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Join the Club

July 14, 2011

Between Fields at Oak Ridge, Oil on Canvas 12" x 16"

My wife and I were invited to join some friends for dinner last week. Towards the end of the meal, conversation turned to my art work. I will not go into all of the details, but the conversation hit a bizarre moment when a comment was made by one couple that they do not own any original artwork because they are not the type of people that collect art.  I knew that my response was falling on deaf ears when I said that anyone can, and should, purchase art that speaks to them. A person or couple purchases art that impresses them.

It was at this moment that I recalled an article in the July/August 2011 issue of Art of the West. The column Straight Talk is written by Allan J. Duerr and Thomas F. Tierney. I wish that I could report that I recited the article verbatim, or even word for word, but I can not. Instead, I offer the following excerpt.

“…Most people have a limited budget, when it comes to collecting art. For some, $2,000 is too much, and for others $200,000 is too much. The reality is that a budget doesn’t always have to get in the way of building a very good art collection. If we could give you one piece of advise, it would be to encourage you to look at the art, not the signature on the art. Who cares who created a beautiful piece of art? A piece of art priced at $850 can easily be as beautiful and moving as a piece of art priced at $5,000.

Collecting art can be a life-changing endeavor. We promise. Don’t be intimated by any gallery, show, auction – or artist. If you need guidance, ask for it. Find someone who is knowledgeable and whom you trust, then ask for advice. Remember that people’s opinions of art are subjective, but it’s still worth asking.

…If you buy a painting or a piece of sculpture, it should be because you like it. You should not purchase art to impress your neighbors or your brother-in-law, or your friends. If someone tells you they don’t like a particular piece of art you have purchased, just smile and say, “That’s OK; I like it.” Other people’s opinions of your art just don’t matter.

…The bottom line is that we don’t care, because we don’t collect art to impress people. We collect art because it impresses us. Consider joining the club, won’t you.”

Amen.

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