Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — This year artist and entrepreneur Margarita Barry is launching BLOCK x BLOCK, an online platform that sells art created by a diverse community of emerging and underrepresented artists from all over the country. For each piece of art sold, 5% of the total cost is contributed to a neighborhood block project in disadvantaged communities around the country. The art is sold in personalized “block” packaging that tells a story. BLOCK x BLOCK is crowdfunding (www.blockxblock.com/indiegogo) to make buying art more inclusive, impactful, and accessible through its website blockxblock.com.
After studying art in college, selling art became a way for Barry to not only surround herself with like-minded creatives, but also help uplift artists in the city of Detroit. “I started my pop-ups and blog because I was looking for artists and entrepreneurs who looked like me, and they were nowhere to be found. I had to create my own spaces.”
Barry started her popular Detroit based pop-up collective, 71 POP and blog I Am Young Detroit (iamyoungamerica.com/detroit) back in 2009 and 2010. Fast-forward seven years, and the millenial influencer has turned her passion into a career.
Barry comments, “In my experience people love to buy original art, but particularly when they can connect to the work on a personal level. BLOCK x BLOCK is making art collecting affordable and personal for the everyday person. You can log on, shop art by style or city, read artists’ stories, and purchase art in a meaningful way. Inclusivity and philanthropy is at the core of what we do. You can choose to support local artists and neighborhoods in your city and support artists of culture. And it’s as easy as sending an email.”
With artists of color still underrepresented in the art world and in institutions in America (a recent study conducted at CUNY Futtman College says that 80.5% of artists represented by New York City’s top 45 galleries are white), BLOCK x BLOCK is poised to be an invaluable resource for art lovers and online shoppers who support their mission of bridging this gap.
If that weren’t enough, the platform is offering yet another twist on the traditional online art gallery: each 5×5 piece of art sold is packaged in a “block” or box that connects to the story of the artist behind the work and the story of the neighborhood project it supports. A free block personalization option offers the chance to add a personal touch.
BLOCK x BLOCK is launching a crowd-funding campaign on January 1st to take pre-order sales. The goal is to raise $20k to purchase equipment for its full launch later this year.
Barry adds, “I’m hoping that people who may have had a hard time finding, connecting with and purchasing original art in the past will find that BLOCK x BLOCK makes doing it a breeze. Now people can color the spaces where they work, live, and play with both personality and purpose.”
For more information and to pre-order, visit www.blockxblock.com/indiegogo
Find BLOCK x BLOCK on Facebook (www.facebook.com/blockxblockco), Twitter (www.twitter.com/blockxblockco) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/blockxblockco)
Watch the video at: