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New website links Louisiana artists, businesses for displays

March 22, 2019

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Local businesses have a new reason to rejoice!

A new art subscription service called “BARE Walls” is connecting businesses and artists in the Acadiana area in a way that is as simple as the click of a button from your smartphone device or computer.

Barewallslafayette.com is the newest website to hit the market and is offering local businesses the opportunity to browse dozens of local artists’ work to showcase for a small monthly fee.

You can also purchase local works for anyone looking to decorate their home.

There are over 15 categories that you can browse on the website including Abstract, Body Painting, City-scape, Collage, Figurative, Floral, Food, Landscape, Lettering, Music, and Nature; and the list goes on as new artist join the program bringing their unique vision to the table.

For a small monthly fee, businesses can become “BARE” members and gain access to a pool of talented artists’ work to display in their business. Members have the option to rotate work out every 3 months or maintain the same pieces. Membership pricing is based on wall space that is covered by work and ranges from $100 to $350. Higher-end memberships include fun perks such as “Artist Talks” where your featured artists will speak on their concept and “Opening receptions,” adding a unique edge to your company’s event calendar.

Not sure what would look good where?

The team behind BARE Walls is equipped with professionals who visit your company to determine the best place to hang work and curate a functional gallery space — one of the best perks of the service is the team also covers installation and de-installation hassle.

“It’ll be hard to pass up the opportunity once you see the art that is offered,” said Robert Autin who owns the Acadiana Superette, the first business to join the BARE Walls membership program.

“If you calculate the subscription service times 12-months it’s well worth it. With this program, you can spend a modest amount of money and have local art that enhances customer engagement. The short time we have been involved has already livened our space in such a positive way.”

Artists, you can rejoice too —

Not only does this subscription make it as easy as possible for businesses to beautify their space in a sustainable way, but the program also benefits you, the artist, by offering a monthly payment to creatives whose work is chosen to be shown.

“There are a lot of artists who don’t have the connections — that is why we are here, to show them off, talk about them, and get them on business walls,” said Dirk Guidry founding member and Program Manager for the BARE Walls.

Guidry, a Galliano native, is a professional artist who graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a BFA in Fine Arts in 2012. He specializes in abstract work and has been a residential artist at Basin Arts, an adult dance studio and artist residency in downtown Lafayette, since 2016.

Through Guidry’s experience, he recognizes that too often venues who offer to showcase work do so without any compensation — other than exposure.

He explained that to be a professional creative in Acadiana takes a hustle most times, and shared that he’s shown his work in numerous locations around town, sometimes even up to 5 years, but never received a bite.

One day at Basin Arts, Guidry was talking to owner Clare Cook about this missing link for visual artists in the area, commenting on the lack of art in businesses despite the surplus of artists in Acadiana. The two decided to develop a format to help bridge the connection between area artists and businesses in a way that benefits both communities.

“We looked at the gallery we created at Basin, and started with that idea and did a little research of bigger cities who had an art rental program. We needed something that could cater to our location, we spent 6-months working towards what we wanted this to be.”

Soon the pieces fell together, and in perfect timing, for the 2018 24-Hour Citizen Project, where Guidry and Cook pitched their concept to local area backers. BARE Walls was chosen for funding ($2,200) and mentorship to bring their concept into materialization.

Since the website has launched, BARE Walls has quickly filled with beautiful, local artworks in a variety of media, shapes, color, and sizes.

“Having this work in your space is something to be proud of and show off, ultimately keeping artists here to show them you can make it professionally,” said Guidry. “This site raises the awareness of local work and flips the script on the common practice of showing art for free.”

Want to see the concept in action? Stop by CENTRAL Pizza & Bar, LEDA Opportunity Machine, Acadiana Superette, and Scott Eye Care; who are all BARE Walls members.

Learn more about BARE Walls subscription service and how you can get involved by visiting BAREwallslafayette.com.

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Information from: The Advertiser, http://www.theadvertiser.com