“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” – Pablo Picasso
It is no secret that the art market is booming internationally.
In November 2017, ‘Salvator Mundi’ sold for a record-breaking $450 million at auction. In the first half of 2018, global auction turnover on Fine Art rose 18%, totaling $8.45 billion. In September 2018, the world watched in astonishment as Banksy’s Girl with Balloon sold for £1.04m at auction – only to shred itself moments later.
But still we see cuts to the arts and a culture that, arguably, is far away from prioritising the pursuit of creativity and artistic expression.
Even closer to home, creative industries are estimated to contribute £92bn a year to the UK economy. And regardless – can a value be placed on the worth of arts and culture in society, as a means of expression, communication and historical importance?
Of course, the opportunity to become the next Damien Hirst may never arise for all emerging artists. High rents, bills and the need to make a living can quickly steal away the creativity and curiosity that is so crucial in sustaining a practice. ‘The’ platform may never become available to display their creations. The struggle for time, space and finances swiftly removes the next masterpiece from society’s walls – the paintbrush never even touched the canvas.
So, do we as corporates have a social responsibility to ensure early career artists have the opportunity to succeed?
We believe yes. At Liberty Specialty Markets, we have a unique perspective on how we do business. As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, Liberty Specialty Markets is proud to have launched its inaugural Art Award, encapsulating a core principle of our mission– to help our communities to prosper.
“Inspiration exists… but it has to find you working” – Pablo Picasso
With the support of NewPlatform.Art, LSM has partnered with The Art Academy and The Slade to support nine graduate artists during a crucial point in their careers.
“This year-long programme of ongoing support and advice… will help [the students] take the leap to become practicing artists” says Rob Pepper, Principal at The Art Academy, London. “It is often a lonely, unstructured year when you first leave art school – this programme will help them fill that void, giving them fruitful opportunities and putting them in touch with great people”.
With over 64,000 art and design students graduating each year, there is little to no professional development support for those deciding to follow their vocation to be practicing artists. Alongside paying artists to display their work at LSM’s London office, training sessions, mentoring and workshops will also be available to the artists.
Helen Stone, winner of the £5000 expert panel award, said ‘What’s particularly great about this award is its tangible benefits… our work has already been seen by a far bigger and more influential audience that I am sure most of us are accustomed to – this includes the staff and clients at Liberty Specialty Markets, global partners and an expert panel of artists, curators and gallerists… that has been incredibly valuable’
Artworks will be on display until July 2019 at LSM’s office in 20 Fenchurch Street, and are available to view and purchase here.