Lots of businesses went online at the onset of the pandemic to help them stay afloat. This brought about a wave of online businesses, a trend that will likely be here to stay.
In fact, more than 5 billion businesses were created last year — a 53% increase in 2019’s numbers. Many of them were online businesses. A large number were SMBs that tapped into the growing online market and closed their physical stores to take their online operations to the next level.
One unique online endeavor that made a significant impact during the pandemic was online galleries.
Plenty of online art galleries have started to pop up in the past three years to give people an opportunity to virtually experience art. The USC Pacific Asia Museum, for one, created a 3D video experience to make visitors feel as if they were walking through their physical gallery. Meanwhile, the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands started its virtual collection called the Rijksstudio. Due to this innovative approach, they saw a 23% increase in their social media followers and millions more visitors to their website.
But why should you start an online gallery as the pandemic subsides?
The art world is evolving
Due to the pandemic, art’s evolution has accelerated in a number of interesting and disruptive ways. The first saw digital alternatives created due to the fact that people couldn’t physically see or interact with art. Galleries started to use the internet to showcase their collections in order to attract a larger and more diverse audience. Tate in the UK, for example, used their Instagram and Facebook to provide additional information to art lovers and let them know when to access the galleries.
The second point is that technology is being used more regularly to help consumers view and experience art. Virtual reality (VR) used to be used for gaming and entertainment purposes. During the pandemic it’s been used to virtually explore art galleries. Take for example the Water Tank Project, a street art exhibition in New York that has a virtual tour available on Google Arts & Culture.
The art world is evolving, and the pandemic only accelerated it. So without further ado, here are some of the creative innovations in the industry that will continue to carry over into the future.
Art can help people cope
During the start of the pandemic, lots of people struggled with mental health issues. In fact, stress and anxiety were at an all-time high during this period. Although this is a normal and valid response, there are ways that people can cope and one of them is through art.
A study on art engagement during the pandemic found that it helped adults cope with emotions and improved their self-development. This is mainly because people found it to be a great way to distract themselves from their worries. The study also claims that this applies to home-based arts engagement activities like digital arts and writing which some online galleries provide. For their installation called “You Are Invited/Estás Invitado,” The Armory Center for the Arts encouraged visitors to write messages to be dropped off at the US-Mexico border. Due to the pandemic, they resorted to asking people to submit their messages on the exhibition’s webpage instead.
Of course, COVID-19 won’t be — and isn’t — the only bad thing to hit the world. From personal issues to bad news from the other side of the globe, art has proven that it can inspire people through the worst times.
Online galleries are more accessible
With the rise of online art galleries, more people are able to access art. Before, there were barriers to entry such as geographical restrictions or financial constraints. This changed when art galleries started going online and people took advantage of the opportunity.
In fact, museums and galleries are getting more visitors through their virtual exhibitions. The British Museum, for instance, received saw visitors go from 2,000 to 75,000 per day. This just goes to prove that there’s a market for online galleries right now, if rolled out correctly.
The pandemic has proven that there is room for art to flourish online. As such, if an online art business is something that you’d like to venture into, it is important to understand that right now might just be the best opportunity you have to realize your dream business.