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Art rental market surges as pandemic pushes Canadians to reimagine spaces – The Globe and Mail

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Partial Gallery’s Tammy Yiu Coyne in Toronto on Nov. 4.Chris Young/The Canadian Press

When the COVID-19 pandemic sent droves of office workers home, it didn’t take long for some to decide that their living rooms or spare bedrooms were in need of a makeover.

Many turned to a splash of paint or finally bought a desk, but Tammy Yiu Coyne also saw people yearning for something to hang on their walls.

The co-founder and chief executive of Toronto’s Partial had just the thing: an art rental service specializing in pieces that don’t have multimillion dollar price tags.

Her business – like several others aimed at letting people try before they buy – saw a pandemic boom that pushed up revenues and taught a whole new audience that art rentals aren’t just for the wealthy.

“Our favourite stories are people who’ve never bought art before, bought their first piece on Partial and then now are buying two or three pieces,” said Yiu Coyne.

Partial, which launched in 2016 with about 20 pieces and has since grown to several thousand, focuses on Canadian art that costs less than $5,000. It offers three-month painting, sculpture and photograph rentals for as little as $25 and as much as $1,300.

The pieces can be bought outright at any time and if you’ve already rented the piece, the fees you paid will be subtracted from the purchase price.

So many people were drawn to these offerings during the pandemic that Yiu Coyne said the number of rentals increased by 125 per cent between 2019 and 2020 and this year’s on track for a 43 per cent increase. About three quarters of the people who rent later buy the pieces.

Art Rentals and Sales, a non-profit program operated by the Vancouver Art Gallery and focused on B.C. artists, was similarly busy.

Zoe Mackoff de Miranda, the program’s manager, noticed companies that rent art returned it during the pandemic, but a wave of people who would typically spend money on travel or other pursuits gravitated toward her program for the first time.

Many told her they wanted to rent a piece to spice up their background for videoconferencing. She suspects some were also inspired by the recent movement encouraging people to support local business and she hopes that momentum will continue and take some of the fear factor out of art purchases.

“Sometimes people are really intimidated by going into larger galleries because they feel like they have to know something about art or that they’ll get looked down on if they don’t know certain artists or genres, but rental removes a lot of that,” she said.

Her program focuses on pieces, which can be purchased for up to $15,000, but their rentals range from $12 to $250 per month and can last as long as one desires. If you eventually decide to buy a piece, the program knocks the first three months of rental fees off the price.

For those considering their first rental, Mackoff de Miranda recommends focusing on pieces or styles you love and not worrying about commitments.

“Even if it’s totally outside of what you thought you might be interested in, just try it,” she said.

“Maybe you’ll fall in love with it even more or you’ll get totally sick of it after a month and you can bring it back.”

Don’t be afraid to go big or bold, Yiu Coyne adds.

“A lot of new buyers think I’m going to start small and hang this tiny piece over my couch, but you definitely want to go bigger,” she said.

If you’re unsure where to start, she recommends Partial’s sommelier. A consultation is free and can provide a professional opinion on what pieces would best fit and accentuate any space. Customers also get access to augmented reality software letting them virtually place a piece in their home.

Once you’re settled on a piece, some programs like Mackoff de Miranda’s offer delivery and installation services – a good choice for those worried about art being damaged during transport.

Fretful renters can also look at whether their home content insurance will cover damage to the art once it has arrived, but Mackoff de Miranda said history bodes well for those without coverage.

“You’d be surprised how rare it is that damage happens,” she said. “People are generally pretty, pretty careful.”

Yiu Coyne agrees.

“In all the years that we’ve been around, we’ve only ever had one instance where something happened,” said Yiu Coyne.

“No one intentionally goes out of their way to damage art.”.

This content appears as provided to The Globe by the originating wire service. It has not been edited by Globe staff.

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NBA, Bleacher Report Launch Art Series To Celebrate League’s 75th Anniversary – Forbes

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Throughout the past 75 years, the NBA has transcended the hardcourt, crossing over into fashion, music, art, politics, lifestyle and pop culture.

In an effort to not only celebrate the league’s anniversary but also further its involvement in the art world, the NBA and Bleacher Report teamed up with five artists across a variety of disciplines and mediums to create a one-of-its-kind collaboration.

NBA 75: Artist Series features original 1-of-1 works of art, 75 exclusive artist editions and an apparel collection designed by Frank Miller, Sue Tsai, Greg Yuna, Bandulu and Hank Willis Thomas.

“Basketball has become more than just the on-court product—it melds fashion, art and lifestyle elements, and bringing that to the forefront and having artists celebrate some of our past logos, teams and designs in these different ways is representative of where we see the league at this point,” says Adrienne O’Keeffe, NBA associate vice-president of global partnerships and media. “It’s looking back on the past 75 years but also looking forward to what lies ahead, and we thought this really captured that intersection.”

Known for his gritty noir aesthetic across comics, novels and films, Miller made three pencil-and-ink illustrations reimagining the logos of the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Toronto Raptors. Thomas, a conceptual artist whose themes relate to perspective, identity, commodity, media and popular culture, made a large-scale quilted NBA logo from a collection of team jerseys. Tsai, a visual artist whose bold-yet-feminine aesthetic crosses into art, fashion and pop culture, created four paintings celebrating the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Lakers.

Prominent luxury jeweler Yuna made three pendants encrusted with precious gems of the Knicks, Lakers and 75th anniversary NBA logos featuring more than 1,200 precious gems, including 500 diamonds. Bandulu, the label founded by artist Pat Peltier known for transforming vintage clothing and sportswear into one-of-a-kind garments through custom embroidery, made three hand-embroidered tapestries honoring the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat and Celtics.

“For me it was an amazing opportunity because I am a huge fan of basketball because it was my bonding thing with my family growing up,” Tsai says. “My art and brand crosses over into basketball a lot, so it was the perfect opportunity to actually use NBA IP and their amazing history and fuse all of that into my artistic style while working creatively alongside some other amazing artists as well.”

To complement each 1-of-1 original artwork, each artist created 75 artist editions, including numbered and hand signed giclee prints, embroidered patches, pigment prints on aluminum and printed blankets of quilt. The apparel collection, available online starting today, includes long and short sleeve T-shirts, hooded and crewneck sweatshirts, embroidered bomber jackets and sweatpants.

For Bleacher Report, NBA 75: Artist Series is another significant collaboration with the league, following successful e-commerce collaborations and collections including Space Jam, Allen Iverson World Tour, NBA Remix and Homecoming. Bleacher Report has been collaborating with the NBA on merchandise since 2019 and became an official licensee last year.

“In large part because we’re a media company, people don’t come to Bleacher Report and expect to see products, never mind be sold products,” says Jake Cohen, Bleacher Report senior director of e-commerce. “So we want to make sure everything we do, specifically these larger collaborations and collections, tells a story, so it’s not just, ‘Hey, we’re Bleacher Report, buy some products from us.’

“It’s really important for us to be the storytellers ourselves and collaborate with all the artists. We get very involved in the creative process and it’s really important for all of our work to stand apart. We want it to stand on its own and tell a story, and of course the products need to look great.”

For the NBA, the collection further expands its presence in the art world following the league’s exhibition at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2019 which featured never-before-seen memorabilia and video installations among the immersive experience.

“We are always trying to push the boundary and find new ways for fans to engage with the league,” O’Keeffe says. “We don’t just want to stay in one lane and dive deep, we want to make sure we’re engaging with fans in as many ways as possible. What we’ve seen from our fan base is that they have an appreciation for art and we felt we would meet them and provide this product to them in a way that would be engaging and celebrate the 75th year of the league.”

Artwork details/tombstones

Frank Miller

Boston Celtics

Pencil and ink on art paper

11” x 17”

Los Angeles Lakers

Pencil and ink on art paper

11” x 17”

Toronto Raptors

Pencil and ink on art paper

11” x 17”

Hank Willis Thomas

Untitled 

Basketball jerseys and mixed media

2’ x 4’

Greg Yuna

Diamond NBA 75th Anniversary

Pendant of gold, white diamonds, blue sapphires and rubies; 23 grams, 3.5 carats 

  • Gold, 23 grams
  • White diamonds, 135 pieces, 0.9 carats
  • Blue sapphires, 160 pieces, 1.2 carats
  • Rubies, 203 pieces, 1.4 carats

Statement: This piece was created to honor the 75th anniversary of the NBA, and the design started with the logo. We wanted to bring the logo into our world. Greg and the design team began to plot out how the piece would be created and the way the stone layout would work the best. We kept this one super classic and true to the logo. The precious stones consisted of white diamonds, blue sapphires and rubies. The rubies and sapphires were carefully picked to match the tones of the color used in the logo. The piece features 498 individually hand set stones totaling 3.5 carats and is made of solid 14kt white gold.

Diamond Los Angeles Lakers

Pendant of gold, orange sapphires, amethysts and diamonds; 19 grams, 2.46 carats

  • Gold, 19 grams
  • Orange sapphires, 64 pieces, 0.5 carats
  • Amethysts, 163 pieces, 1.2 carats
  • Green diamonds, 81 pieces, 0.54 carats
  • Black diamonds, 18 pieces 0.2 carats
  • White diamonds, 6 pieces, 0.02 carats

Statement: The Diamond LA Lakers piece was about incorporating an element of LA into the famed logo. We decided to remix the classic logo by incorporating a palm tree, a symbol that has grown to be synonymous with the west coast. The edges of the piece feature polished edges to contrast with the luminous stones and bring the shape to life. The piece includes 332 handset stones ranging from colored diamonds, amethyst and sapphires.

Diamond New York Knicks

Pendant of gold, diamonds and sapphires; 36 grams , 3.29 carats

  • Gold, 36 grams
  • Black diamonds, 110 pieces, 0.75 carats
  • Blue diamonds, 59 pieces, 0.45 carats
  • Yellow diamonds, 58 pieces, 0.42 carats
  • Red diamonds, 51 pieces, 0.4 carats
  • Blue sapphires, 74 pieces, 0.52 carats
  • Red sapphires, 59 pieces, 0.4 carats
  • Orange sapphires, 42 pieces, 0.35 carats

Statement: The Diamond NY Knicks was inspired by New York City itself. The color palette, look and feel of the piece came from the sunset over the NYC skyline. There is something special to be said about a summer sunset in the city and bringing that twist to the Knicks logo. Within the basketball a nod to the NYC skyline is depicted with gradient stones to bring to life the sunset behind the shapes of the city. The piece includes 453 stones totaling 3.29 carats of diamonds and sapphires.

Sue Tsai

Los Angeles Lakers

Acrylic on canvas

30” x 30”

Statement: Sue Tsai reimagines the Lakers logo embellishing it with a floral basketball hoop. The artwork showcases the tropical botanics of Los Angeles and glamour of the city by adorning the net with crystal drops. A crystal “75” dangles to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the NBA.

New York Knicks

Acrylic on canvas

30” x 30”

Statement: Inspired by the “concrete jungle”, Sue turns the iconic Knicks’ secondary basketball logo into her signature flower bomb. The Rafflesia jungle flower bomb represents the power and explosiveness of the game while paying a small homage to the 88-89 Knicks “Bomb Squad”. At the root is a stem mimicking a NY street sign and leaves sprouting the 7th ave and 33rd street intersection of Madison Square Garden. A concrete block NY shows the strength of the city while wall stickers pay homage to the 75 years of the NBA. A young fan waters the Knicks flower helping it to blossom and reminds us that growth has no off-season.

Chicago Bulls

Acrylic on canvas

30” x 30”

Brooklyn Nets

Acrylic on canvas

30” x 30”

Bandulu

Boston Celtics

Single needle hand embroidery on heavy weight canvas

17” x 22”

Hand-framed in studio  

Philadelphia 76ers

Single needle hand embroidery on heavy weight canvas

18” x 23”

Hand-framed in studio  

Miami Heat

Single needle hand embroidery on heavy weight canvas

17” x 23”

Hand-framed in studio

Statement: Bandulu celebrates the 75th anniversary of the NBA through three East Coast teams that connect authentically to the Bandulu values and community: the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat. Being born in New England, being inspired by the heritage of Philly’s iconic city and players, and fueled by the artistic community in Miami, Bandulu sought to tell a narrative that uplifts the East Coast. Each piece took over eight hours of meticulous hand embroidery to create a visual extension of these iconic teams’ logos. Each team has a compositional twist to the way the logo comes to life through pictorial abstractions.

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What Will Art Look Like in the Metaverse? – The New York Times

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What Will Art Look Like in the Metaverse?  The New York Times



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In the boreal forest, nature inspires art – Prince Albert Daily Herald

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Greg Hardy stands in front of just part of his exhibition titled La Ronge Drawings at the Mann Art Gallery. The exhibition is on until mid-January.

The outside has come inside at the Mann Art Gallery, with simultaneous displays from several artists who draw their inspiration from nature albeit in different ways.

For Ken Van Rees, it was walking through a burnt patch of forest near South End (Reindeer Lake) that caused him to wonder what he could do with charcoal and canvas.

“As I was walking through the forest, I looked down at my pants, they were light-coloured, and there were all these charcoal markings on them,” said Van Rees during a reception held by the gallery on Nov. 26. “I thought, oh, maybe I could do something with this and this started this long journey of creating art from burnt forest.”

Van Rees allows the forest, wind and time to do some of the work for him. He puts a canvas down in a chosen spot, puts a burned log on top and then comes back days, weeks or months later to see what has happened.

He has also set up a game camera and was interested to see the wildlife that stopped and took a sniff or walked on the canvas.

“There were all these animals looking at my artwork. There were deer, there were bears walking across my artwork. There were wolves walking around,” Van Rees said.

Where most people avoid burned areas of nature and look for lush, green landscape, the fiery side of nature has a more visual appeal for him.

“Most of us prefer a green forest. That’s what we like to go camping in or hiking in. For me, because I worked on forest fires when I was a teenager and I had that first experience with forest fires, it somehow resonated with me,” he said.

Ken Van Rees stands beside two painting drawn by nature – literally – after he left a burned piece of wood on a canvas in the wilderness at Fort a la Corne for five months. The two canvases were the result. Photo Susan McNeil

Van Rees’ art can be found at the Mann Art Gallery until January 15 and is an accompaniment to the work of well known artist Greg Hardy.

In contrast to the more muted colours in Van Rees’ work, Hardy’s in some cases has bursts of orange and other bright colours.

“This is a show of drawings from the La Ronge area, where I have a cabin up on an island,” said Hardy.

About four years ago, Hardy was talking to the then director of the Mann gallery and agreed to a showing of his drawings.

With changes in staff at the gallery and the pandemic, it took time for the exhibition to come together, but it is now displayed.

Some of the drawings were done decades ago and some are more recent but the focus on the natural world is shared with Van Rees.

“I have an affinity for the natural world and I paint a lot of things, but I always come back to its landscape that moves me the most as subject matter,” said Hardy.

Hardy’s career has been established for some time and he makes it his full time occupation, sharing his time between La Ronge and his main studio near Saskatoon.

“Realistically, this is a small sampling of the drawings that I have because I draw all the time,” Hardy explained.  “It’s primarily the landscape,” he said of his decision to work in northern Saskatchewan. “We used to go up further north and do a lot of canoe trips and it had always been a dream or a hope to have a wilderness cabin at some point.”

An architect from Prince Albert had the cabin available for sale and so Hardy was able to buy it.

“As soon as I saw it, I was just like this is amazing,” he said. “The subject matter was all around and I knew it was going to be very positive.”

Hardy paints or draws where ever he is, and mainly draws inspiration from the plains before focusing on the forest.

“This was like a 15 year concentration on Lac La Ronge and it still feels like a positive source of inspiration,” he said. “But having said that, I’m shifting gears and going to go back to the plains.”

He looks for good quality light when he paints and also looks for energy.

“The more dramatic the landscape the better. I feel more in tune with what’s going on if there’s a storm or a pending storm,” Hardy explained.

“And I’ve always been taken with the sky, since I was a little kid.”

A third display is up at the gallery for the duration of the exhibition featuring Hardy along with Van Rees.

Title ‘The Secret is in the Paper’, the collection was curated by collections assistant Breanne Bandur and is focused on different approaches to the treatment of paper.

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