One of the easiest options for finding art in just about any town is to visit local home décor and furniture stores. Photo: Artisan House
If you're finding your style, visit art galleries to see what types of works appeal to you. Photo: Artisan House
The most important rule for selecting art is that if you like it, then it’s probably a good choice for you. Photo: Artisan House
How to Buy Original Art
A great way to find original art without a hefty price tag is to attend local art shows by professional artists as well as student art exhibitions.
The Art of Buying Art
Find out why buying art isn’t as intimidating as you might think.
- by Deborah R. Huso
Relax. Buying art is fun. What may seem like a scary undertaking, really isn’t. Unless you’re looking to become a serious art collector and earn profits off the works you buy, there really aren’t any hard and fast rules to selecting artwork for display in your home. In most cases, if you like it, then it’s a good choice.
“Art is truly something you should have a visceral reaction to,” says Connie Rayburn, head of sales for Artisan House, a Connecticut-based artistic metalworks retailer. “It should truly be something you fall in love with.” So where do you find those special pieces to fill your home? Check out our tips below:
Define Your Taste
Buying art can be a little bit like searching for a new puppy. When pet shopping, it’s important to understand the characteristics of particular breeds and figure out what suits your lifestyle. Art buying is the same. “Get a feel for what really touches you,” advises Alex Farkas, co-founder of Ugallery.com, an online retailer of original art by emerging artists. Before you purchase, figure out what your preferences are.
- Visit art galleries to see what types of works appeal to you and to take advantage of the expertise of gallery staff.
- Attend art fairs and festivals. In addition to giving you the opportunity to see a number of different styles and mediums, this can be a good way to meet artists.
- Read books on art history, and subscribe to a few art magazines like Art in America.
- If you’re lucky enough to live in a place where artists have their own studios open to the public, visit those too. Art can become more meaningful if you get a chance to know the artist.
Where to Shop
Once you’ve done your homework and determined the types of artwork or artists most appealing to you, then it’s time to go shopping. If budget isn’t a consideration, art galleries are a good place to start. If you’re decorating on a budget, there are plenty of other places where you can find beautiful original art without significant investment:
- One of the easiest options for finding art in just about any town is to visit local home décor and furniture stores as well as frame shops.
- If you’re interested in finding original art without a hefty price tag, search out a local artists’ co-op or attend a student art show.
- If you want to do some local gallery shopping, Art in America publishes listings of galleries all over the country.
- Art festivals and studio tours are more good opportunities for finding affordable original art.
- Go online. There are countless online galleries and retailers that sell art.
Shopping for art online is one of the best ways to find affordable, over-sized art for large spaces and walls, says Cathleen Williams, owner of CW Design Group in St. Louis. Since buying art online can be a little bit intimidating because of the sheer number of options, we’ve gathered a few picks for art hotspots on the web:
In the end, buying art is really about following your instincts. “You don’t need a degree to buy art,” advises Farkas. Just follow your heart and you’ll enjoy your selections.