Addis Fine Arts, one of the pioneering galleries found in Addis Ababa has closed its doors and moved its exhibits online because of the Novel Coronavirus.
The gallery that was located on Woldfiker Building on Cameron Street (around Bole Medhane Alem) was forced to close its doors temporarily as it could not do physical exhibitions and fairs at the moment.
However, instead of remaining closed the gallery has adapted to the current situation and moved its operation online taking part in various digital fairs as well as launching a series of online exhibitions on its website.
“Our online presence has been important from the beginning and we invested in it throughout the years, so we were able to adapt to the art world and move to the digital platform very effectively” said Raquel De La Cruz, Gallery Manager of Addis Fine Arts.
Since the closure of the physical spaces, the gallery has produced purely-online programs with the aim of attracting new buyers as well as continuing to engage its core customers.
“We have not closed and we have not let go of any core staff due to the situation” said Rakeb Sile cofounder of Addis Fine Arts told Addis Insight via email.
“We continue to do business not as normal, but adapting to the situation” she added.
Worldwide art galleries are particularly hit by the pandemic as they attract mass gatherings of people. Lately, as a solution to the pandemic, there has been a big move to the digital world with galleries and art fairs developing enhanced ways of viewing art online.
Founded in 2016 by Rakeb Sile and Mesai Haileleul, Addis Fine Art is a gallery based in Addis Ababa and London. The galleries showcase contemporary African Art, with particular focus on art from Ethiopia and its Diaspora in addition to talks and events, showing a diverse set of modern and contemporary artists.
Dubbed one of the “Most Important Young Galleries in the World” in 2019 by Artsy, an online platform for fine art, Addis Fine Arts is the go-to place for Ethiopian Art.The gallery held exhibitions every two months attracting 1000 to 1500 walk in visitors each also participating in five to eight international art fairs per year.
In addition, the Addis Ababa gallery is moving to a new spot on the ground floor of Noah Centrum Apartment Building, Atlas Bole at the end of this month, and will be open by appointment from July 2020. The gallery is also considering an option of including a non-commercial space to further support artists through curatorial training and space to experiment.