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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why it’s never too soon to start your art collection

Encaustic photographs by Michelle Smith-Lewis of lil Photo Boxes
Michelle will be in our "Ladies First" Exhibit starting Feb 12th.

I hear over and over again from people I’ve talked to that they would love to collect art work but they don’t have the money. My short answer is art does not have to be expensive. However, I wanted to spend more time addressing this subject, as it is a critical one for an art gallery such as Bherd Studios (and as a wife of an artist such as myself).

Some reasons I have heard why people are hesitant to start their collection:

1) I don’t own my own house/condo.

Well, unless you’re residing in your parents home or a multi-roommate house that is too rowdy to secure artwork, this is not a good excuse. If you’re renting an apartment or house, you have walls that would look 10x better with original artwork on them, than a framed poster, or generic wall decoration that you’ve purchased at a home décor store. Why would you want to have your residence graced with a generic piece/poster that anyone else in your neighborhood or across America could also have? What better way to show your good taste and unique flavor, than to buy artwork that speaks to you and has a story for your guests?

2) But I don’t have the money to invest in artwork right now.

Yes you do - start small! If you have $40 to buy that generic wall hanging, you certainly have enough to buy an original piece of artwork like this:

Artwork by Ninjagrl - she will also be featured in our Feb 12 "Ladies First" exhibition.

That is just one example of a Seattle artist who creates small works for affordable prices. We have shown many more pieces of artwork that fall within the $40 - $100 range at our gallery. In fact, we have talked to more than a couple art collectors who focus mainly on small pieces from local artists. What a great concept! One collector in particular says he loves finding that “one small piece” to add to his wall of Seattle Artists. When guests come over to his house, he has a wonderful story to tell as he’s met most of the artists at their openings.

Here’s an example of a small piece collection in the home of Ninjagrl & Beau (formerly of Halogen Gallery):

I spot a couple of Soopajdelux, a Rob Roy Chalmers, a Chris Sheridan, a Kelly Vivanco, a 2H, an Ego, a Starheadboy, a Brad Strain, a Joe Vollan...

3) I don’t know anything about art.

You don’t have to let lack of knowledge stop you from buying art or learning about it. There are many art venues in Seattle who are friendly, informative and affordable. You don’t have to start your collection off at a Christie’s auction to be a collector! A good place to begin your collecting efforts, is to find out what you like. Take time to go to an artwalk or art opening and see what strikes your fancy. Start finding out what genre of art that best fits your personality and home. You can’t buy “the wrong piece” if you like it. Besides you get to feel good that you purchased an original piece of artwork from a local artist. You are not only supporting the artist, you’re also supporting your own arts community.

I hope that if you've been hesitant to start collecting, that this has helped give you some ideas. If you want to start with larger pieces, there are many artists and some galleries out there that allow you to do a layaway plan (including Bherd Gallery). So never fear, if you have an excuse - I can probably get you over that hurdle.


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