Web Site Clicks with Artists, Buyers
Alan Kircher '95 was routinely earning promotions by managing a multimillion dollar asset portfolio for a large Denver bank when he figuratively climbed atop a diving board and took the entrepreneurial plunge.
He couldn't get over the fact that artwork he saw decorating bank lobbies, restaurants and coffee shops languished in place for months, sometimes disappearing, never to be replaced. Locating the artists was often next to impossible.
He thought there had to be a better way to display art in public spaces. In 2004 he quit his bank job and launched Artwork Network, a self-financed online business specializing in managing, rotating and selling art in businesses throughout Denver.
He hopes more people will search for art on his Web site, where he can bring clients and artists together. Kircher and his small staff take the hassle of art installations and management out of business owners' hands and, in turn, generate exposure for artists.
"We ask the businesses what they want to see, and then we go find the art," Kircher says. "The idea is to make their spaces more interesting by regularly rotating art and, at the same time, helping artists get their work shown."
Kircher says Concordia stimulated his creative side. "I was exposed to so many different ideas and I learned a little about everything," he says. "Just when I'd get bored, a semester would end and another one with new challenges would begin. I really liked that."
Kircher maintains the Web site, displays art in a showroom in Denver's Art District on Santa Fe, and rents studio space to artists. He also has consultants who represent his business across the country, including a promising new affiliation in Scottsdale, Ariz.
He says his future success will depend on the combination of a strong Web site to connect buyers, collectors, artists and galleries with a good brick and mortar space where people can come in and see the art they've found online. His business plan includes a leasing program where clients can rent art.
"We are a one-stop shop for art and art services," says Kircher. "Being online is what makes us different."
Story: Sheldon Green / Photo: Submitted