Ankita Mukherjee profiles a unique platform that seeks to empower women artists from around the world
“Art is still considered a male-dominated industry,” says Chhavi Singh, founder of DailyDesignist (DD), an online, global art platform that promotes women artists and showcases their paintings on its online art gallery. “Few women artists have their works showcased in art galleries and museums across the globe. Name any great artist and you will get male names.”
The disparity between the two genders can be seen in the art world everywhere. In a recent report, Artsy, an online art market, says works by female artists comprise a small share of major permanent collections in the U.S. and Europe, while at auction, women’s artworks sell for a significant discount compared to those of male artists. Only two works by women have ever broken into the top 100 auction sales for paintings, despite women being the subject of approximately half of the top 25.
“Even if there are women artists they do not get that privilege to showcase their artwork,” says Singh. “To empower them, I have created this start-up for the women out there whose art pieces are lost under the thick dust in their garage or store room or in their cupboard. I call myself a Mompreneur.”
Singh was pursuing MBA when she decided to found DD for the women artists of the world. “I founded this platform in April 2019. Till date, 200+ artists across the world have registered on the platform to display their artworks,” she says.
Last December, DD organised a physical exhibition ‘All About Arts’ at the Taj Krishna in Hyderabad.. City-based artists T Sujatha, Vineeta Sharma, Madhurima Devi Dasi, and others had collaborated and showcased their creations.
“We do everything through the app — one for the artist and the other for the art lovers/buyers. Using our app and uploading their artwork is free, that’s because artists don’t know how to bring their art out in the world or connect with an audience. We do that part of the job,” says Singh.
There are several online platforms for showcasing artworks like Saatchi Art, Artsy and Society6, but DD is unique in that it offers online classes in art appreciation and technique to encourage women to learn to paint and maybe even pursue a career in art.
Aware is a non-profit organisation which archives women artists online. Its founders also believe women artists are under-represented, if not completely absent, in art books, exhibitions and museum collections. Its goal is the creation, indexation and distribution of information on women artists of the 20th century.
Woman Made Gallery (WMG) is non-profit organization founded in 1992 to promote and support the work of female artists by providing exhibition opportunities, professional development and public programmes. More than 8,250 women artists have exhibited their work in 425 exhibitions through WMG.
As Singh explains, “One can find online art galleries promoting women but we provide art classes too by experienced artists and skilled teachers. We do both the things. We have a fee structure set for our teachers too. Now mostly we are teaching in the US but we are trying to reach out to India and other countries soon.”
In the context of COVID-19, online initiatives like DD assume great importance, not only in helping artists exhibit but helping people deal with the uncertainty. “To stay sane in this situation, people need online art classes to get engaged, motivated and remain focused,” she says. “We have started providing classes to the kids, and we are concentrating on developing their life skills like patience, accuracy, fine motor skills, time management and above all creativity. For adults, we are focusing on art therapy classes to relieve their stress and calm themselves in these uncertain times.”