AllArtWorks: Helping Artists Sell

When it comes to being an artist, creating art is only the first step. A finished work leaves behind questions, like where it can be shared, and how it can be sold. That’s where AllArtWorks comes in. 

AllArtWorks is a Grand Rapids-based organization that curates hundreds of original art pieces to be shown and sold across the country. Grand Haven-native Tyler Loftis founded the initiative with hopes to share the fine art experience with both artists and patrons beyond major cities.

“Instead of just connecting with LA, or New York, or any other traditional art making place, I really have a passion to get out there and connect Americans to art in general,” Loftis said.

“You don’t need any sort of prerequisites to love and appreciate art. You just need your heart.”

The idea for AllArtWorks was sparked by Loftis’ ArtPrize project, where he exhibited local paintings alongside famous masterpieces. From this, many Michigan artists sold their paintings, and they leaned on Loftis for more opportunities. 

“It sort of occurred to me that if we took this idea online, and then further developed into having a physical space year-round there in Grand Rapids, we would be able to help facilitate things further and deeper,” Loftis said.

Artists can submit their art to AllArtWorks online, for free. If selected, AllArtWorks lists the pieces for sale on their website. They also insure, store, frame, ship, professionally photograph, and provide in-person showings for the work. 

AllArtWorks also evaluates a piece’s financial worth, which can be a major deterrent artists face when beginning to sell their art.

“Try to answer, even with your closest family and friends, what’s this picture worth? Is it any good? It’s just a very, very uncomfortable question,” Loftis said.

“We take that question off the table. When you give us a piece of work, it’s validated by the quality and the price. Even if an artist sells just one piece on our site, there’s a record of what their pricing and quality is, like somebody’s in their court helping them out and backing them up.”

Putting a price tag on an artist’s work is only one part of the exchange, however. AllArtWorks greatly focuses on the buyer’s experience too, and they want to make fine art accessible for everyone.

“We almost think of ourselves like an adoption agency, you know, getting these paintings out to the right home,” Loftis said.

One way AllArtWorks does this is through their showroom, where their 1,000 curated pieces of art are physically stored. People are welcome to drop by their ArtTender event during visiting hours for a free cup of coffee, or to attend their art openings that feature rotating exhibitions.

“We want to create a new environment that is safe and comfortable, where instead of people being intimidated or feeling like they don’t know what’s going on or don’t belong here, we could take down some of those barriers,” Loftis said.

“It’s not about buying, it’s about experiencing.”

Patrons can also filter through the organization’s art on an iPad and select specific pieces to view in-person while on-site.

“We’re not there trying to tell people what to like. That’s like trying to tell people what music to like,” Loftis said.

“Our goal is to get a piece of art in every household, whether it’s one we sell or not, just to create that joy and have that art in our lives. We feel like it’s a super important part of being human.”

While art prints and replications are readily available at any home decor store, AllArtWorks specializes in providing patrons with one-of-a-kind pieces. 

“When somebody buys a piece off our site, what’s exciting is there’s nobody on the planet that has that same piece. If you look around your house, almost anybody else can buy about anything else you have, but they cannot buy this,” Loftis said. “You’ve entered the fine art experience. You have something that is special, that was handmade by a very, very high end crafts person. And that’s a really magical, cool experience.”

As a fine artist himself, Loftis understands how personal buying and selling art can be. His experience in the industry is part of what sparked the idea for AllArtWorks.

“I found that a really effective and kind of exciting way to connect people with art was through my own success and some of the bridges that I have crossed, and with the sort of things I figured out, I’m now able to sort of help others with. That was sort of a seed of AllArtWorks,” said Loftis.

Though Loftis is now based in New York, his Michigan roots are what continue to inspire AllArtWorks’ expansion across America.

“I think as this sort of evolves and grows, people are going to realize that [Michigan], and a lot of interesting areas across the United States, have a lot of incredible art. I mean, people are going to be really excited to learn how incredible it really is.”

In fact, for Loftis, it’s the human experience surrounding fine arts that makes the transaction come together.

“The painting itself doesn’t care if it’s bought or sold,” Loftis said. “It just wants to be experienced and seen.” 

AllArtWorks Viewing Studio

333 Cesar E. Chavez Ave SW, Grand Rapids