Magazine article Black Enterprise

Fine Art Goes High Tech

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Fine Art Goes High Tech

Article excerpt

New Website promotes black artists online

Jamaican-born Gary Fray's goal is simple: to foster an appreciation of Afrocentric art while creating a successful business for himself. To that end he launched Artgroupie.com (www.artgroupie.com) in June 2000, a site devoted to bringing artists and art lovers together both online and off.

The objective, says Fray, is to take Afrocentric fine art and art objects, which have been cloistered in museums and art galleries--or have not had the exposure they deserve--and insert them into our everyday lives.

The idea for the site came from Art Groupie Presents, Fray's home-based business, which sponsors roving art shows, multimedia concerts, special events, and small-business launchings. Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, Artgroupie.com features beautiful and intricate sculptures, paintings, African masks, and various artworks representative of the black diaspora. The pieces range in price from $50 to $3,000. Recent pieces include paintings styled after Khemetic culture and clay figures reminiscent of early Jamaican lifestyles.

And the site is evolving into more than just an e-commerce outlet. "I make connections [other similar] sites don't make," says Fray. "They are simply purveyors of merchandise. I'm not just selling art. I envision myself as a cultural impresario."

Artgroupie.com is expanding its repertoire to include functional art objects like home furnishings, and plans to segue into fashion accessories by next spring. …

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