With 2016 in the rear view mirror, I wanted to take a pause to thank all of the artists, customers and Rise Art experts that have helped make 2016 the best year yet in the short history of the company. As we close up the year, I wanted to take a moment to share my top 10 highlights from 2016 – and it’s been quite a whirl!
1 MAKING VIDEOS
2 CROWD FUNDING ON CROWDCUBE
As Rise Art was set for growth, the team launched a Crowd funding campaign on Crowdcube to help finance the next stage of the company’s development. The campaign was a massive success, and we were oversubscribed in the first week, going way above and beyond our target. A huge thanks goes out our customers, artists and new found friends who helped make this happen.
3 LAUNCHING THE TRADE PROGRAM
Our corporate and trade team continued to expand, with new projects in London, Dubai and Hong Kong. We officially launched the Rise Art trade program in the spring, and hosted events for our partners in conjunction with Herman Miller and D&D group, including the launch of a new artwork collection at Avenue Restaurant in central London.
4 OUR GROWING COMMUNITY
The number of artists submitting to Rise Art continued to go through the roof and our community is thriving! By spring of 2016 we had over 75,000 artwork submissions to the site. Out of these, our experts selected 500 of the highest quality emerging and established artists as sellers on the platform, who we felt best fitted the Rise Art repertoire and customer needs. Sales numbers for our artists also continues to grow, and in the summer the team launched the first of our regular artist meet-ups in London and beyond.
5 OUR FIRST ACQUISITION
The summer was busy (no rest for the wicked!) and we made our first acquisition in June, purchasing Dublin art startup Artfetch. As part of the deal, Artfetch Founder Katie Tsouros joined us as the head of brand and content marketing. The amazing Rise Art team grew further with key recruits across development, operations and marketing roles.
6 KRISTJANA S WILLIAMS & FORTNUM AND MASON
Ever popular Rise Art artist Kristjana S Williams was selected by Fortnum and Mason to provide artwork for their Christmas campaigns. The artist's work appeared in window displays and across packaging for teas, biscuits, champagne and hampers (all the best things Fortnum and Mason is known for!).
7 LAUNCHING IN HONG KONG
In September, Rise Art held our first event in Hong Kong alongside the launch of the marketplace in Asia. Throughout the month, we hosted a pop up exhibition on Hong Kong’s Hollywood Road with press events, cocktails and dinners. Rise Art was covered by over 15 media outlets across China, including the South China Morning Post. And we extended shipping to 27 countries worldwide as part of the launch, going even more global!
8 RISE ART & MAT CAHILL AT THE V&A
9 KELVIN OKAFOR MAKING THE BIG TIME
Rise Art artist Kelvin Okafor is featured on CNN! Kevin was one of the very first artists selected on Rise Art back when we started in 2011. His intricate, hand drawn and photo realistic portraits which once listed for £300 on the site now retail for over £20k. He’s an amazing artist and we’re quite proud of this one!
10 RISE ART & GINA SODEN AT ANOTHER COUNTRY
In the run up to Christmas, we hosted a collaboration with celebrated furniture brand Another Country in their Marylebone showroom, featuring the gorgeous photographic work of Gina Soden. Another collaboration to include cocktail events and dinners (we do like them!) and a great way to round off the year just before the holidays.
As you can tell it’s been a busy and fun year, and apart from all the activities and events, we are thrilled at the reception we have received for our unique try at home art rentals service, as we continue to fulfil our mission of having art in your home even easier. The press have also loved it with coverage from the FT, Apartment Therapy, The Telegraph and more.
We can’t wait to continue the Rise Art story in 2017. Thanks again for helping us make 2016 a year to remember!