South Philadelphia gallery supports small businesses, artists through new program

Paradigm Gallery and Studio
Photo credit Shara Dae Howard/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  One South Philadelphia art gallery changed its business model to adapt to survive during the pandemic while bringing it’s community together virtually. 

Paradigm Gallery and Studio co-founder Jason Chen says after celebrating its 10 year anniversary, he and his partner Sara McCorriston are going back to the drawing board and finding innovative ways of selling art and supporting their community during the pandemic through a new program called Insider Picks. 

“We invited a handful of business owners in our community to curate collections of artwork in our inventory to showcase digitally,” Chen said. 

The exhibit shows the connections between small businesses, art and the economy, Chen says, proving the integral role that the art plays in every community even as Mayor Jim Kenney cuts $4 million in cultural spending.

“We artists and cultural places are often seen as non-essential. But arts and culture is the strongest pillar in our economy because it represents our hopes and dreams,” he said. 

Chen says no community, especially Philadelphia, can afford to lose any of what the arts brings to the city.