The AGO is Teaming Up With a Gallery of Female Artists for Virtual Pop-up

image via sabina fenn / mrkt gallery

The pop-up lasts 30 days from October 7.

According to a recent article in Artnet, female artists represent less than 2% of the art auctioned over the past decade. It’s a dreadful statistic, but one Toronto artist Nuria Madrenas wants to play a role in changing with MRKT Gallery, an online platform for female art.

As an illustrator herself, she realized early on in her career that there was a huge disparity between women and men in the art world. “On average, art created by women is typically sold 40% less than the male equivalent,” she says. “So not only is the volume much less, but also the real value people place on female art is much less. So overall there are several challenges and obstacles for female artists.

In order to create a space where women’s art could be represented for the purpose of selling it, Madrenas launched MRKT Gallery in December 2019. The website now features the work of dozens of female artists in Canada, the United States. , in the UK, Malaysia and other countries around the world and is teaming up with the Art Gallery of Ontario on a virtual pop-up this month.

Minimalist line drawings, fashion illustrations and feminine silhouettes feature prominently among the site’s offerings, which Madrenas says are the most popular pieces. Thus, the artists she seeks to add to her growing list are those whose aesthetics and style match what MRKT consumers are looking for.

“We want to make sure that when we recruit a new artist, it will be a viable platform for them to sell their work. Because if their style doesn’t match what our customers are looking for, we don’t want to ban them from selling on other platforms that might be more suitable for them. “

Artists worn by MRKT include Brazilian illustrator from Toronto Luiza Albertini, Japanese artist from London June Mineyama-Smithson and Canadian artists like Chantal Walkes, whose art explores themes of culture and identity, and Rachel Joanis , a digital illustrator known for her use. bright and saturated colors.

The goal of MRKT Gallery is to “merge creativity and commerce” by not only providing a platform for emerging artists to share their work and develop an audience, but also by ensuring that 50% of the profits go directly to the artist.

“We handle all of the printing, framing, packaging and shipping,” she explains. “Our artists provide us with the files or the original artwork that they choose to sell, and we run everything from there. So all the legwork is taken off their plate. And after the associated costs, the profits are split 50-50. “

In an effort to increase the visibility of female artists, MRKT Gallery has teamed up with the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) for a virtual pop-up. Starting October 7 and for 30 days, an organized selection of 14 prints will be available for purchase on the museum’s website. The 9 × 12 ″ prints, which typically cost $ 65 on the MRKT gallery website, will sell for the exclusive price of $ 50 at the AGO pop-up.

As the pandemic has reduced or wiped out galleries and museums altogether, Madrenas says people seem to be on the hunt for affordable art, given how much time they now spend in their homes.

“People look around their homes and say, ‘I need to fill this empty wall’ or ‘maybe I’ll finally decorate my office or spare bedroom now that I’m using it more’ or anything else. In addition, many people are leaving the city to settle in larger spaces on the outskirts of the city. With more space, more walls and more space for decoration.

If you’re looking for artwork to brighten up your surroundings, take a look at some of the prints on offer in the MRKT Gallery x AGO pop-up in the gallery below.

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