Sudbury couple launch new online platform for struggling artists to showcase and sell works during coronavirus pandemic
Artists whose income has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic have been offered an alternative outlet, after a Sudbury couple launched a new online platform to help them showcase and sell their work.
Lupe Cunha and John McMillan have been delighted by the response to New Art For You, a website they set up in response to the lockdown, which has resulted in the closure of public galleries and the widespread cancellation of traditional art exhibitions.
The site, built over a few weeks by software engineer John, currently features the creations of 18 artists, the majority of whom are spread across the UK, as well as four based in the United States and two from South Africa.
Lupe, who has been painting for the last 40 years, decided to go online after having three exhibitions cancelled, but she was initially unsure if the digital model could work, until seeing the success of online exhibitions run by several major art venues in recent weeks.
She told the Free Press she intends to keep the number of artists on the site relatively small, with the goal of developing a strong community with the platform.
“Everyone involved has taken this on as their own, rather than just one person doing it, and that has given it a good community feel,” she said. “That’s really the strength of it. Everybody contributes in whatever way they can.
“It’s that community feel which is as important as the artwork, especially in the current situation. We’re all isolated, so it’s a way of linking back to the rest of the world.”
John, who is also the president of the Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, added that it has been great to be able to help so many struggling artists during this difficult time.
“I think this will be a useful back-up to exhibitions when things start getting back to normal,” he said.
“The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, but it makes a lot of difference.
“The fact there has been so much interest in the website shows that people are looking for a new way to get their work out there.”
To view the website, go online to www.newartforyou.co.uk.