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27 Nov, Saturday
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With over a thousand art galleries and museums in London alone it’s hard to know where to even begin. Online art platforms have emerged to make it easier for people to discover and enjoy the art and artists they love most.

As a global art capital, London is an art lover’s paradise. But the sheer volume of exhibitions and festivals happening every single day is enough to give even the most organised of art aficionados an anxiety attack. With so little time on our hands, how do you decide what is worth checking out? And if you’re new to the art world, where do you even start?

There has been a proliferation of online art platforms and apps in recent years as we continue to spend increasingly more time on our smartphones. “We want to demystify art and make exhibitions more accessible”, explains Hubert Velge, Founder of gowithYamo, an app that consolidates art events and exhibitions to make it easier to find them. “Millions of people visit the Tate every year, but are very unlikely to visit any other galleries. We are ensuring that art lovers discover exhibitions they’d like to visit but don’t even know about yet.”

With over 10,000 downloads since the app’s second version launch last September, London-based gowithYamo is changing the way people discover and visit galleries. The app generates a list of exhibitions happening around the user based on their exact location. Users can also collect reward points each time they visit a gallery, which can be redeemed using the app to purchase original artwork and products made by independent artists. As Chris Dinga, Operations Manager explains: “The ultimate aim is to physically
drive people to visit a gallery, whilst promoting galleries big and small, equally.”

If you’re new to the art world or looking for new artists to support, online platforms like Creative Debuts and Fount Art & Textile connect people to emerging artists and designers.
With a strong social media presence, Creative Debuts are able to promote undiscovered artists by commissioning, showcasing and selling work at exhibitions which take art beyond the traditional walls of a gallery – from pop-up art fairs to sportswear stores like Adidas. In a similar way Fount Art & Textile is an online collective dedicated to showcasing fresh contemporary art and design. The website curates original artworks, limited edition prints and handmade textile products sourced from independent artists and designers from around the world.

For most artists today social media is where it all starts. As gowithYamo’s Social Media Manager, Lucy Strange points out: “With platforms like Instagram, artists aren’t even needing gallery spaces to get their art seen anymore. I think galleries will need to find new ways of working with
these online artists.”

Mobile digital landscape artist and Lumen Art & Technology Prize nominee, Joseph Connor, attributes his own success in the art world to the exposure he gained from posting his work on Twitter. But for Connor, publishing his work on social media serves another purpose: “You need to let that piece of artwork go because that releasing into the wild makes you less bothered about what
it is and more focused on enjoying the process of making it.”

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