Insider Tips on Buying Art by: Artfest Landscape Artist, Don Graves:
I’ve been painting landscapes for the past 20 years. Prior to that I served as the Dean of Art at Sheridan College and later as the Dean of Art and Business at George Brown College. Incongruous as that sounds, art is a business and business certainly includes art.
My quick guide to buying art: if you see something that draws you in, something that “says something to you,” a piece that has triggered your imagination, then you’re establishing a relationship with an artist and their work. This isn’t fool proof, it just works for me. I buy art from the person who created it.
An art gallery. Big, small, located in major urban centres, nestled in seasonal tourist locations.
The artist’s home studio and website.
The auction — big time, fast paced, frenzied six-seven figure bidding down to small local silent auctions for good cause fundraising.
The local art show: one of the best, informal sources for art in homes or offices.
I’ve done all of the above and here’s why the local art show is my go-to choice.
Artist cost: rent, paint, frames, brushes, website… and commission, some reach 50% and higher. (For an artist to recover $500.00, a gallery price hits at least $1000.00). Art shows charge a contained rental fee. Like most artists, I want to see my work on your walls and art shows make that affordable for the artist and the buyer.
I want to meet you, talk about my art, listen to you, and perhaps even paint on-site. An informal atmosphere, maybe a coffee, is ideal.
What is art worth? In the final analysis its worth what someone will pay for it. A local art show offers the most purchase flexibility: prices not including jumbo-sized commissions, a reasonable price with payment terms.
“Damn, it’s sold.” What is it you want? Look for it…and act.” The art show is an ideal place for that. I’m not suggesting to buy in haste, repent at leisure. I am saying, buying art is based on relationship, what moves you, captures your imagination. A buyer needs to listen to their soul and act. I’ve had one buyer in 4 years come back to me saying they’d made a mistake. Do I want a painting on a wall where it is not wanted? I know few artists who do. I took the painting back and the buyer chose another piece.
A closing thought: An art show is a mix and mingle recipe. Couples, families, artists, location, fresh air, funky food…something special happens.