More than 120 artworks have been sold through Sydney’s first interest-free artwork loan program in its first six months of operation.
The City of Sydney sponsored initiative, Art Money, has issued over 120 interest free loans to art lovers since the scheme began. It has grown from being a Sydney-based initiative to now being offered in 100 galleries across Australia.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City provided one-off seed funding to help launch the program, as a means of helping more people purchase art for their homes, and to support local galleries and artists.
“Art Money is designed to encourage art buying among both first-time and long-time collectors by reducing some of the financial barriers to owning art,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The program has been so successful it has expanded nationally, supporting over 100 galleries, creating opportunities for artists across the country and allowing more people to bring art into their homes.”
Art Money was launched in April by 10 Group, with $60,000 in seed funding from the City.
Loans are available for between $750 and $20,000. After paying a 10 per cent deposit, the buyer is able to take their work home and pay the remaining balance of nine payments in nine months without interest.
Redfern resident and mother of two, Julia Kosky, purchased an artwork by Sydney artist Kate Scardifield using the Art Money scheme from the Alaska Projects’ stand at Sydney Contemporary.
“I loved all of the work at Alaska Projects, but was immediately struck by Kate Scardifield’s pieces with the gold applique on black – it is really beautiful and I love having it in my house,” Ms Kosky said.
“I probably wouldn’t have purchased the work without the scheme. It allowed me to make a fairly spontaneous decision knowing that I wasn’t having to pay in one lump sum.
“I’ve told friends about the scheme and they didn’t know that it existed, and were pleased to think that it was something they too could access.
“It’s great for people who don’t necessarily have much disposable income but love art and have previously thought that it was an unaffordable luxury.”
Art Money Chief Executive, Paul Becker, said the number of galleries taking part in the scheme had grown from 26 to over 100.
“Art Money continues to invest time in recruitment, training, marketing and customer support to help it expand,” Mr Becker said.
“This includes providing over 500 training hours to gallery staff to support the use of Art Money as a sales tool and enhance the buyer’s in-gallery experience. To date, the program has recorded no loan defaults.”
Quick statistics for Art Money’s first six months:
Over 120 interest-free loans issued;
75 per cent of loans for artworks valued between $750 and $5,000;
34 per cent of artworks sold were by artists based in the Sydney metropolitan area;
18 per cent of customers were first-time buyers; and
96 per cent of customers would recommend Art Money to their friends.