As an enthusiastic supporter of the City’s Cultural Policy it is exciting to see new initiatives coming to Council as part of our commitment to the Arts and Culture. This month Council will consider a proposal to provide seed funding for an interest free art loan scheme. Since the idea was first floated 25 galleries have indicated their intention to sign up to the scheme and, if approved, the City will commit $60 000 to help establish it.
The scheme will be operated by Group 10 who are the publishers of Art Monthly. The scheme will enable art lovers to take home an artwork after registering and paying a deposit to the gallery. Group 10 will take on the risk of the loan so the artist and participating gallery can be paid at the time of sale. Loan repayments are made in 10 monthly instalments. There will be a small fee associated with the loan to ensure that the scheme has ongoing financial viability.
The City has received a warm response from the public on this concept with 24 submissions of support. Of the four objectors the two main concerns rested with the operation of the scheme being undertaken by a commercial organisation and concerns regarding the administration fee.
Whilst I would prefer this to be managed by a non-profit I am supportive of a scheme that will potentially provide a boost for our visual arts scene. The cost of city living for artists and other creatives was a strong theme in the Cultural Policy so I hope this scheme will be a success for artists and gallery owners as well as art lovers.