to shop for original artwork. Since its founding, UGallery has transformed the traditional art gallery into an accessible online experience by connecting buyers with one-of-a-kind artworks at price points lower than typically seen at brick-and-mortar galleries.

With roots as a business school project at the University of Arizona, UGallery initially served as an online outlet for student artists to sell their work.  When the site launched, it featured 25 works by 5 artists. Now, represents 500 emerging and mid-career artists from around the world.

“In the past, art was a black box – brick-and-mortar galleries were intimidating and there was little price transparency,” said co-founder and CEO Stephen Tanenbaum. “We launched UGallery with a mission to flip the art industry on its head and make original art accessible to everyone.”

UGallery operates much like a local gallery but has a global reach. UGallery has more than 2 million followers and sells art in 45 nations.

Curators choose the artists and works that will be featured, post detailed descriptions for each artwork, maintain individual relationships with artists, and host events for artists and clients. has offices in San Francisco and New York and a presence at art fairs. But they do most of their marketing online.

The company credits their service-oriented approach to e-commerce for their 40% year-over-year growth over the past three years. Art buyers get free shipping and returns. The artist ships the purchased art directly to the buyers in custom-built shipping boxes.

“We strive to be the premier online gallery,” said co-founder and Gallery Director Alex Farkas. “We focus a lot of energy on finding the most talented artists and connecting them with enthusiastic art buyers. Our mission is to develop lifelong relationships.”


Acanvas Expands In-Home Art Discovery with Hi-Res Display Platform

ARTISTS. Art discovery options are expanding with the launch of the Acanvas art-streaming app and self-charging art-display platform. Acanvas is making it possible for art lovers to display a steady stream of classic or contemporary art from Fine Art America.  Acanvas developed the art discovery platform to making learning about new artists as easy and as accessible as streaming music.

“With Acanvas, interior design and technology come together to bring millions of works of art to empty walls everywhere,” said Dan Lee, CEO and co-founder of Acanvas. “Our self-charging battery system makes our display as easy to hang as any traditionally framed print or painting.”

The display platform consists of a Wi-Fi connected, 23-inch, high-definition display from LG Electronics USA. The onboard, battery system features a motorized, retractable cord that connects to a portable charging dock. The slim, easy-to-mount display can be customized with matte frames that match the owner’s décor.

Acanvas-charging dock-withpuckinserted

From the Acanvas app on an iOS or Android mobile device, users can select “Art Stations” curated by Fine Art America and stream a continuous flow of art to the display. From the app, users can control how long each piece is displayed before it is replaced by another one.

While viewing art in a Pandora-like “art station” such as seascapes, bold primaries, and dynamic abstracts, users can learn more about different genres of art and discover new artists.


Users can also browse for specific art to add to their personal libraries within the Acanvas app. Or, users can hang and showcase personal photos from anywhere, either within the home or remotely. The first units are expected to ship during the fourth quarter of 2016. Pre-orders are currently being accepted.

About Acanvas

Acanvas is an emerging start-up based in Santa Clara, California. The independent company began as a research project within the LG Silicon Valley Lab (SVL). The Acanvas platform is supported by a partnership with Fine Art America.

“Acanvas allows us to further our mission of connecting people to the art and artists they love,” said Sean Broihier, CEO of Fine Art America.

Fine Art America, which was established in 2006, has become one of the world’s largest online art marketplaces. Hundreds of thousands of artists and photographers have uploaded millions of images to the Fine Art America website and thousands of new members and images are added each week.

Artplode Sells Art for a Flat Fee Instead of Commissions

The days of paying commission to sell art are over, according to Maureen McCarthy founder and CEO of Artplode. Artplode is a cutting-edge platform where art is traded directly between buyers and sellers all over the world.

Artplode allows everyone – artists, collectors, dealers and galleries–to list art for sale for a one-off fixed fee of $60 per artwork with no commission charged to either buyers or sellers.

The site has attracted millions of dollars in listings of artworks from sellers in more than 40 countries since it launched in August 2014. Art can be purchased on Artplode at prices beginning at $1,000 to $126,000 for Andy Warhol’s Marilyn 26 lithograph.

Andy Warhol Marilyn 26 lithograph
Andy Warhol Marilyn 26 lithograph 1967 (PRNewsFoto/Artplode)

Artplode was created by the international art dealer to meet a gap she identified in the art market and to give art collectors a low-cost alternative to resell quality artworks.

McCarthy, who for 20 years was an agent for the publishing arm of the John Lennon estate, represents a number of respected dealers in works by the Masters including Monet, Picasso and Boccioni. She predicts Artplode will be a forerunner of the demise of auction houses that charge 40 percent or higher commission on sales and online art sales websites clinging to outmoded commission-based business models.

Prominent galleries in the UK, US, Europe and Australia have embraced the site where works by collectible artists Banksy, Andy Warhol, and John Lennon are for sale alongside art by savvy emerging artists who see value in marketing and selling their art alongside works by the Masters.

“The absurd rates of commission charged by auction houses to resell art, in some instances exceeding 50% of the hammer price has left many collectors looking for a better way to sell art,” McCarthy says.

She sees no reason why artists or anyone else should pay online galleries commission to sell art: “It is absolutely crazy that some websites are charging artists and collectors 30% or more in commission to sell their art online. Equally outrageous is the practice of some art sales websites requiring artists to sign exclusivity agreements that prohibit artists from listing their art for sale anywhere else.”

Artplode was created to be easy to use for buyers and sellers. Sellers list information about the artwork, upload photographs, discuss questions directly with potential buyers and arrange payment and shipping the art themselves. Specialist art consultants are available to assist buyers and sellers.

Collectors can quickly and easily navigate Artplode to find works listed by sellers in their own country or search by fine art category, subject, medium, style, country of origin of the artwork, size and price.



Art Hive Online Connects Artists, Buyers, and New Collectors

Art Hive Online is a new curated online art gallery. Focused on original art by emerging and established artists, the website is designed to facilitate social and business interactions between artists, buyers and art enthusiasts.

Art Hive Online

The multi-tier platform contains three main sections: Connect, Select and Collect.

The “Connect” section features artist interviews, video and audio elements and photo slide shows that give viewers a more intimate experience of an artists’ work.

The “Select” section offers galleries for browsing and purchasing works of art.

The “Collect” section is a virtual resource center where website visitors learn expert tips on art collecting. Topics include art as an investment, art history, art composition, art in the home, and how to care for your art.

“The word ‘Hive’ is about building a community,” explains Oyin Charles, founder of Art Hive Online. “We’re not just trying to be an art retailer, we’re looking to nurture a community of artists, art enthusiasts and collectors.”

The goal is to increase artist exposure through targeted marketing and outreach to the wider online art buying audience.


Art Hive Online

Register for Free Thriving Artist Summit January 5-18, 2015

Thriving-Artist-Summit-Square-1-LargeArtist and designer Bonnie Glendinning is striving to empower artists while making art more accessible to a broader universe of buyers.

She founded The Thriving Artist Summit and Thriving Artist Academy to help you develop the business skills you need to build the type of art career you really want.

Bonnie is also the founder of, an online, curated gallery that sells museum-quality prints to anyone who appreciates quality contemporary art but isn’t yet comfortable investing in higher-priced originals.

Thriving Artist Summit

The Thriving Artist Summit (January 5-18, 2015) is a free, online gathering designed to help artists, designers, and makers take their creative businesses to the next level. Through a series of hour-long interviews that Bonnie has conducted, artists, experts, and mentors will discuss how to:

  • build your brand for your ideal buyers
  • price for real profit and growth
  • increase sales marketing, PR, and social media
  • diversify into licensing, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sales
  • get into galleries and shows
  • raise project funds
  • develop your creative practice

Some of the artists, experts, and mentors who will be featured in the 2015 Thriving Artist Summit include:

  • Brand Strategist Shenee Howard
  • Photographer and Selfie Expert Vivienne McMaster
  • Agent, Author and Artist Lilla Rogers
  • Publisher Tom Morkes
  • Fine Artist and Illustrator Lisa Congdon
  • Mixed Media Artist Tamara Laporte
  • Jewelry Designer and Mentor Tracy Matthews
  • Business Strategist Tara Gentile
  • Teacher Karen Gunton
  • Artist Owen Garratt
  • Choreographer and Teacher Gina Morris
  • Writer Kristen Fischer
  • Artist and Designer Jessica Swift
  • Author and Teacher Samantha Bennett
  • Gallery Owner Jason Horejs
  • Marketing Mentor Ilse Benun
  • Art Marketing Advisor Barney Davey
  • Designer and Editor Jess Van Den
  • Business Strategist April Bowles-Onin
  • Artist Coach Gwenda Joyce
  • Indie Retail Expert Clare Yuille
  • Creative Business Coach Lisa Jacobs

If you are too busy to listen to the interviews during the first half of January, you can sign up to get a discount for purchasing the Summit audios for anytime access.


Through this online gallery of colorful modern art, art lovers can buy museum-quality, limited-edition art prints at prices starting at just $25 for the smallest size.

Bonnie Glendinning founded in 2009 to help artists reach a wider audience and enable visitors to discover new artists. One of the gallery’s missions is to help build relationships between artists and collectors. As she explains in the guidelines for artist submissions: “We want buyers to learn about you as an artist, enjoy your art, and collect your art throughout your career.”

The site’s philosophy is to showcase contemporary art one artist at a time: “Art is to be savored, not consumed….We believe that the more collectors can learn about you the artist, the greater their interest will be in collecting your art.”

Artmuse looks for artists who are committed to their artistic vision, philosophy, and craft. While they aren’t seeking a specific style or medium, they do look for a “combined continuity of intention, inspiration, execution of an artistic vision, and perspective.” Your art should also work well in printed form. This typically includes drawing, mixed media, painting, photography or watercolors.


The Thriving Artist Academy

The 2015 Thriving Artist Summit Artist Submission Guidelines

Blog Post on The Thriving Artist: The Power of Possible Thinking


Create Your Own Art Exhibition in a Virtual 3D Gallery

ARTISTS. Exhibbit’s immersive 3D online galleries provide an elegant way to show your art and grow your online presence. Gallery owners, artists, curators, and private dealers can use exhibbit software to set up “virtual exhibitions” that can be viewed year-round by art lovers worldwide. Visitors to the “galleries” sense they are seeing your art in a real gallery setting.

Exhibbit was founded by Amanda Lane and Peter Worrall to provide online art viewers with a richer more realistic experience. They also wanted to give give artists a easy way to take control of their online presence without making it a full-time job.


Lane and Worrall understand how much work is involved in creating a real-world gallery exhibition because they have exhibited their own art. “Although we sold well, the return for the many months of work we put into it just was not enough,” recalls Lane.

Recognizing that others in art world felt the same way, they decided to create a better way. Because Lane and Worrall both have backgrounds in 3D animation for film and television, they realized that 3D models and interactive environments could come together to provide new ways of viewing art online.

As she designed the look of exhibit’s galleries, Lane said she was striving to create “Something more akin to the emotional experience that you feel when visiting a real gallery. You can move around and view the art at your own pace and compare the artworks in a single environment.”

Exhibbit offers three types of self-managed plans: Curator; Curator Plus; and Custom.

Curator: Display up to 12 artworks in a single, continuous exhibition in a marble gallery design. Viewers can see the gallery through a link that you publicize.

Curator Plus: Choose from three gallery designs, embed the gallery in your website, and run multiple, consecutive exhibitions. This option includes an e-commerce link to third-party software.

Custom: Exhibbit galley will custom design a unique gallery just for you. It can be virtual replica of your existing art gallery.

Exhibbit also offers specialized virtual gallery services for art fairs, dealers, and other arts organizations.

“In today’s world, those who market good-quality products in an elegant manner get noticed,” said Lane. She believes individual artists should play an active role in building their online presence, because “Putting your art on art sites along with hundreds, even thousands of artists is not enough.”

To attract visitors to your exhibbit gallery, Lane suggests spending a few hours a week communicating on social media and updating your content. “If you update your content and share it regularly, you will grow your brand online.”

Getting Started

Exhibbit has developed a tutorial to help new users set up their first exhibition.

“Good quality photographs of your artwork are essential,” says Lane. “We strongly recommend files between 5 and 8 MB. Make sure they all have the same exposure and the background is cropped out before saving them as uncompressed jpegs.”  Image theft is unlikely because anything higher than screen resolution can’t be downloaded.

Before uploading your images, have the information ready to add for each item. Name each file with the title of the artwork, choose a title for your exhibition, and write a paragraph about it.

According to Lane, “The Exhibbit model supports both the gallery and artists. An exhibition can be embedded in both the artist’s and gallery’s websites for both parties to utilize at the same time. The gallery and artist can work together, using exhibit’s built-in marketing tools to share views from the exhibition and link to the experience.”




Christie’s Says Online Services Expand the Base of Art Buyers

ARTISTS. Two news releases Christie’s posted online this year show how rapidly the online marketplace for art is expanding, even at the upper echelons.

Christie's_Logo2In 2006, Christie’s was the first art business to launch online participation in live auctions. Over the past five years particularly, they have seen dramatic increases in the volume of lots purchased via its Christie’s LIVE platform. Christie’s launched their e-commerce platform in 2011 and has held 70 online art auctions.

A Record Year for Art Sales in 2013

In a January 22 press release, Christie’s reported that 2013 was a record-breaking year for art sales. Christie’s art sales topped $7.1 billion in 2013, a 16% increase from 2012.They attributed these gains partly to the expanding buyer base made possible by greater online accessibility.

While the $20.8 million that came from on-line only sales seems miniscule compared to the $5.9 million from live auctions and $1.19 billion in private sales, Christie’s regards their online sales as a key driver of  attracting new buyers and increasing global accessibility to authenticated art and luxury goods.

“With 16% sales growth and 30% new buyers coming in 2013, Christie’s has succeeded again by focusing on the art and connecting it to the ever-increasing audience of enthusiasts and collectors,” said Christie’s CEO Steven P. Murphy. “We continue to see a surge in interest across categories and across the globe, fueled in large part by the online platform enabling greater connectivity between buyers, sellers and the objects of their pursuit. Our continuing goal is to provide more to our clients and to convene new clients to enjoy art, be it through auctions, exhibitions. or online.”

Plans to Expand Their Digital Engagement

In a May 6 press release, Christie’s announced plans to invest about $20 million in improving their online services. Technological and digital advancements will include infrastructure improvements, an enhanced client-service experience, and creative content and media endeavors.

Statistics included in the release show why Christie’s is eager to expand their digital presence.   

In 2013, experienced a 19 percent increase in visitors. The site attracted 20.6 million unique visitors from more than 100 countries. The number of mobile viewers was up 42 percent in 2013.

“The global audience for art is increasing, museum attendance has increased again, and the art market is continuing to grow. This is in part driven by digital accessibility of art and imagery”, said Murphy in a panel discussion at Atlantic Ideas Live in New York. “Not long ago, our New York sales catalog would be viewed by a few thousand catalog subscribers four weeks before the sale. Now more than a million visitors view the works online.”

“This online accessibility combined with ever increasing visitor numbers to our public exhibitions has shifted the dynamic,” observed Murphy.  “This has also fundamentally impacted the value of the original object itself, as the experience of standing in front of the picturInfoGraphicImage.bmpe and owning it has become even more powerful.”

In the press release Christie’s confirmed that 48 percent of all client registrations are now facilitated digitally. Plus, 45 percent of buyers in online-only sales in 2013 were new to Christie’s. One in five buyers in the online-only sales is under the age of 45.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is the world’s leading art business. Christie’s offers about 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including fine and decorative arts, jewelry, photographs, collectibles, and wine. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. 


Press Release: Christie’s Announces New $20 Million Investment as Digital Engagement Drives Growth in the Art Market

Press Release: Expanding Buyer Base Drives Record Year at Christie’s

Infographic: Expanding Buyer Base Drives Record Year at Christie’s