Alternate Currents’ director Scott Cipolla is initiating a Corporate Lease Program, through which Boston corporations will be able to rent art works. Big Red and Shiny interviewed her.
BRS: How was the idea of Alternate Currents’ Corporate Lease Program born?
SC: From the beginning of Alternate Currents, I have been thinking about a way to place the artwork of local talent into the offices of downtown Boston. In the past, I have sold pieces to Boston firms but I wanted to do something a little more dynamic. I wanted to get people excited about local art, get them involved. Then, about four months ago, Keith Francis, one of our Alternate Currents artists, placed some of his work at the DeCordova Museum and heard about their Corporate Program. He suggested the idea for us. The plan had everything I was looking for, not only for Alternate Currents but for Boston artists as well. Our Program will do something a bit different though. We are planning to combine two ideas: loaning artwork as well as offering it for sale at anytime to employees of the office space. Our tagline is “Bringing Boston Art to Light.” Our Corporate Lease Program’s tagline is “Bringing Boston Art to Work.”
BRS: Is the lease of pieces a growing practice among US galleries in general?
SC: In this sluggish art market I would be surprised if more galleries didn’t initiate something like this. I know that museums do it because it provides additional revenue from art that is not on display at that moment.
BRS: What are the pros and cons of renting versus selling?
SC: Why not do both? Permanently placing is any gallery’s ultimate goal. Your customer is happy, the artist is happy and the gallery has money in the bank. Selling will always be the goal. However, by leasing artwork the gallery is getting a chance to spread its influence and choices throughout the city, not just in one location. The artists get the opportunity to have more shows and more chances to sell their work by bringing it to the buyers instead of asking them to come to the gallery. It also introduces an active interface between buyer and the local art scene.
Alternate Currents/Space 200
“Abstracting Thoughts” is on view from November 4 through December 5 at Alternate Currents/Space 200.
All images are courtesy of Alternate Currents/Space 200.