Recent ACU graduate creates online art gallery, helps students promote work

Local artists find a market for their work on-line

ABILENE, Texas - While artists in the Big Country say people in Abilene appreciate the arts, young artists are having a hard time making a living off their artwork.

But one recent ACU graduate is trying to change that.

Julie Brannan, 23, works in technical support, but her real passion is art.

She's found it hard to make money off her talent.

"There's not a lot of buyers in Abilene and you really have to go out and find your crowd," Brannan said.

Darla Harmon of the Center for Contemporary Art agreed.

"[Young artists] struggle because, first of all, they're idealistic and second of all, they can't sell their work because there are no buyers," Harmon said.

This is where Thomas Griffin comes in. He founded the Emineo Art Gallery, an opportunity for student artists to promote their work and be recognized digitally.

According to Griffin, consumers are becoming more comfortable shopping online, especially for art pieces.

Having artwork online creates more space for more artists.

"There are galleries here in Abilene, but they're very limited by space," Griffin said. "So this is an opportunity for them to become connected to interested buyers across the nation and eventually, across the globe."

While Griffin isn't an artist, he said helping artists is his passion.

"I can't make art ... at all. I'm terrible," he said. "But I know that artists really can so where I'm good at is the business aspect and I love to put those two together and really find a way to kind of make the world better."

"And that allows us to do what we do best, and that's create art," said Brannan.

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