Before you buy that mundane, mass-produced IKEA poster for your room, consider original prints from Angeleno Artistry, an L.A.-based startup founded by a group of USC alumni. Every month, five new artists are selected to showcase their work on their website and sell a limited number of their prints.
The startup’s goal is to reinvigorate the art industry and connect local artists with the community.
“Angeleno Artistry is modernizing the art world,” said Zack Holland, one of the founders and a USC alumnus who graduated in 2013. “We are celebrating underrepresented and deserving artists, and bringing original art to a broader, younger audience.”
Combating commercialized stock art, Angeleno Arts was launched to address the need for original artwork.
“Even if all of an artist’s prints sell out on the website, people still have the opportunity to connect with the artist,” Holland said. “If you like an artist’s work, you can commission them to do another, unique piece for you.”
Holland recognizes historical trends in the art industry and hopes to modernize old traditions for new consumers.
“It used to be popular to commission artists, but it’s something that has become antiquated,” Holland said.
Holland believes that with a modern approach and accessible platform, Angeleno Artistry will bridge the gap between consumers and artists.
Through the newly launched website, Holland and the other founders hope to generate opportunities for talented local artists and to combat the inundation of conventional and uninspiring artwork that is produced by larger companies.
“It’s a pretty tough road for artists, especially after graduation. It’s difficult to get commissioned work, and that’s what our company is seeking to improve,” Holland said.
Angeleno Artistry also draws from the immense artistic community in L.A. Featured artists are selected by a diverse group of qualified leaders from the L.A. area, which include gallery directors and professionals from the art industry.
Many of the L.A.-based artists are alumni from the USC Roski School of Art and Design, and Holland encourages current Roski students and alumni to submit work to the company’s email address. If selected for the month, each artists will be able to sell 100 copies of their signed, featured prints for $40 each.
With the newly launched platform, the five artists for September include USC alumni from the class of 2014. The artists KFiSH, JD Higham, Wasim of Nazareth, Stephen Paul and Marilee Spencer present pieces that satisfy a wide variety of tastes, colors and styles. The artists’ work include underwater and landscape photography, mixed media and whimsical portraits that captivate the imagination. Their work is refreshing and stimulating in comparison to tiresome mass-produced prints.
In addition to changing the art industry’s landscape, Angeleno Artistry is also giving back to the L.A. community. With every sale, the startup will donate $5 to the company’s philanthropic partner, P.S. Arts, an organization that funds art education in underprivileged L.A. schools.
“Art is important, and it’s important in the education of young people. When schools face budget cuts, usually art programs are the first to be dismantled,” Holland said.
Holland stresses the significance of art in education. Not only will Angeleno Arts donate proceeds to P.S. Arts, but featured artists will also have the opportunity to teach their skills in Los Angeles classrooms. They will teach a wide variety of media, including photography, paint and sculpture.
“The abundance of incredible and creative art in Los Angeles deserves a better platform where local artists and their work can be seen, enjoyed and appreciated,” the company mission stated. “The ability to do just that, while making a difference with an amazing non-profit partner like P.S. Arts is all that we hoped for while working tirelessly to put Angeleno Artistrty together.”
Los Angeles offers an eclectic and distinct array of creative flair that often goes unnoticed. Angeleno Artistry highlights and exhibits the innovative and expressive styles that are only found within Los Angeles.
“Beauty is found everywhere in Los Angeles, albeit in the most unexpected of places: the shadowy sides of water towers and the half-toothed smile of the friendly neighborhood park-bench-resident. It’s this mangled and hectic collage of sun and color that makes LA [sic] so unique — that unexplainable yet undeniable Angeleno Artistry,” states the company.
As far as the group’s mission statement, Holland keeps it simple.
“Hang real and original artwork,” Holland said.