Art Buffet is an official social enterprise founded by Parag Shah and operated by Tony Wells, CEO. We are in the Olympic zone of Stratford in London. Art Buffet is registered and regulated as a Community Interest Company (CIC). That’s how you can know and check we stay true to our social aims.
1. Empower artists and blankwallers who face exclusion in the commercial art world by leveling the playing field.
2. Let people honour, acknowledge and develop their own true taste, who they are and where they come from instead of following art world fads and fashions.
3. Enable self taught visual literacy for better understanding of one’s own tastes, self awareness and social meanings in artistic imagery.
4. A powerful platform for exposing known and startup artists who try to communicate through intuition and emotional intelligence using creative artwork.
5. Create regular income, bigger percentages and royalties for artists. They contribute positively to society on our emotional levels with creative intuition!
6. Build transparent art pricing and enable artworks to generate regular incomes in addition to profits from price rises - for artists and art owners.
Our History - In 2005, Parag Shah founded Art-Switch to achieve this social mission, knowing it would require years of patience. After the financial meltdown of 2008, investor sentiment changed and the social aims became a lower priority for investors as they sought control to influence the direction of that enterprise. Parag wasn’t prepared to compromise those social aims. As a result, he and the investors parted company and Art-Switch closed. Since then, and as passionate as ever, he has learned lessons and been working on a better organisation structure to achieve and protect those social aims. It’s a true story of passion and emotional intelligence in practice and our blog archive documents his journey. The result of that is Art Buffet CIC.
Parag Shah, Chairman - Parag is an ’artistic type’. He plays bass and piano, has written songs and is in a band. He trained and practiced as a doctor of medicine before a stint getting serious about his music which led him into video and media production and presenting for broadcast TV, internet and 3G telecoms. As such his career experience spans three sectors and is spiced up by his MBA. His vastly different roles in these sectors as an entrepreneur, physician and professional artist give him an unusual breadth and depth of experience with insights, which seeded his thinking behind the Art Buffet idea. As an entrepreneur, he has previous successful start up experience with a health information new media venture. As a physician, he experienced casualty work to corporate responsibility for thousands of employees’ health. Private health groups sought his business consultancy in entrepreneurship for their nationwide ventures and more recently he has been invited to teach entrepreneurship in several top universities. Most importantly, he fully appreciates the contribution made by the arts to the welfare of society and now dedicates himself to passionately catalyzing that process as described in our Social Mission, above.
Tony Wells, CEO - Tony brings to Art Buffet a wealth of experience from the business world, which he gained from a commercial background in sales, marketing and start-ups as well as high pressure, target oriented, wealth creation roles in recruitment and financial services. It was becoming a father, and the need for stability, which took him into regulated financial services. Following the turmoil of the financial meltdown, he realised that the pursuit of wealth for wealth’s sake was not for him. Led by his intuition and emotional intelligence, and against mere logic, he walked away from lucrative offers to seek opportunities to apply his skills to “build things that matter, work with real issues and help people” as he puts it. A chance to work with university graduates on a government project opened his eyes to a range of problems facing people in society today. He ran a small Not-for-Profit Art company before deciding that the Art Buffet model was where he really wanted to be. Tony is a poet too and with his rare blend of commercial acumen coupled with his artistic streak, passion, drive and commitment he breathes an air of tangible excitement into the newly formed Art Buffet CIC. He is a doer and having joined in 2011 he has now become C.E.O and has full control of day to day running of the company.