Business Concepts: Is traveling arts a good thing?

Paintings in vans? You must have heard of “Rodi Gallery”, if not, look outside – it might be in your neighborhood especially if you’re in the New York area.

Rodi Gallery is actually a mobile arts gallery managed by Elise Graham, and plying paintings in a 12-foot, white van.

Hmm… one obvious advantage with this concept would be getting right to your target customers before they could even think of arts. However, the disadvantage here, more than the security of your merchandise would be “prestige” – meaning, people would just think of your brand as “so, so” kind of paintings..

That if ever you would be carrying works of named artists, potential customers would think that it’s just some clone or replication. This would put you in the lower end of the bargain – as in your paintings are expected to, actually, be bargains.

Not to mention the lesser chance for “repeat business.”

Then again, could an actual (or fixed) gallery backing help? Short-term, yes. But long-term? Well. Imagine say Dunkin’ Donuts, an established brand, go out of its stores and do some sort of “walk-around” selling. Guess it would boost its sales, but don’t you think it would affect its brand in the long run? After all, it’s not known as a taco truck or some hotdog van.

Otherwise, Dunkin’ should just close many of its shops and use strategic ones as storage sites more than dine-in stores. Repackage its brand, in short. Could that idea be replicated in the arts?

The arts and food are different industries. For it to be transferable, perceived image should coincide.

In the end, if arts is to go mobile, it should not be done everyday but just once or twice a month on popular request – let your online presence and calling cards do the talking; when executed well, a windfall of cash would not be far behind.

What’s your take?