Over the past few years, I’ve been more curious/interested in original artwork. Walking into an art gallery has always seemed very intimidating to me. Even though I found myself wanting to venture into a gallery, I often found myself avoiding them all together. This is probably because up until I met my friend Lauren Addis, who happens to be an art advisor, I didn’t feel like I knew where to begin or knew the right questions to ask. After learning more from Lauren, I realized a few things. First, you can buy a quality original piece of art starting under $1,000. Second, Philadelphia happens to be a hidden jewel for artists. And lastly, art can be a beautiful addition to your home as well as an investment.
Lauren understands that buying the first piece of original art for your home can feel overwhelming. She hears all the time from friends and clients that they just don’t know where to start! I asked Lauren to do a post with us and share how she chooses the perfect piece of art or installation for a client’s space and this is what she said.
Making a Statement – Go for it! Use a piece of art to make a statement in a room in your home. Use a pop of bold colors, mixed-medium pieces with texture, or layering artwork in a space which creates a statement. Or create a gallery wall in your home with multiple pieces in mixed shapes, sizes, and materials. I find that either a bold art choice is a great conversation piece or an original piece of art has a story to tell when displayed in your home.
If this feels completely overwhelming, start small. Begin your search for pieces that will make a statement in smaller spaces. For example, start in a powder room or bedroom and live with the art for a few months. Then focus on including works in more frequented areas of the home. When I am working with a client and they are unsure of scale for an art piece, I create a temporary display of paper. First, I cut pieces of paper with the dimensions of the work and use painters tape to fix it to the wall. Then, the scaled paper can be left up for days until the client knows that it is just right for their home.
Investment – What’s a good buy? Well, if you love a piece of art, know where it will go in your home, and if you are comfortable with the price, then it’s a good buy! For those looking for lasting value, there are a lot of factors that play into the price. When considering mid-range artwork ($1,000- $10,000) from a living artist, I focus on the following questions to evaluate the value of the piece.
- Resume – Where has the artist shown? What permanent private/public collections has the work been acquired by? What education and grants have been received? What publications have reviewed the artist’s work?
- Quantity – How active is the artist and how much are they producing?
- Medium – Do they work in one or many different mediums? What is their most sought after medium?
- Dealer – Are they represented exclusively by a dealer?
- Local / Community Ties – How well-known is the artist within their city or surrounding area?
Think about Framing – When looking at an original piece of art, I always consider how framing can transform the work. This would include woods, metallic, and float and box frames. Also, I think of the size of the piece once it is framed and hung on the wall.
Hanging Height – Most art is hung 60” to the center of the work from the floor. Also, I try and keep the center height of artwork consistent throughout a home. It visually will help your eye flow from room to room.
Save Your Receipt – On the back of the art I purchase, I mount and save the following: the receipt, artist information, bio/statement, and where the work was purchased. This will better enable you to track the artist and any auction markers in decades to come.
Buy Local – Get to know what art events, organizations, and dealers are within your community. Being based in Philadelphia, we are lucky to be surrounded by some of the best art schools in the country. Philadelphia fosters many post-graduate talent in the area.
I am excited to share that in November, I am curating an exhibition, Contemporary Expressions, at Freeman’s Main Line location in Wayne. This is a selling exhibition that I curated of contemporary artists from the Philadelphia region. Artists include Tremain Smith, Lee Lippman, Sandra Benhaim, Gail Morrison-Hall. A portion of the proceeds will benefit sevel charities including; Art Sphere Inc. a local non-profit that aims to transform lives through art and raises funds for Philadelphia school art programs and the Jubilee School which provides an environment where children build upon their wealth of creative, intellectual, social and physical resources as individuals, and as members of a community whose history and culture is the central starting place for their study of the world.
On November 30th from 7 till 9, Main Line Haven and I are partnering to host a private viewing of the exhibition. This is a great opportunity to explore a local gallery, ask questions, and learn more of what you should consider when buying art for your home. Featured artist – Tremain Smith will display several mixed medium works included showcase her progression as an artist over the past few decades with color and shape. She has four works in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Her work is in corporate and private collections across the country. Alongside her studio practice, Tremain teaches, lectures, and leads workshops.
For this one time event, Tremain Smith’s work will be priced below market value to benefit the Jubilee School.Additional artisits on view: Lee Lippman, Sandra Benhaim & Gail Morrison-Hall. Some of her works on paper start at under $300.
Please join us for this fun event on November 30th and please feel free to invite your friends!
Spirits by 13th Street Cocktails. Cheese tasting by The Farm at Doe Run.
Date: November 30th 7-9pm
Location: Freeman’s Main Line
503 West Lancaster Avenue (Eagle Village Shopping Center)
Wayne, PA 19087
RSVP: Lisa DiCarlo 610-254-9700 firstname.lastname@example.org
From November 15th through December 9th Lauren will be hosting additional events and showcasing a variety of artists at Freeman’s Main Line. Click here for more details. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Special appointments with curator Lauren Addis are also available. Phone: (215) 255 – 5950 for appointments.