By MICHELE TUEGEL
Live Local! contributor
Don’t let a lack of art know-how or limited funds keep you from the pleasure of owning art. These tips will help you build confidence in collecting art, and it won’t be long before you’re in an art-filled environment you are proud to call your own. Happy art hunting!
Expand your horizons and explore local. Before jumping in wallet first, spend time getting to know what type of artwork you respond to. Browse museums, galleries and artist studios. Check out local art walks and meet local artists. Locally, we have art walks in St. Petersburg (second Saturday), Gulfport (first Friday and third Saturday), Harbour Island in Tampa (last Sunday), Dunedin (second Friday) and so many more.
Trust your instincts and buy what you love. What styles, colors or subjects draw you in? Do you gravitate toward modern or traditional, abstracts or still lifes, photography or sculpture? Are bright colors attractive or intimidating to you? If you ignore trends and trust your instincts, the artwork you select should always stand the test of time. And the daily pleasure it will bring you IS your return on the investment.
Observe, ask questions. The more you look and listen, the more you’ll feel confident about your decision-making! Artists and people in the art industry are passionate about their work (or the artists they represent), and you’ll feel enriched from your conversations. They have great stories and can help with your selection. Give yourself time to learn what you love. You’ll develop a style and start to see what costs more and why. Setting a budget may help you decide what to buy: one big piece or several smaller pieces? What can you afford in the medium you want?
No worries. If you like something, don’t worry about what size it is, or where, exactly, you’re going to place it in your home. You’ll easily figure out where it should go once you get home. I promise. If it’s the price that has you hesitating, take time to think about it. And don’t be shy about asking the artist or gallerist if they have payment plans. They are usually happy to work out an easy payment arrangement with you.
Michele Tuegel is owner of Michele Tuegel Contemporary Gallery, 320 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. She can be reached at 727. 823.1100 or through her website, mtcontempo.com.
Why buy original art?
There is value in the handmade. Hand-blown glass, handcrafted furniture, paintings, photography and limited-edition prints all show the hand and spirit of their maker. This quality brings a richness that you just won’t get from slick posters you buy at big-box stores.
Art inspires. Looking at a painting you admire or noting the pleasing texture of a piece of pottery refreshes your spirit. Give yourself the gift of daily inspiration by buying artwork you adore. The best compliment I ever received was from a couple who had purchased one of my pieces many years earlier: “We’ve had your piece hanging in our bedroom for 15 years. It is the first thing we see when we wake up every morning and it always makes us smile.” Wow!
Original art makes a house feel like home. Art pieces you’ve owned for a while become like old friends. Simply putting up paintings or using a beautiful ceramic bowl as your table’s centerpiece can make any space feel like home.
— Michele Tuegel
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