From one financial crisis to another: The Galeries Beauchamp sells art as a sure thing

Founded in the midst of an economic crisis, the Beauchamp Art Galleries continue to strive to sell works of art as safe investments, even in difficult economic contexts.

“We started this in the middle of the employment crisis [en 1993]“, then we had the internet bubble, the crash of 2008 and finally COVID,” says gallery owner Vincent Beauchamp. “People love art. Yes, they are open to it and our mission is to do everything we can [pour le rendre accessible]be it with monthly payments or acquisition budgets,” he adds.

Since the opening of the first gallery in Quebec in 1993, Vincent Beauchamp has been involved in the company’s affairs. “But it’s no secret: it wasn’t my dream, it was my father’s project,” he explains.

He studied at the Quebec bar and helped from time to time.

However, he continued to pursue art throughout his life. “This sensitivity has always existed. My parents bought works, fell in love and met artists,” he says.

One thing led to another and he replaced his father in an organic and “somewhat blurry” transition, as he put it. In addition to Quebec, the Beauchamp Art Galleries now also has branches in Montreal, Baie-Saint-Paul and Toronto.

The now 80-year-old patriarch visits the gallery several times and paints in his studio.

A more inviting gallery

For his part, Vincent Beauchamp is at the forefront of the tension between Quebec society’s interest in art and the budgetary constraints undermined by economic crises.

“But those who had money have even more money today!” he states. “It is less difficult to sell a $30,000 work to someone who has money than to sell a $3,000 work to someone who is on a tight budget.”

According to him, the return on work in Canada has historically fluctuated between 5% and 10% per year.

Vincent Beauchamp is a gallerist at the Beauchamp Art Galleries and has been trying to democratize the act of buying art for 30 years.

Vincent Beauchamp hopes walking into an art gallery won’t be as intimidating as it once was. Photo Didier Debusschere

Mr Beauchamp also believes the art world is still “very intimidating” for the average person.

“Unless you grew up with parents who were artists or had a boyfriend or girlfriend in the artistic world, it remains an intimidating gesture, and many galleries will be happy to show that this barrier exists,” he laments.

However, a lot is done at Galeries Beauchamp to welcome newcomers and make the experience enjoyable.

“That is exactly our mission for 30 years! Dogs are welcome and if you come with a stroller and two children, I just ask you not to touch the paintings and sculptures,” explains Vincent Beauchamp.

The gallery owner wants to introduce potential buyers to an art market that is “more diverse and open” than it was 30 years ago.

“I want to sell and present works that I would like to live with for a long time,” he summarizes. “I’m at the gallery 70 or 80 hours a week, so I love the works I have!”

Much:

What is Entrepreneurship? Don’t think about it, just do it!

Who inspires you? People who work in the shadows.

If you could change anything in the world, what would it be…? May everyone have a roof over their heads and three meals a day.

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