After leaving a job in Australia’s arts sector and returning home to New Zealand, I relied on social media and the internet to keep me connected to the flourishing art world of independent artists, curators and new gallery spaces springing up in Australia’s cities.
Frustrated by seeing all the amazing art and exhibitions being promoted on Instagram and design blogs, but being unable to experience them in person or to collect the pieces I fell in love with, I looked to see how I could solve my problem without buying a plane ticket to Australia (or London, New York, or Berlin) every month.
When I started investigating what exhibition platforms existed online, I was surprised to find there were no platforms successfully providing a framework for artists and curators to build and promote their own online exhibitions. As I started thinking about how a solution could work, and discussing the practicalities of such a platform with my husband (who luckily has extensive experience developing mobile and web platforms), I realised my idea for The Exhibit solved a lot more than just my need to “visit” the exhibitions I couldn’t get to otherwise.
The online art market is growing 25% year on year and buyers are becoming increasingly more confident about making artwork purchases online. Add to this that artists are increasingly struggling for exhibition funding opportunities and governments are always looking first to the arts for budget savings, and I started to validate my idea: an online platform which would shake up the exhibition model, making it cost effective and easy for artists and curators to exhibit, accessible for online art collectors to view the exhibition and purchase artworks if they choose, and sharable across an increasingly connected global online audience.
So, I teamed up with my husband, a founder and director of a specialist app marketing agency, and we started formulating my ideas into a product development roadmap and business plan. Out of this The Exhibit came to life.
Zinnia has a Masters of Museum Studies and has worked in internationally recognised Art Galleries and Museums in Australia and New Zealand in the Collection Management and Retail/Product Development fields. She is passionate about finding ways for galleries, museums and arts practitioners to remain viable and valued in the current under-funded Arts and Cultural environment.
Jarrah is the Founder and CEO of App Media, a specialist mobile app, web and software marketing agency. Jarrah brings a breadth of knowledge in application development and marketing. He is an enthusiastic art gallery goer and is particularly interested in how technology can be used to develop better ways for young and contemporary artists to reach their global audience and pursue their passions.
Having a good idea is one thing, but we all know it comes down to good planning, a close-knit team and executing on our plan. And that all takes money. To get things started, Jarrah and I have personally invested our own capital in to kick-starting the development of The Exhibit. But, we still need your help!
If you like our vision for The Exhibit and you would like to have a platform to exhibit your art works, curate exhibitions with other artists, or simply browse exhibitions around the world in the most captivating experience possible online, then we encourage you to show your support by pledging. Click here to find out more!