A New Online Marketplace

Charlie Buckley, The Arts Company, oil on muslin-wrapped panel, 14 x 8.5'', 2010

Business models are a dime a dozen these days. Every time we think we have one cornered, it slips away in mid-thought. It's a swift world out here.

From day one in our art business our idea was to make art commercially viable by locating in the middle of an active marketplace where people transact all kinds of business within close proximity to each other on a daily basis. A hundred years ago that was the town square. Then the center of cities. Then the suburbs. Then shopping malls. Now we're back to the town square, but without the brick and mortar.

Bob Grannis, Capital Construction, photograph, 20 x 30'', 1957

The new town square is online, with a multiplicity of communities you can choose to connect with. You create your own town square online, defined by the people with whom you converse and share confidences and by the sources you count on for shopping and purchasing.

Even though we are in the art business where everything is original, one-of-a-kind, it's hard to know how to find a brick and mortar location in a prime traffic location where people go to transact business and look for tangible goods and services. For us, the center of downtown Nashville continues to be a good bet. For a simple reason. Nashville is magnet for creativity, and downtown is an arts destination. People from around the world come to downtown Nashville to seek out the Nashville experience--that is, the unusual combination of lots of institutional and commercial venues in music, art, museums, libraries, and honky tonks, all within walking distance of each other. Fortunately, that combination attracts consistent foot traffic. Still, that's a kind of activity-based market scenario, not the daily kind of traffic that stems from the daily business of people's lives.

Charles Keiger, The Vault, oil on panel, 20 x 18'', 2009

It is not easy to find a thriving daily physical marketplace. The marketplace of our time is online, and any business wishing to thrive has to reckon with that elusive, seemingly amorphous structure and find new ways to get their goods and ideas noticed. Case in point: we now look online or "onphone" to locate brick and mortar places. In essence, when someone finds us now, it's likely through an online source more than just happening to be in the neighborhood.

This is not to bemoan change. On the contrary, we are looking for that new thriving market where real goods and real people can still get together in an active marketplace environment. That's why we are moving forward quickly to adapt ourselves to the new online marketplace. We are launching a new business partnership with Moontoast, an online social commerce platform. We are matching their online savvy and resources to ours--fresh, original, contemporary artwork, a selection that can be encountered and purchased online 24/7.

We can't wait to see who we meet up with in this sprawling new world of tasteful commerce. Join us if you dare. Try it out. Be a pioneer with us. We promise that over time it will be one heck of an adventure. We'd love to have you with us.

All you have to do is click here: theartscompany.moontoast.com. Join our online community, and together we will help shape this emerging marketplace for artwork.