You may not be able to afford an original painting by Vincent van Gogh or Andy Warhol -- after all, who can? But that doesn't mean you have to settle for cheap reproductions of “The Masters” or mass-produced posters more suited to a college dorm room. Instead, I’d like to suggest that you buy art locally, both for your own home, and as gifts. As a fine art photographer, of course I’m biased, and have a vested interest in the subject. But my feelings on the subject go deeper than the desire to sell my own photography. I’ve always been a list maker, so here’s my list of seven reasons why it makes sense to buy local art.
1) It’s unique. Anyone can go to a chain store and buy reproductions or wall-hangings that were mass-produced in China, but when you buy a local piece of art, you have something special. When friends and family see it in your home, it becomes a conversation starter!
2) You can meet the artist. When you buy local artwork, you have the opportunity to meet and connect with the person who created it. There’s probably a backstory to your piece of art, and hearing it from the artist adds emotional value to the work. Life is all about relationships, right? So how much more will you enjoy the art in your home if you have a chance to meet and talk with its creator?
|"Fall on Fox Hollow Road"|
3) Become a collector. Many of us have collections: quilts, glass bottles, coins, etc. We collect things because of their beauty, or their rarity, or for sentimental reasons…lots of reasons other than monetary value. Collecting local art fits right in with that reasoning. Whether you add to your collection based on the artist, or the type of art, or the subject matter, you’re bound to find plenty of options among local artists and artisans.
4) Surround yourself with familiar scenes. Local art often revolves around local scenes and themes, showcasing the beauty of nearby rivers, scenery, natural areas, or architectural landmarks. Why not add art to your home that celebrates the places that are special to you and your family?
|"Country Egg Skillet"|
5) It makes you feel good. We like shopping locally, that’s why we support our local farmer’s markets, hair salons, florists and auto repair shops. Buying local art is an investment in your community. Instead of sending those dollars out of your community (or even out of your state or country), let’s keep them right here at home!
6) Aesthetic Value. Sometimes buying art reminds me of the old “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” debate. Do you buy artwork that blends in with your décor, or buy something that will be the focal piece of the room? Either answer can be right, it’s just a matter of what’s right for you. People often come into my art festival booth, point to something and say, “That will go great in our living room!” On the other hand, artwork will be around long after your couch has worn out and been replaced…so it might make more sense to choose art that you love, and let it influence the rest of the room. Which leads me to my final and best reason to buy local art…
|"Shake, Shake, Shake!"|
7) Because you love it! Your art choices reflect who you are. Have fun with it and surround yourself with what makes you happy.
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