Candice Houtekier is working to set a precedent in the Canadian art market, and it’s all digital.
Houtekier is the founder of artistic collision. With her team, she helps organizations and artists organize artistic events in the virtual world by setting up exhibitions.
The agency has worked with several museums, art galleries and independent artists. But it was a process to get there.
“Unfortunately, the Canadian art market is very conservative,” Houtekier said. MobileSyrup.
Houtekier has a background in art history and video game studies. After working as a gallery assistant in commercial art galleries for a few years, she wanted to use digital tools to improve the presence of art online and make it reach more audiences. She decided to make it happen on her own in 2019.
There are two different ways to install exhibits virtually, says Houtekier. The first is to download a virtual reality application that allows you to animate exhibitions. The second option is to use web applications powered by the Ethereum blockchain.
Houtekier incorporated Art Collision about seven months before the pandemic began, and she found that the pandemic left “a big void.”
“The art world is a world of events where people are used to having opening receptions, visiting galleries and meeting the artists,” she said. “With the COVID pandemic, everything stopped.”
Allowing people to meet virtually allowed them to step away from a grim reality and into a world that was familiar to them.
Focus on inclusiveness
She not only paves the way for virtual reality art, but also represents women. Houtekier said there aren’t many women in the virtual art world, an extension of what she’s seen in the traditional art market. Men are the decision-making pool for museums, arts organizations, and even nonprofits.
Houtekier wanted to incorporate the theme of inclusivity early on, but she struggled until other women represented opportunities to grow her business.
At the time, Houtekier was working alone, taking on side contracts, and looking for networking opportunities. She attended a conference organized by TechTO and had the opportunity to participate in an incubator focused on women in business.
She says that’s when she discovered the power of these programs because they really helped her grow her business.
Houtekier has since received support and grants from various sources, including the Canadian government, to grow his business. She thinks the government is trying to help female entrepreneurs working at the intersection of art and technology.
More recently, she opened her own gallery called Floating point gallery. The gallery displays various works of art, including wearables; digital fashion avatars wear. It represents part of what Houtekier wanted, to push the limits of art and break with the traditional and closed mindset.
“I think a lot of people won’t be left behind because they refuse to believe that these digital worlds will have a major impact on the Canadian art scene.
Image sources: @vr_me_candice by meta