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Ask A Gallerist: How do I start an art collection?

How do I start an art collection?

Wanting to start an art collection means an individual has some interest in art or artistic images. There is a desire to enhance his or her space be it home or work place. Perhaps the only art affordable has been posters or prints. A bit of self education can valuable. For instance, think about what is art, what does that include? Two dimensional paintings, sculpture, figurines etc. are all part of this world. Notice what catches your eye. Is it traditional work, abstract, figurative. Visit galleries and museums, go to exhibits, talk to artists. Understand mediums, watercolor, oil, acrylic, pastel, print, etching, lithograph, etc. Develop an eye, just for the medium. Spend time at the library and pull out art books. Really enjoy them. If you can, take them home and browse through them over and over. Soon work will begin to be recognizable by artist. Book stores often have art books as special purchases. Don't overlook yard sales for books and sometimes art. There are real treasures out there, not always, but sometimes. Begin to notice what draws your eye. Is there a style you particularly like? Some folks begin to collect one type of work, perhaps only pen and ink drawings or just miniatures. Visit local galleries and talk to the gallery owner or representative. Ask about the artist you like. Ask for written information about the artist. Begin to understand why a piece is well done even if you do not like the style or the image. Take a class at a community college or one offered by a gallery or local museum, there is much to be learned and to be enjoyed. Old posters and prints from an earlier period can also enhance space,

for example old movie posters, circus posters etc. These pieces can be incorporated with your decorating style.

The biggest fear of new buyers is that they are getting taken. Why is this the price? Good art and even great art is not necessarily expensive though it certainly can be. Also “expensive” relates directly to ones personal budget. With a developed educated eye, a buyer can spot a good piece at a yard sale, flea market, consignment store or second hand shop. Learn about local and regional artists. Go to college level openings where student's work is on exhibit along with better known artists. There is fine work available by the talented but starving artist and at an accessible price. By all means don't overlook art galleries. Galleries traditionally represent artists whose work has received critical acclaim through the jury process in exhibits. Often artists in galleries have been working at their craft for many years. They have developed style, and skill level far beyond the newer artist. There are always exceptions

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life".
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