Be Awesome Buy Art / by Jennifer Davey

As an artist, my joy is found in making art.  I don't think there is an artist out there who would be making art if they did not love it.  But the other side of the coin is, what happens to your art once it is made?  For anyone making art objects, when someone buys your art, it is very validating.  It is exciting.  And it allows you continue to do what you love, make art.  I spent some time talking with Traci, one of my largest local collectors, and we discussed the joys of collecting art.  I met Traci and her husband Tom in 2011 on the Fort Collins Studio Tour.  Since that time they have purchased a number of my pieces and we have become friends.  I wanted to share with others what impact buying art can have on artists and collectors.  

"Buying art is a luxury, but it is not frivolous"

How did you decide to start collecting art?

When Tom and I were first dating, we went to Columbine Gallery in Loveland.  I was surprised to find out there were so many Colorado artists who were making a living from their artwork.  I thought that was really cool.  I decided I wanted to buy local art as much as possible to support Colorado artists.  I liked that it went against the stereotype that one could only buy art and make a living as an artist in a big city.  

"No matter what your income, if you love art, you should have at least one piece of artwork in your home"

John Kinkade, owner of Columbine Gallery was very engaging.  He was warm, and open and would tell us stories about the artwork and the artists.  This made it personal and it really is what got me hooked.  I would then go home and research more about the artist online.  This really enriched my knowledge and the love of the artwork.  Meeting local artists through the Fort Collins Studio Tour has also been a great way to learn more about the artists and to collect their work.  

"Art is an investment.  You can change or trade an artwork, but I buy things because I love them and they speak to me.  I expect to be with them for a long time."

What does a collector gain from buying art?

By making an investment in art, you gain the enjoyment of seeing it everyday in your home. There are always new ways in which I see a work.  I notice something different due to the light, the time of day, or just seeing it in a new way.  My home is my sanctuary and artwork brings me joy."

What gets in the way of people buying art?

Commitment:  It is a commitment-a long term relationship.  Sometimes people are intimidated by that, like they will make the wrong choice or change their mind after their purchase.   Don't worry.  If you love something, you will enjoy it for many years to come.  It is also okay to change or trade in the future.

Money:  People assume that only the rich can buy art.  This is not true.  There are all sorts of possibilities to buy inexpensive art.  Look for young, emerging artists, or small artworks. 

Intimidation Factor:  Do not be intimidated!  Go into galleries, look at art, ask questions, learn what you like.  Ask if the artist has smaller works available.  Go to studio tours, talk to the artists. Look in cafes, at art fairs, anywhere.  Keep your eyes open and trust what you love.  No one can tell you what will bring you joy in your home.  

Do you have any final thoughts you'd like to share about collecting art?

Many years ago, before I was seriously collecting art, I saw a painting in a cafe.  It was of a chair and it had a very strong sense of serenity.  At the time I did not buy it.  I still think about that painting 20 years later!  That is the power art can have.