There are a number of issues facing todays student artists, which are common across all the disciplines from fine art to photography. Firstly the art industry has always been tough to get recognition from and many artists find it hard to make a living, none more so than when youre a student or recent graduate. Another issue student or graduate artists face is that they often dont get the best return possible on the sale of their work and commission rates commercial galleries charge are fairly high. Not forgetting the level of debt that the students will face through tuition fees and charges for materials that are often essential for Art & Design courses.
A reflection of these costs can be found when looking at advice given to students of the Royal College of Art in London. There website states that
We estimate that to live in London for a full year (term-time and vacations) will require a single student to have funding of a minimum of ?11500
This is a substantial amount of money and to earn this and support your self whilst at university with no parental help would require a job. Having had a quick search through one of the leading job sites for the London area, a typical part time job such as a receptionist in a legal firm working three full days a week would earn them ?11700 before deductions.
This would realistically be a close shave and not leave much in the way of funds available for other expenses that the students are advised to budget for
Students also need to allow for spending on course materials over and above the amounts provided by the College.
Although an indication to the level of these costs are not given on the site, students will still need to pay ?4250 for tuition fees at the start of each academic year.
So what art students and graduates need is an opportunity to earn a fair return for the sale of their work and ultimately give them un biased exposure, whilst levelling the playing field a little.
One commercial website believes they have come up with a way of dong just that. The website which is to be opened to art students this month and will be launched to the world next spring is from the same stable of websites as www.thestudentzone.com which already has a strong commitment to tackling issues such as student debt. See www.thestudentzone.com/sdrs
The website to be launched under the banner of CompelloArt.com will allow students to exhibit and sell their work for a very low rate of commission along side the commercial galleries and artists exhibits with no indication that the pieces are from a student artist. This will give the students an opportunity to exhibit their work in a uniquely competitive way. The students will be able to access this facility by registering through www.thestudentzone.com/art who are a major sponsor of www.compelloart.com. The student exhibiters will also be subject to an especially low rate of commission of only 10% on any sales made through the website.
The Saatchi Gallery London is a major supporter of the project and Kieran from the organisation commented
"CompelloArt.com is a very exciting opportunity for Students to showcase their artwork and reach a worldwide audience. Alongside STUART, on the Saatchi Gallery website we believe this is the future of how art will be brought and viewed in the future."
It is hoped that the success of the project will lead to more of our talented young artists breaking onto the international stage and to further this goal the Saatchi Gallery will be selecting artists to become featured on the website as well as their own well respected web presence www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk