How the Art Industry has been Impacted by COVID-19 On A Local, National and Global Scale
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  • Post published:19/03/2022
  • Post last modified:19/03/2022

2020 had an impact on the world – both on a local scale in American cities all the way up to a global scale. It disrupted many ways of life from public health, communities, schools, and businesses. Minneapolis-based Gallery owner Susan Hensel felt as if she was caught in the middle of it all.

Art by Susan Hensel

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, June 11, 2021 – Artist Susan Hensel was one of many artists as well as business owners who were impacted by changes in 2020. These changes impacted Americans from a local scale, and they felt the tremor from the international and global scale with COVID-19. The pandemic disrupted many industries in 2020, most of which are still recovering.

“Last year was full of turbulence. There were a lot of changes that I felt, both as an artist and an American. I continued to push forward even with the weight of the world around me. This year has been full of abundance – artwork sales have increased, and Susan Hensel Gallery is showcasing many exhibitions.” – Susan Hensel

COVID-19’s Impact On The Art World

As a result of the pandemic, the arts and culture sector took a hit. Many businesses were closed down – from galleries, creative spaces, music venues, festival spaces, and theaters. According to Americans for the Arts, an estimated $15.5 billion was lost to local businesses. However, there was a silver lining – many artists and creators moved to online spaces. This led to an increase in online art exhibitions, digital art galleries, online art fairs which converted to online art sales. New art buyers accounted for 26% of online sales for the first half of 2020. (Art Basel).

How Artists and Cultural Industries Are Recovering From The Pandemic

There is a focus on the revitalization and recuperation of industries after the impact of COVID-19. The focus is on healing and is both on a global scale all the way down to a local scale. Art communities are coming together to revitalize their local culture. Since there is a reduced demand for large, cultural events as a result of social distancing, this has produced new opportunities. Communities are developing strategies to organize local creatives together and create online portals and platforms for events, exhibitions and art shows.

For freelancers, businesses and artists, there has been economic relief. Earlier this year, the President signed a coronavirus relief package and spending bill that allowed the SBA to award $15 billion in grants to live artists and entertainment venues in economic distress. (

Art by Susan Hensel

The Future of The Art Industry

Artists changed the way that they create, interact and do business and there is no turning back. Technological advancements will lead to more digital channels and tools for art. The art industry will continue to host virtual galleries and online exhibitions. Art will become more of a financial product than a collector’s piece. Fine art has become an asset class, along with gold, stocks, and real estate. There has been more of a demand than ever for blue chip artists.

About Susan Hensel
Susan Hensel is a multidisciplinary artist, with a 50+ year career, who combines a mixed media practice with embroidery across digital and manual platforms. Susan Hensel’s artwork is known and collected nationwide, represented in collecting libraries and museums such as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and The Getty Research Institute. There are major holdings at Minnesota Center for Book Arts, University of Washington, Baylor University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Archives pertaining to her artist’s books are available for study at the University of Washington Libraries in Seattle. In recent years Hensel has been awarded multiple grants and residencies through the Jerome Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Ragdale Foundation.


Photo Credits

Photos are by Susan Hensel – All Rights Reserved

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