How do you go about buying art?
The answer is to invest in what you love because there is no right or wrong answer to this. It doesn't have to be expensive. Many people feel intimidated about how to approach art for their home. The only thing you have to worry about is whether or not it speaks to you. Its like finding that perfect pair of shoes - you just know. It ties the outfit together. Its the same with art. A painting can either tie a room together or can influence how the room is designed around it. Do you love the image? The colors? The conversation you had with the artist and the story behind the piece? Whatever it is, if you love it, buy it.
Where do you even begin to look for artwork?
You may have art galleries in your town. In Baltimore we are lucky to have several types of art galleries in the area. The traditional gallery has artwork that has been selected by the gallerist based on their experience in the art field. Some may be established artists and others may be emerging. Another type of gallery is a "collective." This typically is a group of artists who all pitch in to make the gallery successful. Artists pay a fee to be a part of it and volunteer time to work the gallery. Artist who want to join are juried by the artists already in the group. Sometimes this type of gallery can be more affordable, and offer a variety of artwork for your perusal.
Another great place to look is art fairs. Summer is typically the season for them and you can find artists who do not show in galleries but instead travel the country making a living at these shows. A few in the Baltimore region are the ACC Craft Show, ArtScape, and the Plein Air event "Paint It" in Ellicott City. Check your local visitor's guide for shows in your area.
Lastly, studio tours are extremely fun and a great way to find good art. Groups of artist studios will generally have an open studio tour and have art to sell. I organized ArtWalk in Ellicott City for this exact purpose. Its a wonderful way to let the public know that you're there and they can see you and how you work. Kids love it too, but check to make sure kids are welcome, some studios can be dangerous like blacksmith shops and glass blowing studios. To find out where the next studio tour is in your area, contact your local tourism or visitor's center or check with your chamber of commerce.
Now what do I do with the art once I have it?
Now that you have your brand new beautiful hand made creation, whats next? Do you frame it? How do you hang it? In our next post, we will talk about the best ways to frame and hang art.