HOW TO COLLECT ART?

Updated: Apr 21

Many visual artists have amassed large art collections. I am an artist, and I too have a passion and respect for art created by those other than myself. Artists collect art for the same reasons anyone else collects art…but because of their art experience, it may be less intimidating to invest in art, than for someone who has no background in art history, art administration, art investment, creating art, etc.


As an artist, over many years I have learned to use many artist mediums including drawing, painting, and printmaking (making original art prints like etchings, wood cuts, serigraphs, etc.). Thus, I understand the effort put into creating a work of art. Through formal training and personal study, I have gained an appreciation of certain art mediums, styles, and works by particular artists.


I budget for art buying. Art shopping is a favorite pastime which, thankfully, my spouse also enjoys. Together, we attend art openings, open studio/gallery walks, art auctions, and art museum exhibits. We live in Sacramento, California, so fine art is widely available owing to our area’s support of the arts and its abundancy of talented artists. Also, art buying is one of my favorite vacation activities. We love traveling to Southwestern art centers looking for our art treasures.


If you are an art collector, or want to collect art, you may want to know a little more about my art collecting strategy: (Note: An artwork does not need to meet all the following criteria.)


1. It appeals to me personally (I am moved by the subject, and many other factors).


2. It is a great piece of art that is affordable (not cheap but I can afford it and still pay my bills).


3. I respect and I am impressed by the artist’s ability to manipulate a particular medium.


4. I am aware of the artist’s reputation as an artist, I like the artist’s art, and wish to add this piece to my collection.


5. It is a piece of art that will enhance my genre of collecting…for investment purposes.


6. It is not a piece in my genre of collecting, but it is a collectible piece by a collectible artist, it appeals to me, and can be a good investment piece.


7. It is an impressive piece by an emerging artist, and I wish to invest in the artist.


8. I wish to purchase a particular piece of art as a meaningful gift for someone else.

9. I buy it because it inspires me artistically.


10. I buy it to study. It may be an unfinished piece, e.g., an oil sketch. I like to study how an artist first approaches creating his/her art…for educational reasons.


11. Art shopping is a social activity. I attend art fairs, art openings, open studio tours, and art auctions with the intention of finding art that I can enjoy and/or add to my investment collection. My home does not have sufficient wall space to hang all my collected art. Therefore, I archivally package my works of art on paper and store them in large metal artist flat files which I pull out and enjoy from time-to-time…especially with friends.


12. In the end, the art I buy must appeal to me on a personal level and have a certain “wow” factor.


I am sure there are many other reasons why I collect art, but these are ones that most immediately come to mind. Your comments are most welcome.


(Standing sculpture "Smiley" by Richard Rios, soap stone carving "Buffalo Spirit" by Santiago Tafoya, serigraph print by Louie 'The Foot' Gonzalez, larger oil painting "Los Tejanos" by Simona Hernandez.)




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