ArtsAlly Pulls Sharing Economy into Art World, Connecting Artists to Consumers in New Way

The burgeoning Vancouver sharing economy will see a new member join its ranks this fall—this time with an artistic twist.

A team of entrepreneurs, assembled by former journalist and communications advisor Michelle Martin, are launching a website in September designed to connect artists with art consumers.

ArtsALLY is a two-way marketplace where everyone wins,” says Martin. “It’s a catalyst for bolstering the creative economy.”

Acting as a hub for artists and community members, the website bridges the gap between digital browsing and the physical art itself, allowing art appreciators to rent pieces from artists to get a feel of the art first-hand before committing to a purchase.

Alternatively, some spaces or organizations might want to try a monthly cycling of decor, and could use ArtsALLY’s consulting assistance in addition to the delivery service that makes such exchanges easier. And renting art for businesses is a tax deductible expense, says Martin.

But tax perks aside, there are wider economic benefits that come from finding and plucking underutilized art resources from their dusty caches.

“There is so much beautiful local art in storage waiting for the right opportunity or owner,” says Martin. “And the art rental model allows people to try art they’re attracted to while supporting local artists.”

That matching of producer and consumer promotes more efficient use of existing resources, and at the same time speaks to Martin’s hunger to “catalyse social change.”

“It also introduced me to Vancouver’s social venture community, and I recognized how many inspiring ideas are taking root in our city,” she says.

The ArtsALLY group is open to almost any partnership: artists, galleries, schools, patrons—just about anyone who is a stakeholder in the art community of Vancouver. Martin has proven her love of collaboration, gathering teammates originating from all over Canada who bring diverse skill sets to the partnership.

As open source advocates, the team is staying true to their philosophy by basing how the company moves forward on conversations with the local community, and making adjustments accordingly.

With almost a year of work behind them, it seems Martin and her crew at ArtsALLY have got collaboration down to an art.

ArtsALLY goes live Sept. 15 and will be open to artists to submit applications. Until the official launch, artists are encouraged to send an email with submissions to