December Ask the Artsperts

Artspertsby Juliana Meek and Kristine Meek

Dear Artspert:

I’ve been afraid to go into a gallery like yours because I don’t think I could afford anything in it and I’m not sure if I can just come inside and look around. Do you have  anything affordable?
Sticker Shock

Dear Shock,

HersheyOf course you can come look around the gallery! Going to galleries is a great – and free – way to develop your eye and to shape your taste for art. Often we have works in our solo or group exhibitions that have either been exhibited or will be exhibited at a museum. Seeing the work in the gallery can be a more intimate (less crowded) experience. For example many of the works in our upcoming one-woman exhibition for Gabriella Gonzalez Dellosso will be on exhibition at the Butler Museum of American Art in 2016.

Whether a work of art is affordable is relative. Some people, like ourselves, feel we have to have fine art in our lives and budget for it like we do a vacation, new car, or  expensive dinners out. We both have enjoyed the work of several artists for many years and while we might not be able to afford a large work by a particular artist, we have enjoyed collecting smaller works. Small works (20 inches and smaller) are fun to collect as you can always find room for them.

We also have watercolors, pastels, lithographs, and drawings in our personal collections. Often works on paper are less expensive than an oil or acrylic on canvas. Price is still determined by the artist’s reputation – we have a watercolor on resale by Andrew Wyeth in the gallery that is quite a bit more than the oils by some of the other gallery artists. But for a given artist, generally speaking, works on paper are less expensive. And typically the price is based on size so a smaller work is less than a larger work by the same artist, in the same medium.

Works by lesser known artists will also be less expensive, as the artist’s reputation and demand for the artist’s work is what really sets the price. But collecting an artist that has been acquired for the permanent collection of a museum (not only exhibited at a museum) helps to ensure the artist will be remembered and their reputation perpetuated – which helps to retain or increase the value of the artist’s work.

The Artsperts

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