Online art site goes offline statement expected this week
The question on everyones lips today is the demise of myartspace. This was one of the early players in the vastly expanding world of internet art sites. I suppose like its namesake myspace, it just fizzled out to the point of becoming dead-space.
The company was originally founded by RISDI alumni Catherine McCormack-Skiba in 2005 in order to ‘help artists gain representation, recognition, and sell their artwork directly to buyers. The site got started in May 2006. It was advanced by an ongoing developer of the MyArtSpace Art Scholarship, a $16,000 annual scholarship for undergraduate and graduate art students, reaching over 2,000 schools and 160 countries. McCormack-Skiba in her statement said; “My responsibilities include Chief Curator, website design, management of product development, liason to the art community and strategic direction of company”.
Catherine, being a natural entrepreneur, saw an opportunity in the internet and began work on the site in 2005. The site was launched in May 2006, and sustained a major upgrade to include e-commerce capabilities, so artists could sell their own work directly to buyers. myartspace.com was developed as a social networking site for Artists and Collectors. It touted itself as the premier online network for quality and professionalism in the Arts. An Online Store was released in Spring ’08 to facilitate direct purchases and 3 party printing capabilities. Nominated by the Always On organisation, 2008 media/content companies which had the most disruptive force in online market potential. “Times are still very exciting for art and the internet. A whole new generation of young artists are likely to help reshape the way the art world will evolve to over the next 20 years,” said Christian Benedetto, a Morris County real estate executive and one of the art enthusiasts and backers behind the site.
Myartspace had around 40,000 members and more than 500,000 pieces of contemporary art, online, to view for free, at its peak. The community also supported many competitions where artists had dramatic leaps in their careers.The winning artists had their work shown at Miami Basel, a large international art show, in December each year in Florida. “A whole new generation of young artists are likely to help reshape the way the art world will evolve to over the next 20 years” stated, McCormack-Skiba. Myartspace hoped to solidify its position as the “premier online social network for the art world”;stated investor Benedetto in an interview. It now looks like the investors have pulled the plug on the website and a statement is expected this week.
The domain www.myartspace now seems to default to a ‘go-daddy’ holding page and all members were spammed by emails requesting they join something called Art Wanted.com, who describe themselves as a fine art related website but illustrate only commercial and fantasy art. The email form Art Wanted stated: “With the recent closing of MyArtSpace.com, we wanted to send you a special invitation to check out a large art community to promote or sell your artwork online”. ArtWanted.com is one of the longest running art sites on the net. For almost 13 years they have been helping artists get more exposure, feedback and sales for their artwork…. Yikes!!!!