Art rental

Customers can try before they buy
Friday, June 14, 2013
By Ania Sleczkowska

Many major public galleries in Canada offer a unique type of access to art through the rental and sales of artworks. These well-established programs open up a whole new avenue for the public to take an interest in visual art and bring it into their homes and businesses.

These programs make it possible for people to try out works by renowned and emerging artists before committing to making a purchase. Clients can take their time and live with a piece of art before deciding if it’s for them.

Renting artwork – to try it out – can also give a designer or architect insight into what will make a space work for their client. The art placement consultant or curator can be an important collaborator for the design professional. This person can help find the right style or medium of art – whether in painting, print, sculpture or installation.

Many people select art as a means of self-expression. Companies and businesses can use art to help communicate core values, vision and an overall image. Art rental and sales programs can accommodate the dynamic, shifting nature of personal taste and professional goals through constant access to new, fresh artworks. With art rental and sales programs, clients can provide themselves with an ever-changing, renewed environment in the office or at home.

Rental can also make the cost of working with art more manageable. Clients can rent an artwork and then decide to purchase or return at a later date. Often with a purchase, a rental cost rebate is available. In addition, revenue from art rental and sales programs provide higher returns to the artist than a commercial gallery sale. Funds received also support public gallery exhibitions and education programming.

With multiple benefits to the client, artist and public galleries, art rental and sales programs can be an ideal, low pressure way for people to enjoy art in their homes or work space.

Ania Sleczkowska is the manager of art rental and sales at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton. She has wide experience in art placement and curating major exhibitions in Canada and Europe. She has also worked closely with many artists, and architectural and design firms. Ania can be reached at 780.392.2495 or

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