The art industry has a reputation for being opaque, a bubble where the real world rarely has a voice. It is an expensive industry to be a part of, as a professional and as an artist, and this can make it feel inaccessible to people who are not extremely wealthy.

So, when the Tate Group followed the National Gallery’s example, refusing to take further donations from the Sackler Family, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York became the first museum in US to join the boycott I felt great sense of pride in my industry.

In turbulent times, the cultural industries should be providing ethical answers to difficult questions. The Tate Modern is the most visited visitor attraction in the UK. It is not only a cultural hub for British citizens, but it also represents us internationally, as a leading artistic institution. That is why taking a stand is so important.

A new federal lawsuit filed in the US alleges that eight Sackler family members were personally involved in the deceptive marketing practices of the family-owned pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, and its blockbuster painkiller drug. The Sackler name can be found in many of the finest museums and cultural institutions in the world, but I remember watching a heart-breaking documentary last year about the victims of OxyContin over-prescription and hoped then that the art industry would send out a clear message that we do not have to accept funding from potentially immoral sources.

The Sackler Trust has donated more than £60m to UK institutions since 2010 so the loss of income will be felt keenly, but refusing this funding is a step towards greater change. You should not be able to buy social status through art if your business dealings have been morally reprehensible in a different sector.

Securing funding has been a persistent challenge for the art industry in recent years. This is partly because it boasts plenty of artistic nous, but precious few authoritative experts in business and finance, which makes us too reliant on major benefactors.

How do we solve this problem? Fresh thinking is needed to create new financial opportunities that negate the need for morally compromised donors. In the social media age, we consume more visual content than any previous generation in history, so we can be more creative in how we generate funding and finance. Art has been too slow to adapt to the benefits of an interconnected modern world.

We need to understand that the world has grown beyond the traditional gallery model. Artists are creating entirely new art forms, thanks to new technologies such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and 3D Printing, and they will make us think about art in a new way. Artists will no longer be defined by the confines of a gallery or museum space.

I founded MTArt Agency to help artists capitalise on the many opportunities to make themselves profitable: through private and public funds; partnerships with brands, government bodies, hotels, airports and digital companies; and forming relationships with a wider pool of private individuals.

For example, Adelaide Damoah, a performance artist who uses her body as a tool to paint, is featured in a new advertising campaign by the fashion house Chloe; Saype, a land artist, is launching a 33,000 square-foot artwork in the Champ de Mars with the Mayor of Paris in June. There are so many alternative revenue streams and we have barely begun to scratch the surface.

The general public has a role to play here. I recently published research showing that four in five Londoners would be happy to contribute at least £2 towards public art in their local area. Wouldn’t it be powerful if we could alter the landscape so that people from across society support our institutions and artists, rather than the industry feeling pressurised into accepting funding, however dubious the source?

There is a greater role for art in the public space and we need to re-think the purpose of art. The Mayor of London Fund and the Euston Town Business Regeneration District commissioned artist Jasmine Pradissitto for a sculpture which uses a geopolymer to absorb harmful pollution, such as nitrogen dioxide, from the air. The sculpture is a contemporary take on the classical Greek and Roman sculptures made from marble and stone, but one that will make a positive environmental impact.

Traditionally, the art industry has been dominated by powerful, often wealthy, individuals. Taking a more collaborative approach to commissioning art and finding out what sort of art people want to see in their neighbourhoods would encourage more people to engage in our industry, and emphasise the power of art, for everybody.

Marine Tanguy is the CEO of MTArt Agency, the world’s first talent agency for upcoming visual artists