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Rent-a-what?

Dauna Kennedy Grant points out rentable works at the Vernon Public Art Gallery.
February 20, 2014 - 8:49 AM

IMPRESS YOUR DINNER GUESTS WITH AN UNCONVENTIONAL ART COLLECTION

VERNON - It’s a great conversation piece—and it’s a rental.

You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to hang great, original art in your home. The Vernon Public Art Gallery will rent it to you.

“Not everyone can afford to buy original artwork, or for businesses, they like to be able to change it up,” gallery director Dauna Kennedy Grant says. “So this is an opportunity for them to have original artwork without the commitment of actually buying it.”

For as little as $7 a month, you can borrow an original piece by a local Okanagan artist. The gallery offers a large selection of paintings, photography and sculpture. Just pop by to see a selection or pick up a catalogue.

Some rent art for their summer homes. Others just like to mix it up every few months. And many go for the rent to own option.

“They take the painting home, try it, fall in love with it and they can’t let it go back. That’s what happened to me. It grew on me too much and I wasn’t going to give it up,” Kennedy Grant says.

It’s a great option for people who can’t afford to buy art up front, or want a little time to make sure the piece is a good fit in their home.

“We also want to get the word out to people selling their homes,” Kennedy Grant says. “When they’re staging their houses they can bring in original pieces to give that little bit of flair.”

Everybody wins, Kennedy Grant says. The artist gets exposure—as well as 70 per cent of the proceeds. The gallery gets a little income, and the renter gets to enjoy art without the financial barrier. Experiencing art shifts from being exclusive to accessible.

It’s a program many businesses in the Vernon area are taking advantage of. Fraser Financial downtown Vernon has been renting for almost a year and currently have three pieces on display. One painting was made by a grade 12 artist.

“It’s nice to have the ability to change it up and support local artists,” Colleen Barker says.

It’s a farewell to the generic art commonly found in business lobbies, and Barker says clients are responding to the new approach with enthusiasm.

“People comment and ask where the paintings are from,” Barker says, adding they keep the artist’s business cards handy.

The concept is growing elsewhere, with a new Kelowna company offering a similar program.

Customers have to sign contracts pertaining to the care of the pieces. So far, nothing like this hilarious textastrophe between an artist and a viewer has occurred. 

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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