Buying art can be very intimidating and even time consuming. Sometimes what you see on display in the Gallery, doesn’t always translate into your own home. One of the reasons why we started this blog was to be a resource for people asking themselves the Whats, Wheres, Whys, and Hows of art collecting. In light of this, from time we’ll post tips mainly drawn from our previous posts, for those looking to start or continue their collection.
Art can go anywhere.
As Vivian said in her home and heArt post “A Seussian Addition”, many people forget that outside spaces can also be ideal for certain media. At the Oxford Treehouse Gallery, we make sure to have different media and types of art that can be displayed in many different ways. The more sculptural pieces like Clyde McDowell’s found art sculptures, can brave outside spaces like covered porches. Of course, it’s always a good idea to ask the artist (or the Gallery) what kind of environment is best for a piece. But art shouldn’t be bound by the living room or bedroom walls!
Art can be useful.
To build off of the previous tip, there are some cases where you can use your art. We count our artisanal collections (like Walter Neill’s metal work, Matt Long’s ceramics, and Roxie Woodwork’s wooden furniture to name a few) as art. You can find those pieces in kitchens keeping your morning cup of coffee warm, on staircases to keep your balance, and in hallways to set your coat on. Again, it’s always best to ask the artist (or the Gallery) what’s appropriate for a certain piece.
Art should inspire.
This is a pretty obvious tip, but should be said anyway. If you haven’t read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, we highly suggest it. Part of the philosophy of the book is to make sure that everything in your life “sparks joy”. It’s a tall order to feel that joyful all the time, we know. But the point is that you should buy things that have a place in your life and that elicit (positive) emotion. The art you collect should inspire you. Whether it’s a portrait of a vase of flowers to remind you that spring is coming, a hand-forged bottle opener to remind you to invite your friends over more often, or a piece of jewelry that your sister bought you.
Your art will never be dated or go out of style.
Things change. Your aesthetic may change over time. That poster hanging above your bed in your teenage years is not what you wake up to every morning anymore. Make sure to buy things that get to your heart. Your heart will never change. Meanings may change, of course. But if you have chosen pieces that speak to your heart and, yes, inspire you, then those pieces are timeless and will bring joy to your and yours indefinitely.
Always buy art from someone you know.
Artists are small business owners. Most galleries, too (our Gallery included!). I hope I don’t have to get into the specifics of buying local— needless to say it’s a best practice for many reasons. It keeps artists working, for example. Buying from artists and small galleries doesn't have to be expensive either. What’s more is, buying art from someone you know is like trading a piece of their life to put in your life. Pretty magic when you think about it.