Wednesday is the Last Day for ArtBucks

Art fans in Pittsfield, MA who are on the fence about laying out the cash for a paiting or sculpture by a local artist are receiving a boost through tomorrow, in the form of an innovative rebate program.

There’s been a lot of effort to raise the visibility of local artists in Pittsfield. But in hopes of kick-starting some more sales, a new program called Artsbucks is offering a one hundred dollar rebate to anyone purchasing something from one of thirty galleries and studios downtown, through the end of October. To qualify, artwork must go for at least two hundred dollars. 


Mary McGinnis, owner of a cake shop and gallery, says Artsbucks provide a crucial nudge to those unused to shelling out for original artwork.


“Because seriously, you get a hundred dollars back, that’ll make the difference between deciding if you’re going to buy or not.”


The money is coming from Berkshire Money Management, a Pittsfield-based firm which was recruited for the program by the city’s director of cultural development, Megan Whilden. Whilden says she’s unaware of another program like Artsbucks.


Alan Harris, president of Berkshire Money Management, says it’s about building an art market in the city where browsers become buyers.


“There are people out there who look to art because they like art, let’s give them that little nudge to go ahead and buy a piece and bring it home.”

So far it’s inspired more than twenty purchases, to the tune of over twelve thousand dollars in sales, and more are expected.