Arts Council England
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Home is where the art is

Arts Council England asks public to host contemporary art in their home.

Last week, nine art novices from across England hosted contemporary art works in their homes to launch – a new website which will enable people to design and curate a ‘virtual collection’ featuring real works of art supplied by Own Art member galleries from across the country.

My Own Art Collection aims to highlight that contemporary art can be accessible and affordable for all, with nine ‘home hosts’ - all of whom are new to the idea of owning art - hosting work from local galleries that offer Own Art, the Arts Council’s interest free loan scheme that offers people a loan of up to £2000 to buy contemporary art.

The website invites people to design and curate a room of their own by choosing from a catalogue of over 150 art works currently available from Own Art member galleries - all with a price tag of under £2000. Online ‘collectors’ can then submit their ‘room’ to the Arts Council for the chance to win £500 to buy a real piece of art for their home, plus the advice of a specialist arts advisor, courtesy of the Contemporary Art Society, the UK’s leading independent authority on contemporary collecting.

This experimental way of exhibiting art, sees nine families from across England hosting a piece of contemporary art from paintings to photography, to ceramics and glassware, in their home for two weeks. All are new to the world of contemporary art and have never previously considered buying an artwork before.

Viv Walsh, a hair stylist from the South West, works next to Goldfish Contemporary Fine Art in Penzance, but has never been to look at the gallery’s exhibitions. Viv will be hosting a painting by David Whittaker and says: “I have never been a huge fan of contemporary art and not paid much attention to the works in the gallery next door, but I jumped at the chance of taking part in this. I’m really intrigued to see if this experience changes my views of contemporary art and what effect it will have on my home environment and on my family.”

Mary-Alice Stack, Development Manager, Arts Council England, said: “Viewing and collecting works of art and craft can be a hugely rewarding experience which doesn’t need to be elitist or expensive. Own Art helps you take art out of galleries and into your home. Art can transform your home or simply offer pleasure to you, your family and friends.

“By creating collections online, we hope that people will engage with their own unique artistic preferences and gain the confidence to consider starting a real collection of their own.”

Paul Hobson, Director of the Contemporary Art Society, said: “Hundreds of thousands of people visit galleries each year, but relatively few realise that they can too can deepen their involvement, easily and inexpensively, by buying a piece of contemporary art from an artist’s studio, a gallery or art fair. Every one of us has the ability to enjoy art, to learn more if we want to, and to buy art for our own home within our own budget. The Own Art scheme is designed to make buying art as easy and affordable as possible.”
The Arts Council’s Own Art scheme provides interest free loans from £100 up to £2,000, repayable over 10 months in equal instalments, for people wishing to purchase works of art and craft by contemporary artists. The scheme is available through a network of over 250 participating galleries across the country.
To learn more about the Own Art scheme, please visit the website:

For further information please contact:

Alice Mayor / Ceri Bevan/ Matthew Fletcher-Jones
0207 467 9208 / 0207 467 9250 / 0207 467 9211

Notes for editors:

Own Art

• Own Art makes it easy and affordable for people to buy a wide range of contemporary works of art. It is the ideal way for aspiring collectors to enter the art market and we hope will encourage more people to live with the art they love.

• The Own Art scheme offers individuals the opportunity to buy contemporary works of visual art and craft with an interest free loan of up to £2,000 (Typical 0% APR). The amount borrowed is then paid back over 10 months in equal instalments.

• Customers planning on making a purchase with Own Art need to bring 2 forms of identification with them - a proof of signature (such as a credit/debit card or passport) and a proof of address (such as a driver’s licence or utilities bill).

• The scheme is available through a network of over 270 galleries across England and Scotland, which offer a wide range of works of art including jewellery, ceramics, glass, photography, painting and sculpture. For further information including a full list of participating galleries, visit or phone 0845 300 6200

• Own Art was officially launched in November 2004.To date, over £8 million of loans have been issued since the national scheme came into effect in April 2004 and have been used by over 10,500 individuals for the purchase of contemporary works of art or craft.

• Own Art is managed by ArtCo Trading Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Arts Council England). Registered address: Arts Council England, North East, Central Square, Forth Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 3PJ. The credit provider is Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance. Loans are offered subject to status. Terms and conditions apply.

Arts Council England

• Arts Council England works to get great art to everyone by championing, developing and investing in artistic experiences that enrich people's lives.

• As the national development agency for the arts, we support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts.

• Great art inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves, and the world around us. In short, it makes life better.

• Between 2008 and 2011, the Arts Council will invest £1.3 billion of public money from government, and a further £0.3 billion from the National Lottery, to create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country

• For more information visit

Contemporary Art Society

• The Contemporary Art Society is the UK's leading independent authority on contemporary collecting. Founded in 1910, we are a national membership organisation for contemporary art enthusiasts and collectors. We exist to support artists and promote collecting by both individuals and institutions.
• We provide a number of programmes for individuals offering an affordable, inspirational and informed engagement with contemporary art:

o Blood is a subscription membership scheme which offers an expert network through which to navigate the national and international contemporary art scene, building your knowledge and confidence when looking at cutting edge contemporary art in a lively social setting.
o Collectors is a membership programme which offers a more in-depth and personal engagement with contemporary art, combining unrivalled access to bespoke events involving private collections, leading contemporary art specialists, curators and emerging and internationally acclaimed artists. We also offer two Patrons programmes and a donor membership.

• The Contemporary Art Society exists to purchase significant works of contemporary art to give to public collections across the UK, where they can be enjoyed by the widest possible audiences now and in the future.
• Over the past 100 years, the Contemporary Art Society has donated several thousand works of contemporary art to museums in this country. We generate the funds to do so through a range of activities, including bespoke art consultancy services for private individuals and corporate clients, trusts, foundations and public funding bodies, an annual art fair, and subscriptions from museums, galleries and individuals. For more information see

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