Street is a powerful platform for reaching the public. Art Up Gallery founders know that public space allows artists to reach much broader audience than traditional galleries normally allow. Founder of the project Levan Geliashvili Eredeli discussed about supporting digital art and artists in Georgia with CBW:
Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is Art Up all about?
ART UP Gallery Street is one of Eredeli‘s projects aimed at developing digital art, as well as creating an exhibition space available for everyone in Georgia. The project allows artists to exhibit their works in Tbilisi and Batumi streets or sell them at online platform Artup.ge
Artists can place their works in boxes and organize exhibition by filling out special form at http://artup.ge/exhibitions. While, we’ll cover printing and exposition.
How did you come up with the idea, which factor helped you to implement and develop your startup?
We have been working for about 10 years together with artists and active people to create innovative, experimental and necessary platforms. Many exhibitions, music festivals and various events have been organized during these years. The project was launched in 2016 with the support of the Swiss Development Fund and the Ministry of Education and Culture of Adjara.
It is difficult to bring print art and young artists’ works to classical gallery. The financial side also creates a big problem. Number of visitors at galleries also decreases. That’s why we brought the gallery out of the streets, cafe walls, hostels and active locations.
I think one of the main components is our web site. This is not just a news page, you register here, publish your own works, if you want to sell a piece of work, you place it and sell it (we only verify quality and other technical details), viewing statistics for visibility, sharing, etc. There are many other features that distinguishes from any web page in Georgia. I hope it will become a social network space for artists.
How did you get your first customers?
Selling works is mainly from the web page. We are also contacting you through the exhibition’s work, giving us the artist’s data and negotiations are made by them.
Our main purpose is to support an artist. This field in Georgia is now starting to take off, and requires a lot of effort. Artists must create more, so that lack of works won’t let digital art suspend or get delayed. We try to support them even by increasing awareness and funding of the exhibition. Our project and artists can’t develop separately, we have to create one system that we’ve already started working on, and we are grateful for such an activity from artists.
Who’s your team and what is work process like?
There are several people in our team: Programmer, Designer, Project Manager and Media Manager.
Also: A team of 5 people who were specially selected. They review submitted works for the exhibition. Team members consist of artist, journalist, representative of the NGO, project manager, interested person in art.
We mainly work remotely online. We are willing work-exhibition space, where we sell works from the studio, as well as organize interesting trainings and workshops.
Do you think digital industry is the most promising?
I believe people will become more creative in the future, while various programmes and technologies will perform technical works for us.
What excites you most right now and what do you see as your next step?
We are currently negotiating with the organizations working in the culture of different countries, we want to find partners and present the works of Georgian artists the streets of different cities in the art boxes placed by us. This is one of the most important plans. If interested people / organizations will be involved in this very great project, it will support a huge process. A lot is depended on ongoing events in Georgia, modern art development and its support should be one of the most important part of our country.
In 2019 we want to look for finances to create a studio-gallery, where workshops, exhibitions and digital art sales will be held.
We have planned to launch additional exhibition boxes in Tbilisi and Batumi.
Also in the beginning of next year we plan interesting events, which will tell you next.
Follow Art Up Gallery on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artupstudio/
Follow them in the streets: Art Boxs Location