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Global Art Market Sales Dropped 22% in 2020 – Barron's



Guests attend the Art Basel Miami Beach VIP Preview at the Miami Beach Convention Center in December 2019. Last year, 61% of 365 planned art fairs were canceled, included Art Basel Miami, according to the Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report.

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A year like no other in 2020 led to a 22% drop in global art sales to US$50.1 billion, but flexibility among market players led to innovations in buying and selling that softened the decline and could reshape the art world for years to come, according to the annual Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report. 

While significant, the falloff in sales last year over 2019 levels wasn’t nearly as severe as the 36% drop in 2009 at the outset of the global financial crisis, according to the more than 350-page report, which was released on Tuesday. 

One reason for the relative buoyancy, even as the event-and-relationship driven market experienced the huge upheavals caused by canceled fairs and live auctions, is the fact that many wealthy individuals came through the pandemic economically unscathed, says Clare
founder of the Ireland-based Art Economics, and author of the report. 

Billionaire wealth actually grew by 32% (versus a 45% drop in 2009), according to the report, and among lower levels of wealth, there were people who “continued to work and make money, and didn’t have the same outlets for spending,” McAndrew says. “That played into the hands of the art market in that people had time and money, and the galleries and auction sector really ramped it up in terms of what was available and how that looked and felt online.” 

That the art market turned digital in 2020 was one of the key storylines of the year, and it was a shift that worked: Online art sales doubled in value last year to reach a record US$12.4 billion, with the sector’s market share growing to 25% in 2020 from 9% a year earlier. 

Among digital channels, 49% of high-net-worth collectors bought through online auctions, while 47% bought via gallery online viewing rooms (OVRs), and 45% bought at art fair OVRs, the report said. Among auction-house online sales, 67% were between $5,000 and $250,000.

In conducting research for the annual report, McAndrew says the vast majority of gallery owners and directors said they are likely to continue with the online strategies they developed during the pandemic, “even though they are keen to do events when they come back.” 

But in a note of caution concerning continued online growth, dealers also said that most of their online sales were to existing clients. According to the report, new buyers represented 32% of gallery online sales, down from 57% in 2019. 

That’s because dealers had a more difficult time getting to know new clients in 2020, with their doors shuttered, or hours limited, much of the year and with most art fairs canceled. One of the great advantages of art fairs is the chance to meet new collectors, and to entertain them at related events and dinners, the “things that hook people in for the long term,” McAndrew says.

Gallery owners and directors told McAndrew that generally, “it’s easy enough to get someone to buy from you once online,” but it’s hard to establish a relationship that could lead to a collector working with you for years and years “from just an online encounter.”

Not surprisingly, for 2021 the top priorities of dealers is client relationships and art fairs, in addition to online sales, according to the report, which gleaned gallery sentiment from two surveys of the gallery sector conducted during the year.

Overall, the value of gallery sales fell by 20% to US$29.3 billion in 2019, with the biggest declines—an average of 31%—among dealers with annual sales turnover of US$10 million, the report said. The volume of reported sales dropped too, to a median number of 34 in 2020 from 55 in 2019.

While 54% of galleries lost profits in 2020, a surprising 28% were more profitable and 18% reported stable profitability. The gains largely resulted from big cuts in expenses, including fees for art fair booths and the costs of flying art, and staff, across the world. 

In 2019, art fairs accounted for 26% of gallery operating costs—more than payroll and rent, the report said. These costs fell to 16% last year, and were 0% for nearly 30% of those surveyed.

As one dealer reported: “Our revenue was down significantly, but the reduction in the huge expenses for fairs allowed more net profit. Our gallery has a deep client base that allowed this in 2020, but over time the lack of refreshing that base will begin to hurt.” 

Dealers also survived by cutting staff, from receiving government assistance, and rent reductions provided by landlords or local governments. Now that some of that assistance is no longer available, and the event-driven side of the market hasn’t yet returned, “this will be the tricky time for a lot of businesses,” McAndrew says. “I do worry we may not have seen the real effects from the employment and business-structure side of things.” 

In the auction market, public sales fell by 30% to US$17.6 billion, while private sales rose 36% to US$3.2 billion. Most notably, Greater China (which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong) overtook the U.S. to become the largest global auction market by sales value with a 36% share, up 7% year on year. The U.S. had a 29% share of the market, down 6% from a year earlier, while the U.K. had a 16% share, down 2%. 

China’s growing market share reflects the wealth in the region, and the fact that the country emerged from pandemic-fueled lockdowns earlier than countries in the West. While the U.S. dominates in the US$10 million and above segment, there were “some very strong sales at the super-high end” last year, McAndrew says.

As a result, China ended up with a 43% share of the market for public auction sales above US$10 million last year, by value, compared with a 42% share in the U.S.  

Also, value-added tax issues that made it cumbersome for some corporate and institutional buyers were resolved in the middle of last year, which helped sales. 

One positive sign for 2021: A poll by UBS and Art Economics found that 66% of surveyed collectors are more interested in collecting as a result of the pandemic, and for 32%, they are significantly more interested. And most, 57%, plan to buy more works this year.

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Imaginations, creativity of Mountview students on display at Cariboo Art Beat



Creative, imaginative artwork of students from Mountview Elementary School will be on public display at the gallery of Cariboo Art Beat until April 9.

“The students of Mountview elementary were all invited to participate in an art contest,” Tiffany Jorgensen said, an artist at Cariboo Art Beat.

Each class was separately judged by three professional artists at Cariboo Art Beat, Jorgensen said, based on the students’ creativity, techniques, use of space and originality.

“It was extremely difficult to select pieces from the abundance of beautiful art presented,” she said. “There is so much talent and fantastic imaginations.”

The artist of each selected piece was given formal invitations to their art show to distribute to whomever they choose, and Jorgensen said anyone is free to view the beautiful artwork throughout until April 9.

Honoured at the show were works from local artists Ryker Hagen, Annika Nilsson, Rylie Trampleasure, Angus Shoults, Izabella Telford, Isabella Buchner, Kai Pare and more.

“Come view their wonderful pieces to get a glimpse into the minds of our creative youth,” Jorgensen said.

“It’s been so fun. The kids have come in and seen their work on display with their grandparents, parents, and they’re all so excited.”

Following up on the success of the Mountview art show, Jorgensen said more elementary schools have been invited to participate.

April will feature the works of Nesika and Big Lake, followed by Marie Sharpe and Chilcotin Road next month.

Cariboo Art Beat is located at 19 First Ave., under Caribou Ski Source for Sports’ entrance on Oliver Street.

Rylie Trampleasure, Grade 2, has her work on display at Cariboo Art Beat. (Photo submitted)

Angus Shoults, Grade 4. (Photo submitted)

Angus Shoults, Grade 4. (Photo submitted)

Grade 3 student Izabella Telford. (Photo submitted)

Grade 3 student Izabella Telford. (Photo submitted)

Grade 6 student Kai Pare shows off her artwork. (Photo submitted)

Grade 6 student Kai Pare shows off her artwork. (Photo submitted)

Isabella Buchner

Isabella Buchner

Source:– Williams Lake Tribune – Williams Lake Tribune

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Launching the conversation on Newfoundland and Labrador art history



ST. JOHN’S, N.L. —

“Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador” is a book that has been a long time coming, Mireille Eagan says.

While working at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Prince Edward Island, Eagan curated an exhibition marking the 60th anniversary of Newfoundland and Labrador joining Confederation with Canada.

“As I was researching, I noticed that there was very little that existed in terms of the art history of this province,” she said. “There wasn’t even a Wikipedia article.”

Noticing this large gap, “Future Possible” was a book that needed to exist, she said.

As the 70th anniversary approached in 2019, Eagan, now living in St. John’s and working as curator of contemporary art at The Rooms, envisioned filling that gap.

Over two summers, The Rooms held a two-part exhibition. The first looked at the visual culture and visual narratives before the province joined Confederation and the second focused on 1949 onward, Eagan said.

“At its core, it was asking, what are the stories we tell ourselves as a province? It was looking at iconic artworks, it was looking at texts that have been written about this place, and it put these works in conversation with contemporary artworks,” Eagan said.

In the foreword to the book, chief executive officer of The Rooms Anne Chafe described it as a complement to the exhibition and a project that “does not seek to be the final say. It seeks, instead, to launch the conversation.”

History and identity

One example of that conversation between the past and the present mentioned by Eagan is the work of artist Bushra Junaid, who moved to St. John’s from Montreal as a baby. The daughter of a Jamaican mother and Nigerian father, Junaid said her experience growing up in the province in the 1970s, where she always the only Black child in the room, was not like most.

“All of my formative years, my schooling and everything, took place in St. John’s,” she said. “It’s very much shaped my current preoccupation.”

Her interest in history, identity and representation led her to making “Two Pretty Girls…,” which used an archival photograph of Caribbean sugarcane workers from 1903 with text from advertisements for sugar, molasses and rum from archived copies of The Evening Telegram collaged over the women’s clothing.

In her essay “Of Saltfish and Molasses” published in “Future Possible,” she described the work as “(allowing) me to place these women and their labour within the broader historical context of the international trade in commodities that underpinned Caribbean slavery and its afterlife.”

It’s a direct connection between Newfoundland and people in the Caribbean, a historical line not often drawn through the context of the transatlantic slave trade, but one she knows personally through the stories told by her mother, Adassa, about their ancestor, Sisa, who “as a teenager, survived the horrors of the Middle Passage, enduring the voyage from West Africa to Jamaica in the hold of a slave ship (Junaid).”

A book like “Future Possible” allows people to interpret themselves and their past, present and future, Junaid says.

“I appreciate the ways in which they really worked to make it as broad and diverse as possible,” she said. “It’s also striving to tell the Indigenous history of the place, the European settler history … and then also looking for … non-Western backgrounds such as myself. It’s enriching.”

What shapes us

St. John’s writer Lisa Moore contributed an essay called “Five Specimens from Another Time” that weaves together moments from her own life, the province’s history and current realities and the art that has inspired her over the years.

“It’s really interesting to me to see all this work of people that I’ve written about in the past and whose work influenced me, even in my writing of fiction, and then newer artists,” Moore said. “I just think that the book is a total gift.”

With such a rich cultural history ready to be written, she imagines “Future Possible” is just the first of what could be many books about art in the province now that the “ice is cracked.”

“The writers that (Eagan) has chosen to write here are also really exciting critics from all over the province, talking about all kind of different periods in art history,” she said.

As time passes, the meaning of the works in the book becomes richer, she said.

Mary Pratt’s 1974 “Cod Fillets on Tin Foil” and Scott Goudie’s 1991 “Muskrat Falls,” for instance, are two images with seemingly straightforward and simple subject matter. But any viewer looking now, who is aware of the cod moratorium and the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam, would find it difficult to see and interpret these images outside of those contexts.

“Artists, writers, filmmakers … they’re keen observers of culture and the moment that we live in,” Moore said. “They present things that are intangible like the feeling of a moment, or the culmination of social, political and esthetic powers that come together at a given time and shape us.”

“Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland and Labrador” is available online and in stores.

Andrew Waterman reports on East Coast culture.
[email protected]
Twitter: @andrewlwaterman



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Parrott Art Gallery goes virtual to help flatten the curve – The Kingston Whig-Standard



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Feeling stir crazy because of COVID and the latest lock-down? Take a virtual trip to Morocco!

On Wednesday, April 14 at 2:30 p.m., the Parrott Gallery will host Lola Reid Allin’s Armchair Traveler online presentation: “Morocco: Sea, Sand and Summit”. Allin is an accomplished photographer, pilot, writer and speaker. Travel with her through the land of dramatic contrast and hidden jewels, busy markets and medieval cities, and enjoy some virtual sun.

For more information and to register for this free online event, please visit The Armchair Traveller Morocco photography exhibit is also available to view through the Parrott Gallery website until mid-May.

Even though our gallery is currently closed to the public, our exhibitions are all available to view online. Sam Sakr’s show “The Housing Project” is certain to bring a smile to your face. His collection of mixed media artwork will take you to a playful land of fantastical creatures that inhabit imaginary, stylized cityscapes. If your spirit needs uplifting, you need to see to see this show. I hope that everyone will be able to view Sakr’s work both online and then in our gallery after the lock-down ends in May. Without a doubt, it will be worth the wait to see it again in-person when we re-open.

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Another exhibition that you can currently visit on the Parrott Gallery website is the group show “Spring Sentiments: a Reflection of Art in Isolation”. This was a collaborative effort by the 39 artists who submitted their work, our staff who put the show together in the gallery and online, and our guest curator Jessica Turner. We are thrilled that Jessica was able to transcribe her experience with this show into a final paper for her Curatorial Studies BFA degree at OCADU.

The fact that we have had to close our doors just as this show was opening is a sad reflection of the theme as the audience must now reflect on this artwork at home, in isolation. The up-side to viewing this exhibition online is that one can read the artist statements that accompany the work and get a more in depth view of the artists’ perspectives. We encourage viewers to support our artists by sending in their comments and to vote for their favourites in the show by following the appropriate link on the webpage.

When you can’t come in to our building, the Parrott Gallery will bring the artwork to you. And then when the sun and flowers come out in May, and when it is safe to return to our gallery on the third floor of the Belleville Public Library, we hope to see you all again.

For questions about our online talk, our shows, or to purchase any of the artwork please call us at 613-968-6731 x 2040 or email us at

Wendy Rayson-Kerr is the Acting Curator at the John M. Parrott Art Gallery.

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