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How Art Lovers Squeeze Money From Their Collections – Barron's

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Amedeo Modigliani’s “Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)” achieved US$157.2 million with fees at a Sotheby’s auction in 2018.


Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Nearly two years ago at Sotheby’s, auctioneer Helena Newman brought the hammer down when Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché (sur le côté gauche), 1917, inched up to US$139 million from a US$125 million opening, after barely a stir of activity in the New York salesroom.

The US$157.2 million total achieved, with fees, meant Modigliani’s painting was the most expensive ever sold at Sotheby’s at the time. The work appeared to have been more or less presold before the auction to a collector who had guaranteed he or she would buy it for an unspecified minimum price.

The buyer of the Italian Modernist’s famous nude remains anonymous, yet there’s a good chance he or she tapped a credit line backed by their own art collection to have the flexibility to fork over so much cash at the drop of a hammer. This isn’t unusual—in the past decade, the business of extending credit backed by art has boomed to an estimated US$21 billion to US$24 billion, according to the 2019 Deloitte Art & Finance Report.

Art lending allows collectors to tap value that’s otherwise “locked up in paintings, sculptures, drawings, photo-graphy, whatever it may be,” says Suzanne Gyorgy, global head, art advisory and finance, at Citi Private Bank’s more than 40-year-old art-advisory and art-finance practice. Banks are comfortable writing these loans because “art has been a very stable form of collateral,” Gyorgy says, even during the 2008 financial crisis.


Art has been a very stable form of collateral.


— Suzanne Gyorgy

At that time “some clients considered their art an investment, but not many,” says Evan Beard, national art services executive at
Bank of America
Private Bank, which began ramping up its art-finance practice only in the past decade, fleshing out a suite of services that includes art lending, art planning, and consignment services.

Today, the private bank has billions of loans outstanding. That’s because many of the active borrowers have a net worth of at least US$100 million, a fact that brings the US$157 million price tag for the Modigliani into focus. By creating a line of credit backed by an art collection, a client can have the “dry powder” to buy anything, Beard says. “We’ve seen musicians and Hollywood producers do an art loan to fund movies.”

Wealth management groups that offer art loans consider their entire relationship with the client, not just the art collateral. When Citi writes a loan, the bank considers their client’s net worth, liquidity, and their cash flow, as well as the quality of the art.

Deloitte estimates private wealth managers account for US$18 billion to US$20 billion of existing art loans. Still, the firm found that 71% of individual private bankers worry about lending against art because of difficulties in assessing risk. Collectors who work with these wary bankers can, however, turn to alternative sources. One is Emigrant Bank, an institution focused on niche assets, which because it’s part of a bank, can offer competitive terms.

Boutique firms that underwrite loans to individual collectors backed only by specific works of art have US$1 billion to US$1.7 billion outstanding. Auction houses finance another US$1.3 billion to US$1.9 billion in loans, Deloitte says.

The benefit of a private bank loan is that the rate is often low, about two percentage points above the London interbank offered rate at Bank of America, for instance. The rate on a loan from a boutique hard-asset lender—meaning the loans are 100% backed by the art—can be more like 7.5%, says Freya Stewart, CEO of art finance at The Fine Art Group in London, a hard-asset lender.

“It’s really fast,” Stewart says. “We can provide several millions of dollars in a matter of weeks.”

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Sarnia area artist shares art kits to help youth, children, parents during pandemic – Anishinabek News

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Lambton County artist Suellen Evoy-Oozeer delivers an art kit to a family in Aamjiwnaang First Nation to help young artists during the COVID 19 pandemic.

By Colin Graf

AAMJIWNAANG FIRST NATION— An artist from the Sarnia area is sharing art kits to help youth, children, and parents remaining indoors during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.  After her series of workshops on intuitive spirit painting were cancelled in locations nearby such as Chippewas of Kettle & Stony Point (KSP) First Nation, Suellen Evoy-Oozeer decided to reach out to her students and distribute the art kits she had been storing for those events.

“I want to give them something to do and some way to connect with each other,” she said, so Evoy-Oozeer decided to offer to drop off the kits where they were wanted and to open up a Facebook page, “Me, You, & Us Youth”.

KSP youth were supposed to exhibit their art in the town of Port Franks, on Lake Huron, in May, but that exhibit has been moved to September. She hopes Aamjiwnaang youth may still be able to exhibit their work during the annual First Nations art show at the Lawrence House gallery in Sarnia in June if circumstances allow.

Evoy-Oozeer has now offered the 30 kits in her garage to anyone who wants them from the two First Nations, though she may not be able to deliver to KSP because of restrictions placed on visiting the community.

She is observing protocols for sanitation and distancing in the delivery of the kits. The art supplies have been in her garage for over a month, so she feels there is no chance of infection. She wears gloves for the deliveries and maintains no contact with the people receiving the kits.

“I will drop them off on their doorstep, go back to my car and text them,” the artist says.

The kits include paints, brushes, a large canvas, a 9 x 12 sketch pad and some drawing tools, either pencils or a fine-tipped pen.

“It’s not a lot but it’s enough to keep them busy for a bit,” she says.

She’s also including a copy of the book from the 2019 exhibition she helped create in the Kettle Point area called, Me, You, and Us, which includes ideas for creating what Evoy-Oozeer calls “spirit portraits” showing different aspects of the artists’ inner lives. So far, she has delivered kits to 10 different families.

Samantha Jacobs of Aamjiwnaang got one of those kits and finds creating art is helping her stay focussed, pass the time and keeps her mind busy during isolation. She had completed two out of three sessions Evoy-Oozeer was conducting at the community centre prior to the abrupt closure. Jacobs had hoped to complete a papier-mâché artwork that would resemble herself, but would open up to reveal aspects of herself.  She had the newspaper and the glue ready but was unable to go ahead. Now she is using the paints and chalk pastels in the kit a couple of hours every night. Her favourite so far is one with a younger and an older turtle swimming. Jacobs is the young turtle while the older turtle represents her uncle Errnol Gray, or “Uncle Turtle” as she called him before he passed in 2018. Gray was an Aamjiwnaang councillor for 42 years, and Jacobs remembers him fondly.

Evoy-Oozeer’s original Me, You, and Us project featured 27 spirit portraits she painted of KSP members.  The exhibition was first shown at a London, Ont. gallery, followed by a two-week stay at the Lambton Heritage Museum, between KSP and the town of Grand Bend, with further stops in Windsor and the Ottawa area.

The portraits were part of a wider effort to connect the First Nations people with the settler community in Lambton County, along the south shore of Lake Huron. Evoy-Oozeer and her friend Susan Angela Bressette held workshops for people from both communities to learn intuitive painting techniques and get to know each other.

The workshops last year were a catalyst for understanding and change in the relationship between the First Nation and surrounding community, Bressette told Anishinabek News at the time.

“If you could see the healing that came from our little art class. There’s something that came from our classes that one friend said I should just call magic,” she recalled. “We don’t have an explanation for what happened there, but a lot of people found the freedom to talk about things in their lives like residential schools.”

Art created by the workshop participants also made up part of the 2019 exhibit.

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Bringing art from the inside outside – GuelphToday

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Being under quarantine has given us all a small taste of what incarceration feels like and social media is flooded with posts from people using art to share their experiences and perspectives about being in isolation.

But Garry Glowacki’s art collection provides a glimpse from the inside most of us will never see.

“I have talked to a couple different prisoners and described this as a different kind of segregation,” said Glowacki.

When GuelphToday first met Glowacki last November when he was preparing for an art exhibit at HOPE House featuring works by prisoners called Art Inside Out: From the Hearts and Souls of Men and Women Imprisoned.

The exhibition showcased works he has collected over more than 25 years as a restorative justice advocate and executive director of the Bridge Prison Ministry.

Glowacki has been watching the public’s response to the pandemic and selected a few pieces from his collection to display in front of his home on Metcalfe Street.

“I was getting discouraged watching people walk by with their hands in their pockets and their heads down some, not even saying hello,” he said. “I thought, you know what? I don’t want that fear to continue so I thought I would try to lighten up their walk. Apparently, it has worked. A lot of people have stopped by and taken pictures.”

Glowacki greets curious pedestrians from a safe distance, stepping back if they want to get a closer look at the works.

“It is prison art so, it is kind of out there,” he said pointing to a piece by Kingston Penitentiary inmate Brian Martland that shows a section of a locked prison cell door. “That is his view from his maximum-security jail cell where he spends 23 and a half hours a day, everyday. He painted it on a bed sheet because that’s all he had. He had some paints, but he couldn’t get anything beyond that.”

Among the more controversial pieces in his collection are by artist Peter Collins, who was serving a life sentence for killing Nepean Police Const. David Utman during a bank-robbery in 1983.

“Peter Collins died in prison in Millhaven in the 32nd year of a life sentence,” said Glowacki. “He was 17 when he killed a cop. He was a prison advocate, but they wouldn’t even let him out to go to hospice. He died alone in prison.”

The therapeutic value of creating art, especially under extreme conditions, is well documented and Glowacki spent decades promoting prison art programs and their rehabilitative benefits.

“My ministry was about reintegrating men back into the community,” he said. “That’s what I did and we ended up being very successful. It got national attention. It got lots of people jobs. Many, many people that a lot of people had given up on are doing okay.”

Glowacki retired in 2018 but he continues to advocate for prisoners and celebrate the redemptive qualities of artistic expression.

“Art Inside Out is the group I am trying to get together promoting this prison art,” he said. “I retired and went back to University of Guelph to study criminology so, I am hoping they get a little more tuned in to this too because it is an effective presentation.”

He believes that showing the art influences public perception in a positive way and said that people are often surprised to see how senstive and talented prison artists can be.

“I am hoping it is provocative,” he said. “I am hoping it provokes people to think. They have talent. They have feelings. They do.”

He is interested in hearing people’s opinions about the work and for a while he left a pen and a pad of paper for people to leave their remarks. He stopped that after a woman raised concerns about the pen and paper getting contaminated by someone carrying the virus.

He said he rarely gets negative responses from people when he exhibits the collection.

“What are you going to do,” he asked? “Are you going to tell me that you don’t like them? That’s fair or you can tell me you’re afraid of them. That’s fair too but they are still our brothers and sisters and you know what? They are getting out.”

For the time being, however, he has to limit any face-to-face discussions and keeps his distance when people pause to look at the exhibit in his yard.

“I don’t come out here too much,” he said. “Once in a while I will come out and say hi, thanks for coming.”

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Vancouver Island Arts Councils get big grant for investment in digital skills – Ladysmith Chronicle

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The Ladysmith Art Council, along with the Comox Valley Arts Council, Cowichan Valley Arts Council, Saltspring Island Arts, and Hornby Island Art Council, received a $212,000 grant for the development of a digital innovation group for Vancouver Island artists.

“We’re doing a baseline survey of what art councils are doing at the moment, and that will lead us to doing a research piece of what we can do better with technology, how technology will help us, and what the future of art councils will look like,” LAC member, Ora Steyn said.

Steyn said that art councils operate for the most part on small budgets and are run primarily by volunteers. The implementation of technology to be shared among all Vancouver Island art councils could have significant long term benefits for their operation models.

“How do we promote ourselves? How do we market ourselves? How do we deliver classes? Is there a way of doing it online, and what is the best way?” Steyn said. “Once we know what we need to proceed we will implement the solutions we find and do the training.”

In the summer 2019, the LAC held an online webcast featuring Terry O’Reilly, host of Under the Influence on CBC to learn more about how to market Vancouver Island’s artists. That event was funded by the Canada Council for Arts Digital Strategy Fund, and set the idea of the Digital innovation group in motion. Over 300 artists joined the live webcast.

The guiding vision is to establish Vancouver Island as an arts powerhouse because of the large amount of artists who live on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

“People here have the passion for what they’re doing. One Canada Council saw there was a real need, and people who wanted to address the need, we were successful with our grant,” Steyn said.

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