COLLECT Art Purchase Scheme Tue 29 May 2012 Lara Giddings PremierMinister for the Arts Download hi-res version The Premier and Minister for the Arts, Lara Giddings, today highlighted the successful COLLECT Art Purchase Scheme, which has seen hundreds of Australians take up interest-free loans to buy Tasmanian art. Ms Giddings said COLLECT was implemented by the State Government in November 2008 to stimulate the economy, assist in the career development of Tasmanian artists, export Tasmanian art and encourage a new generation of collectors. "Now in its fourth year, COLLECT has made a remarkable contribution to the growth and development of our visual arts industry", Ms Giddings said. "COLLECT is the only scheme of its kind within Australia and I'm delighted to announce that as at 31 March 2012, over $2.5 million worth of loans have been granted to purchase 1,000 artworks, produced by 267 Tasmanian artists. "The number of approved loans to purchase artwork had doubled in the past two years. "Around 27% of the COLLECT loans have been to interstate buyers, which means the scheme also helps our artists to gain national recognition and increase their markets for the future." Ms Giddings said that 15 galleries around the Sate participated in the COLLECT scheme, with artworks including furniture, paintings, prints, ceramics, jewellery, photographs, glass and sculpture. "Feedback from gallery owners has been very positive, because it has made buying art affordable and has brought new and younger clients into the process of buying art and building a personal collection. "Professional artists who have participated in the scheme are also very supportive, describing COLLECT as opening up a whole new market in difficult economic times". Ms Giddings said that another measure of the success of COLLECT was that no bad debts had been incurred.