Yes, Virginia, You CAN Afford to Buy Artwork! ( Part 2 )

1 Sep

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

The affordable artfest continues today!  In case you missed it, you can catch Part 1 here.   Here are a few more suggestions for purchasing affordable artwork:

  • Art festivals– Just about every community at one point of another puts on some kind of arts festival or at the very least, there are a few within easy driving distance of where you live.  Festivals are a great place to check out ( usually ) a wide variety of artwork.  And with individual artists manning their own booths, it’s also a great opportunity to chat with them about their work.  Plus, you can usually score some funnel cake.  Win-win!! 


  • ArtWalks— Many communities are also getting on the ArtWalk bandwagon, which I am all for!   ArtWalks customarily take place once a month, usually the same evening every month such as the First Friday or Second Saturday.  While the ArtWalks usually involve visiting local galleries, which we’ll touch base on below, many of them set up tents in a local park or closed-off street where local artists can display their wares.


  • Arts Markets– A growing trend is a local “arts market”, which is a weekly market, combination farmer’s market, street fair and arts market.   A wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning, grab some fresh ingredients for dinner, listen to local music and discover new artists.   


  • Local Galleries– You may think this one is obvious, but in many communities, brick & mortar art galleries are rapidly disappearing, thanks in no small part to the recession.  If you are lucky enough to have some local galleries in your area, do what you can to support them.  Don’t just go to the free events– actually buy something, even if it small.  Many galleries today offer payment plans for larger purchases, don’t be afraid to ask.  Galleries are in the business of supporting artists and selling their work.  While it’s nice to browse, browsers don’t pay the rent.  Most art galleries are run by average folks who love art or are artists themselves and are an important feature of any thriving community.  Please patronize local galleries– your community will thank you.


  • Art by Students– Chances are, you have a community college or university of some kind in or near where you live.  These institutions are often filled with budding artists.  Check the colleges’ websites to find out more about their art programs, exhibitions, etc.  Purchasing student work is a wonderful, economical way to start a collection AND help give emerging young artists a boost of confidence.  Even if they don’t make a career out of being an artist, that student will always know someone loved their work enough to buy it and they will cherish that knowledge. ( I speak from personal experience! )


  •  Artists Themselves– OK, so this suggestion may call for a huge, UMM..DUH, LESLEY!!, but it’s definitely an option, especially today when many artists are foregoing traditional gallery representation, choosing instead to market their work on their own.   There are certain advantages to dealing directly with an artist, such as they may have more room to negotiate on price or payment terms without a middle man, as a direct “patron”, the artist may notify you first of new works you may be interested in and best of all, you can get to know the artist personally, which often makes the work you love that much more significant. In addition, many artists are now offering “budget” limited editions of their work, which make it all the more affordable.  ( Check out Town Editions, a limited edition collection offered by Pick of the Crop artist, Thomas Hager ).   A word of caution though, on a somewhat touchy aspect of buying directly from artists which goes back to my point of supporting local galleries– if you see a piece in a gallery that you love PLEASE do not try to circumvent the gallery and purchase from the artist directly.  It’s dishonest and well, just a crappy thing to do.  Most artists value their relationships with galleries or have a contract with the gallery and would not sell such a work to you in any case, but I’ve seen it happen.

 I hope you find these suggestions helpful.  It can be intimidating to buy artwork, but buy what you love and you’ll never be sorry.

4 Responses to “Yes, Virginia, You CAN Afford to Buy Artwork! ( Part 2 )”

  1. Thony Aiuppy May 16, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    Thanks for these posts! It’s so integral for people to realize we have great influence and power in our community when we buy art. Buying good art in the local community enables us to take ownership and make culture. You get the culture that you pay for!

    • Lesley May 17, 2011 at 7:20 am #

      So true, Thony! Thanks for reading! By the way, I steered an art consultant your way who was looking for some work for a client. Not sure if she ever got in touch with you at all, but I do believe the client went another way. Just wanted you to know!

  2. kenisebarnesfineart June 10, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    great post – found it while poking around doing some research for a talk I am giving tomorrow. Mind if I pass it on?

    • Lesley June 10, 2011 at 11:53 am #

      Absolutely! Feel free to share, Kenise. Thanks for stopping by!

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