As public arts funding sinks, an increasing number of private institutions are stepping in to fill in the gaps, and Louis Vuitton is now no exception. The design house, famous for its catwalk fashions and for dressing A-list celebrities, just launched a brand-new program to give young aspiring artists opportunities and exposure that might otherwise elude them. “This is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about contemporary art and get involved,” said artist Tracey Emin. “It would have been amazing to have had this chance when I was that age.”
The program, REcreative, was developed over the past year as a joint venture between the Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project and five of Britain’s most respected art galleries: the Hayward Gallery, the Royal Academy of the Arts, the South London Gallery, Tate Britain, and the Whitechapel Gallery.
“This is truly a project by young people for young people with the aim of inspiring greater involvement and interest in contemporary art,” said South London Gallery director Margot Heller. “Over the past year young people from the five partner institutions have worked hard to create a website which is genuinely ground-breaking in concept and scope. The website already exceeds the initial expectations of all involved in the Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project and we are excited to see how it will develop as young people start to use and shape it in the months ahead.”
REcreative works as an online community and arts platform, where young artists can upload and share their work; follow exhibitions from conception to realization; learn how arts professionals got to where they are today; and win opportunities to visit artists’ studios, discuss their work with leading professionals, even gain special admission into high profile art events. Every month, a new guest artist also highlights what (s)he thinks are the best new exhibitions and events in the field.
“Louis Vuitton’s support of contemporary art is long-standing. We see our role in facilitating diverse access to exciting contemporary art projects,” Vuitton chairman and CEO Yves Carcelles issued in a statement. “We are delighted with the peer-led approach the website is taking and cannot wait to see the innovative projects the young people will be creating in response to what they see and learn though exchange and collaborations made possible through REcreative and the Young Arts Project.”
Even though REcreative isn’t the first online platform to connect aspiring young artists with each other and leading professionals, it is a first for Vuitton, marking a potential development in the company where they are not only fashion-makers, but art education philanthropists and career-makers for developing and emerging artists as well, which may make them a growing authority over future tides in the contemporary art world.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Kung via Flickr