A visual artist in St. John's says the city's art procurement program is doing more than just putting money in the pockets of local artists.

Will Gill said when the city's program purchased a collection of his pieces last year, he was able to showcase his work at an international exhibition.

Gill was one of two artists from the province who exhibited pieces at the Venice Biennale in 2013.

He said the experience itself has value far beyond any monetary value of the art itself.

"In the long run I think it will pay off, and certainly we think that we were good ambassadors for the province," Gill said.

"Newfoundland's name was right across the banner out front of the gallery, and a lot of people ended up asking about it, where is Newfoundland, what sort of things happen there. A lot of people had no idea where it was, and I think if we helped a little bit in getting new people here and getting more artists to come to the province, we did a good thing, I think."

Some of Gill's visual art is on display at St. John's City Hall currently.