With the East Austin Studio Tour taking place over the next week, local residents will get a unique chance to see what is offered by Austin’s community of artists. Through gallery exhibitions and events hosted by local and visiting creatives, art lovers will learn more about the individual studios along with the methods and processes they practice.
It’s a great chance for many collectors to discover new artists and add to their collections, but for those looking to make their first step into collecting, it can still be a bit overwhelming and difficult to make decisions. That’s where Bonnie Glendinning steps in, acting as a guide in the decision-making process with the help of her newly redesigned website, artmuse.com.
It can be somewhat stressful for the art-collecting neophyte to attend an open gallery and decide on the spot which piece of art to choose that is also within their budget. Artmuse is an online, curated gallery that provides museum-quality prints to anyone seeking to add a little more artistic flair into their life. Committed to discovering unique, contemporary and talented artists to showcase from around the world, Artmuse helps make the process of finding and buying art a little less taxing.
Glendinning is devoted to accessibility, making sure that the works offered fit within any budget. “Accessible also means affordable, to me,” says the site’s founder and curator. Opening up the world of art for more people to enjoy has always been the central goal of this Austin-based website.
The idea for such a site has actually been with Glendinning for quite awhile now; since the late 90s, the thought of spreading the love of art to others via an online gallery has floated in her head. She even registered the domain name early on, but the opportunity to actually build it still wasn’t there; after receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography at the University of Texas, the idea for Artmuse remained a concept for a little longer—that is, until a new opportunity arose a few years ago.
“I was laid off,” recounts Glendinning. With that sudden detour in life, she now had the time she needed to make Artmuse a reality. After launching in 2009, the site continues to connect novice collectors with new artists, many of whom are based out of Texas and Austin. Currently, the online gallery features five local artists whose work will be featured during E.A.S.T.: Jennifer Chenoweth, Anne Genung, Jon Windham, Caroline Wright and David Leonard.
Each of the featured artists will have works on display at E.A.S.T. galleries as well as on the site. Even if aspiring collectors don’t get the chance to visit the galleries, Artmuse makes sure to give as much background information about each artist featured. It’s all part of the experience of not just reacting to the work of art itself, but also learning part of the inspiration, work and story behind each and every work of art.
For Bonnie Glendinning, E.A.S.T. is a great opportunity to learn more about Austin’s unique art community, and she hopes to have more of a presence there for next year. Until then, Artmuse will continue to connect more people with something that has always been a passion for Glendinning and to share that love with others. While she hopes to have more originals available on the site, her focus will always be on those looking for just a little extra guidance when beginning something new.
She sees prints as a “very easy entry to starting your art collection” and from there, hopefully, the collector can work their way up to an original. The site also features guest curators, who help with the decision-making process by giving their own insights on their favorite artmuse.com artists.