(works from DNA's private collection)
buying art, supporting artists
In celebration of our 3 year anniversary this month, we thought it was important to make a case for purchasing local art. You all know we are huge fans of local art but we are also collectors of sorts and have been for years. When we were first married and both gainfully employed we put together a budget for art. $50 a month. It was actually very easy to find work for that much and if we didnt purchase that month we rolled it into the next month. Every weekend we went to art shows all over and that was our exclusive source of entertainment for years. We got to meet artists and network and put together group shows, it was so energizing to be immersed in the local culture. One of the reasons we felt so passionately about buying things regularly was that we are artists as well and the feeling of validation and support you feel when you sell is unmatched. For us it was important not just to talk about supporting them but to give them our support. I never understood how people would say "that's expensive" or "I dont have the money" then turn around and drop $50-$100 at the bar, or on a piece of clothing that would be out of style the next season. At least with art, you can almost guarantee that the value will increase over time. It doesnt go out of style, it doesn't just flush through your system the next day, it's with you for as long as you like. There's a greater reason as well. If artists can't make a living they will leave, simple as that, they will go to a state where the culture is thriving and they hopefully get to be appreciated and validated and make a living if they are lucky enough to get noticed. No one has been able to convince us yet that the same culture that exists in New York, Los angeles, Portland, Seattle does not exist here because we have absolutley have seen it! The point of this rant is not to guilt or shame anyone into buying art but rather think hard about where you put your money because you really do vote with your dollar. Are you putting it towards things you feel passionately about? Dont be afraid!
Here's some ideas for places where art can be bought affordably:
- Salons, Coffee shops, Restaurants- Usually when we see art in these places it is emerging artists that are basically giving away their work
- Retail stores- Certain retail stores around town show artist monthly or carry art on a regular basis
- And yes galleries! I know of one place here in town that does payment plans for purchases and it's 100% up to you when you pay it off
There are also a few ways to support artists using little to no money:
- Show up to the opening- most of the time you will get free refreshments and get to meet the artist personally
- Tell your friends!- Be a promoter of the local culture and share your favorite artists with friends and family
- Ask about and buy prints, they can range from $5-$200 but usually they will be of good to great quality so you can enjoy the art on a budget
- Many artists these days are merchandising their works so in addition to prints you can also buy tshirts, stickers, buttons, accessories and more.
So that's it. We are blessed beyond measure to be able to serve our community and bring artists together and are looking forward to more collaborations, group shows and events in the future that bring us all together to support local art.