Nan DeVincent-Hayes, Ph.D
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Value of Local Artists
Don't underestimate the power and value of featuring local artists
in your home or at work. Though
celebrated and famous artists give prestige and value to any
collection, they, too, were once "unknowns" or only
regionally recognized names. After
all, everyone has to start somewhere.
Developing a nuance for detecting emerging artists is something you
can develop with some leg work and perseverance. By doing this, you'll get a head start on collecting work by
artists who potentially will make it big in the near future.
Thus, you'll not only have acquired originals of their work,
aligned your home or office with their art, but you'll also have
likely built a gold mine in the investment department at a more than
reasonable price. Once
an artist has become well known, and, hence, "popular,"
the cost of acquiring their work rises drastically and often reaches
unattainable heights for the lay person or beginning collector.
Get in on the ground floor while you can, jump-starting your
collecting hobby while aesthetically and financially investing in a
future commodity. So the secret is to discern which local talent will become
"emerging" artists, and from there, which will become
How do you do this? How
do you determine who's going to "break through" and who's
not? This is a tough
call by anyone's standards, but one way to do this is by visiting a
number of galleries to see what art by local artists is being
featured. And hang
around awhile to measure the reaction of clients who visit that
gallery and view the work; their remarks will serve as a good
barometer as to how well the artist is being received.
Talk to gallery personnel to get their impressions on the
artist, and discuss his or her work with other local collectors.
See if a gallery can attain written background info on the
artists you're interested in, and ask for "samples" or
"clip sheets" of their work, as well as a copy of the
artist's brochure or catalogue.
Some other things you'll want to know are:
how long the artists have been at their art, and what other
media they work in. You'll
also want to know if the artists have done other types of art, such
as plates, sculptures, and so on.
who they're represented by (what dealer, publisher, gallery);
get that agent's name, address, and phone number.
If the artist you're interested in is represented by an
agent, you won't have any trouble acquiring the information
suggested here for investigating him or her.
Both locally and nationally known artists may be represented
by an agent.
what the "appreciation history" is of their most
well known work. What
is meant by this is how much their work has increased in monetary
and aesthetic value. You'll
also want to know the current value placed on their work.
What their "recognition index" is, or how well
they're known in the art world. Often
emerging artists will be found listed in respected data bases, in
well-known trade magazines, on the lists of top galleries, and so on.
Likewise, such artists most likely will have created work for
prominent personalities, such as corporate CEOs, film celebrities,
dignitaries, and other notables.
Discover who these are.
Look into how many shows your artists do a year, which ones,
and where. Ask, too, what
awards they have won.
Another benefit of following local artists is that sometimes you
can directly access them, as well as visit his or her studio to see
what other works have been done, though this isn't usually true for
those artists being represented by galleries or other agents.
If the agent and the artist have an agreement that allows you
to work directly with the artists, do contact them, and ask to see
Too, there's also the advantage of having "variety" along
with "sameness" in collecting local artists' work.
Consider that the locale itself is often the subject matter of
many local artists, so if you're into collecting ships and seascapes,
you'll find this "sameness" in, say, resort artists,
especially those who were born and raised in that area.
On the other hand, if you want variety in the art you collect,
consider those local artists who have come from other states and
countries because with them, they bring their background, which is
different for each artist.