Art’s in the right place for father and daughter

Shelley Cohen and her dad, Melvyn Cohen, have started their own online art gallery where people can display and buy artwork. (d21021180)
Shelley Cohen and her dad, Melvyn Cohen, have started their own online art gallery where people can display and buy artwork. (d21021180)
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A FATHER and daughter have teamed up to create a new website helping people buy and sell original artwork.

Melvyn Cohen, who used to own the Smart Gallery at Redbrick Mill before passing it to daughter Shelley, said was like an eBay or AutoTrader just for art.

Shelley said at the gallery, people often called in to ask whether they bought second-hand artwork – usually limited edition pieces they had spent a lot of money on.

She said: “It’s just not something we, as a gallery, can do.”

Shelley said people had many reasons to want to sell on their art, ranging from a simple change of decor or inheriting a piece of art they weren’t keen on, to divorce and new partners not liking their taste in art.

She said the website was also good for buyers who were looking for art which had stopped selling in galleries, and for new artists who were unable to get into galleries to sell their work.

“A lot of art can appreciate in value over time, so people may want to sell to release the money in their paintings,” she added.

Shelley said sellers could go to auction houses, but this could come at a price with no guarantee of selling.

They could also try internet auction site eBay where there were around 130,000 pieces of art selling for between £1.50 to thousands of pounds.

“All we require is that the art or sculpture is limited edition, original work worth £200 or more,” she said. “It may have been bought in a quaint little shop in the Dales, or at a gallery like ours or even in the middle of London.”

On the website, sellers are able to upload up to three images of the artwork and give a full description of the piece they are selling.

They then publish their contact details so interested buyers can get in touch and arrange to view the art before buying.

Semi-retired Melvyn said: “We are simply just a site where people can sell or buy art. We’re not an auction site and make nothing from the sale ourselves. We only charge a one-off fee to advertise the work for a month and people don’t need to register to use the site.”

He said the site was made easy to use, with filters so people searching for art could be specific about the style they wanted.

Shelley said the idea of theplace4art came about around 18 months ago.

“In the business we have experience that this is what people want, and have already had quite a few artists register their interest,” she said.

“We only went live with it on Thursday and already we are encouraged by how people have responded to it. It’s very positive.”