Artist Creates and Curates Online Gallery

With many artists now unable to sell their artwork, an online art exhibition called Inspired apART allows artists to share their work virtually.
Donougher Nightlights Copy

RON DONOUGHE’S “NIGHT LIGHTS”, 9X12 INCHES, OIL ON LINEN PANEL

The closure of museums, galleries and festivals has been painful for many artists and art-lovers at this time. This is especially difficult for artists whose income depends on selling and displaying their work in public spaces, as well as art-enthusiasts who enjoy the experience of engaging with art face-to-face. 

It’s why Katie Koenig, a professional artist, knew she had to find new and creative ways to sell her work because of the cancellation of so many art events this summer. 

“While a lot of galleries have turned to online sales recently, I do miss that in-person experience of getting to connect with someone,” Koenig says. “But of course, since we can’t do that right now, we have to really think outside the box.”

Cecila Hand In Hand 1 Copy

ASHLEY CECIL’S “HAND IN HAND (1)”, WATER, ACRYLIC, BLOCK PRINTED TRACING PAPER, STITCHING ON PAPER

As a temporary solution, Koenig created Inspired apART, an online small works exhibition that features art from more than 50 contemporary artists from all over the U.S. and Canada. From June 19 to 26, these small works will be displayed on the website where people can purchase pieces as well as interact with the artists themselves.

In two-dimensional mediums, each artist will showcase 1-3 artworks, including paintings, drawings, collages and prints “in a variety of subjects and styles from abstract landscapes to realistic still lifes.”

Koenig says the reason the exhibition is limited to one week is to create a “sense of urgency” so that these artists have the opportunity to earn some income at this time. She also says Inspired apART features a lot of work by artists who have never been seen before.

“A lot of artists made pieces specifically for this exhibition,” Koenig says. “It’s an opportunity to get your hands on paintings that artists don’t typically sell or that you may not see in a gallery setting.”

Koenig personally sent invitations to artists that she knows or has admired and followed for many years. Because she was able to hand-pick the artists herself, she says this is basically her “ideal exhibition.”

“There are some artists [featured] that I fell in love with their work in high school or college, and I thought well this is really kind of cool and I can send my invitations to them and get this together,” Koenig says. “And it gives me the opportunity to show my work alongside theirs as well.”

Once the exhibition opens, Koenig says any interested buyers will be able to contact the artist directly to ask any questions about a piece or their technique. The artists will also keep 100 percent of the sales, which Koenig says is a great opportunity because the artist will not have to pay any commission.

Even though Koenig appreciates experiencing art in person and seeing the details of a work up close, she says through technology, art is still able to make an impact through a screen.

“They say that you react to a piece within three seconds,” Koenig says. “Artists have a few seconds to grab your attention, and I think that that happens online as well. I see things on Instagram that stop me in my tracks and I scroll back up, and it’s the same as walking through a museum.”

Whether times are calm or chaotic, Koenig emphasizes that art is not only powerful but essential. 

“It marks our experiences, helps us to reflect and engages us,” she writes. “Art reminds us of thoughts and emotions that we all share.”

Categories: The 412