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How pandemic art sales have helped South Dakota artists

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 8:29 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Our homes have needed to become very versatile during the pandemic.

Having to create make-shift offices and zoom backgrounds, a lot of people quickly realized their walls needed some sprucing up.

And recent studies are reflecting this realization, showing major upticks in wall art.

After comparing March through December of 2020 to the same nine months of 2019, Etsy saw a 95% increase in people looking up wall art.

Adobe Analytics saw a 134% spike in online purchases of art goods between the pre-pandemic months of 2020 and this last fall.

“Mother’s Day was kind of the next big holiday and I was way busier than I was the year before,” said Emily Kinsella.

Kinsella is a local artist from Mitchell who has sold thousands of her pieces on Etsy. She says she has experienced increased art sales herself.

“Print sales picked up as well too. Probably twice as much as the year before. I was hoping for a good year but it was busier than I could have ever could have dreamed it would be.” she said.

The demand extends beyond online to brick and mortar, too. Rehfeld’s Art & Framing in Sioux Falls has also seen a rising interest in art.

“We definitely saw that resurgence coming back of the traditional business and an uptick in business. The art sales have been really good,” said Jerry Cook, owner of Rehfeld’s.

Both businesses found similar reasons for this spike.

“I think people are hanging out at home more and saying, ‘Hey, I want to add a beautiful piece, an original piece to my home. Clients are definitely doing renovations to their home and want to add a beautiful piece,” said Cook.

“A lot of people are giving gifts I think, sending gifts to people they couldn’t see in person. And like their home office, that was definitely a big thing and teachers decorating their zoom background with artwork too,” said Kinsella.

“Art in the house and art in your office is just such a great mental health thing, too,” said Cook.

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