Artopoly is a one-of-a-kind custom version of the classic boardgame created in 2005 by Brendan Jamison.
In 2005, Jamison developed a series of works focusing on the game-play involved in navigating the art scene, both locally and globally. The five works from this project encourage the audience to engage directly with the exhibits and employ their own strategies to advance in the fantasy art world!
Presented as a solo exhibition at the Old Museum Arts Centre (Belfast) 'ARTOPOLY', the central work in the exhibition, exchanges the London street names of Monopoly with Belfast art galleries and studio groups and places them within a hierarchy.
This large-scale piece encourages audience participation, navigating bronze art instruments around the board, purchasing paintings and sculptures to inhabit the galleries, receiving a £200 award from the Arts Council every time 'GO' is passed, and avoiding drawing a chance card that could send the player directly to the Art College (the equivalent of jail!). Like an artist, the participant must adopt a plan to achieve success, while simultaneously embracing both the elements of control and chance.
The Artopoly board is arranged something like a Monopoly board. Players begin with colored pieces of paper instead of money. They choose a marker made from fun foam or card stock then take turns rolling the dice and moving around the game board. Game squares contain the names of famous artworks and their creators, museums, or a painter’s palette. When a player lands on a square with a work of art or a museum, he/she can purchase it then charge admission to others who land on the square. If a player lands on a painter’s palette, he/she takes a “Possibility Card” and follows the directions on the card.
The object of Artopoly is to either purchase the most works of art or accrue the most colors at the end of the game. If desired, set a time limit for the game to allow others to play.