“The in-person experience is something people will desperately want again,” said Ann Marshall, co-owner of the Pennsylvania-based print publisher Durham Press and vice president of IFPDA’s board. Prior to the lockdown, she and the press’s other owner, Jean-Paul Russell, would bring groups of collectors to Durham Press’s facility, located an hour and a half west of New York City, for demonstrations.
“As soon as you got someone here and they were watching something being made, they were like, ‘Oh my god,’” she said. “When they see all the tools and equipment and they watch these artists make work, they get pretty jazzed up.” Such initiatives—as well as a steady pace of art fair participation—led Durham Press to have its best year ever in 2019, Marshall added. That success has proved to be a crucial financial cushion as the publisher, like most art businesses, faces the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic.