Winnipeg art dealer and gallery owner Ryan Mayberry has stepped into the online-auction side of the business as a partner in Consignor Canadian Fine Art.
The new company, which will officially open its doors Aug. 1, will be located in Toronto across the street from the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Mayberry will continue to operate his Mayberry Fine Art locations in Winnipeg and Toronto along with a partner gallery on the West Coast. The new company is a separate, full-time auction venture which will focus on high-end Canadian art.
"This an entirely new venture and it is really in response to how the industry is moving," Mayberry said, adding Mayberry Fine Art tested the market last January with an online auction.
"A lot more clients are shopping online and like the convenience of it, and at the same time, we're getting a lot of private sellers who want to sell items that way," he said.
Consignor Canadian Fine Art is a partnership between Rob Cowley (former vice-president and chief auctioneer with Joyner Waddington's Canadian Fine Art), Lydia Abbott (former Canadian fine art specialist with Joyner Waddington's) and Mayberry, the founder of Consignor.ca.
"They're buying it online but the art work is being handled by us. Everything has come into our location, it's been inspected by us, authenticated by us, we provide full condition reports and the packing, shipping and delivery of it is completely managed by us," Mayberry said.
"They get the same service that they would if they walked into a gallery or auction house and bought something in person."
The new company has been started just a few months after Sotheby's Canada announced it was ending regular live auctions in the country.
-- with files from Canadian Press