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Own Art Plus: Art Lovers Can Now Utilise Loans to Buy Art

SEEN has learned of a new loan scheme for buyers of contemporary art and craft, that brings Tate, the Royal Academy of Arts and The House of St Barnabas into the fold.

Own Art Plus - Cathy Lewis

Creative United is thrilled to announce that Tate, the Royal Academy of Arts, The House of St Barnabas and 50 further galleries have joined the Own Art scheme, offering savvy buyers interest free loans of up to £25,000 for the purchase of works of art and craft.

Until recently, Own Art loans were only available up to £2,500, but with the introduction of ‘Own Art Plus’ in 2016, those in the market for more expensive works of art can now apply for up to £25,000 of interest free credit to finance their passion for contemporary art and craft.

Delivered by Creative United, an Arts Council-backed community interest company, the Own Art scheme makes the arts more accessible, and creates a sustainable ecosystem that also helps support galleries, artists and makers with influential fans that include British actor and art collector Russell Tovey and artist Annie Kevans – who produced the series of portraits for The Muses of Jean-Paul Gaultier global tour.

Own Art Plus is an extension of the highly successful publicly funded Own Art scheme, first introduced by Arts Council England in 2004 that to date has supported more than 35,000 purchases – amounting to over £30 million of sales. In 2015/2016, Own Art was used by nearly 5,000 customers for the purchase of over £4.2m of contemporary art – with 83% of customers stating they wouldn’t have purchased an artwork if the scheme hadn’t allowed them to spread the payments.

Works of contemporary art and craft that can be purchased using an Own Art loan include sculpture, painting, photography, textiles, limited edition prints, fashion, jewellery, glass, furniture, ceramics and multi-media works. Commissions can also be financed using Own Art Plus.

The House of St Barnabas – the homeless charity and members’ club in London’s Soho – sells artwork from established and emerging artists, including Banksy, Damien Hirst and the Chapman Brothers. Tate offers limited editions from some of the world’s most renowned artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans and the forthcoming Venice Biennale representative for Britain, Phyllida Barlow. And fans of the Royal Academy of Arts can now take advantage of the Own Art scheme to buy via the RA’s Art Sales website, including works by Academicians Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin and Gary Hume.

Own Art Plus Lifestyle

Currently appearing in Angels in America at the National Theatre with Andrew Garfield, Russell Tovey has collected art since the age of 21 years old and owns work by Wolfgang Tillmans and Tracy Emin.

“Own Art is an excellent resource! It’s a superb solution for those who are wanting to buy and collect art but would find it easier if they could spread their payment out over time. I’ve been collecting art for years, now knowing I can potentially take out an interest free loan to collect more is great news. Art collecting is my ultimate passion – I always acquire work I love – but the biggest thrill is knowing that you are potentially investing into art history, knowing that each piece you love and live with now, will outlive you and go on entertaining others for generations and generations to come,” said Tovey.

Artist Annie Kevans said: “Being an artist is a vocation that brings much joy but also uncertainty in relation to making a livelihood. By making the acquisition of artworks easier Own Art Plus, in turn, also helps create an ecosystem for artists and makers – and that can only be a good thing.”

Creative United has been established with support from the Arts Council England, and is based at Somerset House in Central London. Creative Scotland and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland are also long-standing funding partners in the scheme.

Darren Henley, CEO, Arts Council England, said: “The Arts Council’s Own Art scheme was initiated to help grow the contemporary art market and encourage more people to enjoy great art in their own homes. It is excellent that Creative United has now been able to extend the scheme through the introduction of Own Art Plus to enable the sale of higher value works of art. This valuable addition will inject new life into the ecology of the arts, benefitting artists, galleries, collectors and ultimately the public.”

Mary-Alice Stack, CEO of Creative United, said: “We are delighted that Own Art and Own Art Plus are coming of age with partnerships that offer the opportunity to own the finest contemporary art and craft.  The House of St Barnabas has a wonderful social purpose and opening works from prestigious art institutions in London and art galleries nationwide means collecting is within reach of those that may have hesitated before. Our mission is to build a sustainable and resilient creative economy, and to make the arts accessible to all. Our schemes are unique in this country and having a real impact.”