Jan 15, 2019 | By Sarah Housley
Quickly becoming the go-to destination to buy beautifully curated and affordable art, Partnership Editions is an exciting platform that’s busy making the art market accessible.
With affordable price points, pieces are created by partner-artists, and the platform also facilitates art classes and hosts industry talks and events, building an offline presence.
At WGSN, we have tracked the growing interest in female-led events that bring like-minded women together for food, activities and conversation. Partnership Editions’ collaborations reflect this trend, and are often female-led – creating spaces with brands that share similar values, including Rixo and Rejina Pyo.
With collaboration and partnerships at the brand’s core, Partnership Editions demonstrates how to actively engage your customer by creating a lifestyle, experiences and communities in real life.
WGSN caught up with founder, Georgia Spray, to further understand her brands mission, how she creates a community and how she chooses who to partner with.
How and why did you start Partnership Editions?
I worked in the art world for around 5 years in auction houses and galleries before becoming a free-lance art consultant in 2016. My friends would ask where to buy art by up-and-coming artists, and I wasn’t confident in recommending them a go-to platform that was both affordable and curated. I started the business as an experiment to see if there was an appetite from both artists and collectors. The business grew very organically, and I juggled a job alongside it to fund it for the first year. The response from both artists and collectors has been very positive, and has grown via word of mouth and Instagram.
What challenges have you experienced ?
Every day is a challenge and an unknown. Being a sole founder can be a challenge, as you have to work through a lot of struggles on your own, whilst keeping upbeat. But the beauty of the business is that it’s built on partnerships and collaborations, so I’m never really doing things alone, and am continuously inspired and motivated by the artists, collectors and creatives that i work with.
What is your brands mission?
I really want to break down the elitism of the Art world. Affordability is a big part of that, but a lot of it is changing the stigma that is connected to art. Anyone should feel that they can engage with art, and often “white-wall” galleries or auction houses can feel intimidating. That’s why we love the idea of bringing art outside of these spaces by collaborating with like-minded brands – such as fashion boutiques, retail spaces, and restaurants – to show art in a new context, and community build through life drawing classes, studio visits, talks and supper clubs.
How are you creating a community as well as a brand?
As I mention above, community is at the core of what we do via our various events. The group of artists that we collaborate with are also a community in itself. There’s a lot of value in doing things as a collective and supporting each others work. For example, we have had a great response to the activations we’ve done where the artists paint live in spaces. People are able to watch, chat to them and learn about their process firsthand (recently at Liberty, The Hoxton, The Royal Academy).
How are you empowering your community with these workshops?
Bringing the artists’ work to life via activations can be a great way for people to engage with art in a new way. Once people have seen an artist’s process – what materials are used, the time it takes to make a work, their inspiration – so much value is added to the physical pieces – our collectors feel more connected with the people behind the pieces. Generally, pricing artwork is such an abstract and subjective thing, but I think a greater understanding of the artist and their practise means that people have a greater understanding for why something costs what it does.
How do you choose who to collaborate with?
This is something that is super important, as we need to make sure that every brand we collaborate with is a great fit and really well tailored to the artist or group of artists. I think it’s really important that if a brand wants to collaborate with one of our artists that they allow the artist to retain the authenticity of their style or voice – if briefs are overly prescriptive then the end result can be lacklustre, as it doesn’t end up looking like the artists’ work. We have collaborated with Rixo London and one of our artists, Rose Electra Harris, putting an exhibition of her work in their pop-up space – this was a great fit because they both are interested in pattern, specifically Japanese and vintage interior design. The collaboration made sense and didn’t feel corporate or blatantly commercial for this reason.
Where would you like to take P.E. in the future?
As curation is key, I would like to start inviting guest curators to contribute to the platform. This doesn’t necessarily mean ‘art’ curators, but it could extend to anyone who has a good eye or exceptional taste, and is a pioneer in their field. Perhaps interior designers, chefs or even journalists!
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