Hamiltonian Artists, a 15-year-old arts non-profit in the District that cultivates cutting-edge artists, is launching a new membership art lending program called Kinetic.
The program is designed to support artists and cultivate the next generation of collectors and create a healthy and sustainable arts ecosystem.
“The goal of the program is to make art collecting and patronage more accessible, not just something for the wealthy,” says Lily Siegel, executive director of Hamiltonian Artists. “This is a program for anyone who has ever wanted something hanging on their walls but doesn’t know where to start.”
On Oct. 1, a launch party for Kinetic will be held at Terzo Piano, 1515 14th St. in D.C., from 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $75.
The way Kinetic works is members are provided with exclusive access to a catalogue of original artworks to borrow or purchase, with all proceeds directly benefiting the artists and Hamiltonian Artists’ programs.
In its first year, Kinetic is working with artists who are alumni of the Hamiltonian Fellowship program and current fellows. All artists are paid a participation fee, 50 percent of rental fees, and 60 percent of sales.
“This is more generous than galleries and other non-profits in the area,” Siegel says. “It was important for us to make sure our artists are paid well.”
Everything from photography and painting to installation art is included, as well as an NFT and some video work.
“Some of the work has sound components to it, and people might not know how to put that in their home, but we will help them figure that out and understand that this is work that can be lived with,” Siegel says.
For $250 a year, those with the Momentum Membership level will receive a three-month rental with 20 percent retail value rental fee, plus artist-led studio visits, private collection tours, seminars and meet and greets with artists. It also includes talks on insurance, inventory, how to approach collecting, and even the basics like how to hang art safely and properly.
The Accelerator Membership level, which costs $1,500 a year, includes all that the Momentum Membership does, plus the first three-month rental included, a 10 percent discount on artwork purchased and first access to art selection.
The idea came to Siegel because Hamiltonian Artists focuses on helping artists figure out how to have a sustainable, professional art career, and she saw collectors also needed some help—especially young people who don’t know how to get started.
“I wanted to help bring them into a network of artists and other people with similar interests and passion,” Siegel says. “That’s when the idea for an art lending program started to take hold—the opportunity for people to try out the artwork. Often times, it’s hard to make a huge purchase of a few hundred dollars, or a few thousand dollars if you’ve never done that before. This allows people to see how it feels first, and hopefully, they will wind up buying it.”
Plus, it offers a better opportunity for art owners to have more of a relationship with the artists themselves.
“I’m really exciting about this whole concept and creating an opportunity for people to come together around art and what it means to bring art in their lives,” Siegel says. “We want to make everyone comfortable to enter into the world of visual arts.”