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How to Buy Art (Posted On: Monday, August 11, 2014)

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Summertime brings lots of art shows to your neighbourhood! Collingwood and area has become home to a great many artists and artisans. This has made for a thriving art community that in turn attracts artists from other locations to come and participate in local art shows.

For the general public art shows are entertainment. For the artist it is a chance to exhibit his/her work. For the art collector it is a unique opportunity to find the next big artist and invest in a piece of art that may go up in value. But for most people it is the opportunity to find that special jewel for their home that will bring enjoyment for years to come.

Perhaps you might find it unusual to have art referred to as a jewel for your home. Artist Erika Dick thinks it is a very apt comparison. You pride yourself on your home. You spend money on updating the kitchen, painting, furniture, and more. But your walls display who you are through your art. This is a personal statement that reflects your taste, as nothing else in your house will do.

When is the last time that you looked at what is on your walls - in each room? Are they prints, photographs, original paintings, posters or mirrors? Do they reflect your current taste or did you hang them to fill up a space on the wall? Did you buy them years ago when you had no money and have just never replaced them with what you now love?

Was it a wedding present that you have outgrown long ago? Was it something you picked up in your travels?

Take a walk around your home and do an inventory. If you have no strong emotions towards what is on your walls you might wish to consider something new to replace it.

So now you are ready to go to the art shows. You think you might like to buy some art. What do you need to consider?

Art is subjective-no two people have the same reaction to any piece of art. The greatest master artists were often poor and unrecognized until they were gone for a long time. So first of all don’t worry about finding the next great artist.

Instead walk around once to see which art in particular seems to call or speak to you. Then go back to those paintings or pieces of art where your emotions were touched to some degree. Take the time to look at several paintings from the same artist if something from that artist attracted your attention. You may be moved by colour, by movement in the painting, by subject matter. You may just love the way a particular artist creates. Now is the time to talk to the artist if possible. You might decide a commission piece is the way you want to go. Most artists are willing to bring paintings to your home if you are unsure which painting will look best in your setting.

So how about price? You will find a huge range of pricing at an art show organized for artists by artists. Price should be secondary to making your choice for a piece of art. You are better off to purchase a smaller painting by an artist you really like than to buy something larger for the same price that doesn't move you in the same way.

By buying art directly from the artist you are saving money. Why is there such a range in pricing? Established artists have arrived at what they feel is fair for the amount of time they put into their work. They also keep their prices the same for similar sized works. Emerging artists often sell for less since they have not yet established themselves in the art world.

The main issue on price is can you afford it? Haggling with artists is not appropriate but asking what they can provide at your price point is certainly acceptable. They may have more work at their studio that would be perfect for you.

Grey County Artists is a not for profit organization which primarily has member artists from Grey, Bruce and Simcoe Counties. This summer their artists are involved in two major art shows in Collingwood. Kaleidoscope 2014 in the Collingwood library features 19 artists and artisans for the month of August. Art & Soul, New Horizons at the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts gallery has an August show of ten top artists. For more information on the shows visit our website.  

Both of these shows feature artists and artisans who create original fine art, sculpture, stained glass, photography, jewelry, pottery and fashion. Come and see what these artists have to offer.

You may find that special jewel that will make your home sparkle!


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