Written by Amy Kaeser
After the holidays is an excellent time of year to reenergize your art collection. Or better yet, start one if you haven’t already. Being your homes own personal curator is easier than you think, all it takes is knowing your style, traditional, modern, abstract, minimal, or all of the above. Don’t feel limited to one category; you can mix and match throughout your home or even in the same room. To make the artworks, you select work together choose pieces that have similar themes, i.e. nautical, nature, a bold color, or even the type of frame (wood, metal, color). Sometimes the most interesting collection of art in a home is one that reflects the personality of the owner or family. Be creative and choose pieces that reflect your and your family’s personality.
Now, where to start? There are a ton of choices online, from Artsy to Etsy, art online is easy to view, purchase, and find out about new and upcoming artists in your area and internationally. Another excellent way of finding new and innovative art and artists is at your local art college. Usually, a few times a year students will display their work in the college or universities art galleries with open receptions for the public. While these pieces may not be for sale at this point, you’ll be able to talk with the artists and find out if they have work for sale in the future.
Another great option is visiting art galleries in your city. As Los Angeles is my home base, the possibilities are limitless! A great online source for locating local galleries is axuilary.com, CCGallery Guide (has an extensive list of local L.A. galleries), and ArtForum is local, nation wide and international. Galleries will also have open receptions for new shows, so you will always be introduced to new art and artists.
An important factor is how much you are willing to pay for work. What will you pay for an original work versus a print? It depends on who the artists are for the original. If they are newly out of art school you may get a deal on something you really like as they are not yet established. However if they have made a name for themselves you may be looking at a few hundred dollars or even thousands (this, for most of us, is way out of budget!).
So, another easy way to save on pricey pieces is to rearrange the art you already have in your home. These pieces are already personal to you and your family, so give them a fresh feel by moving work to different rooms or choosing another style of display; go from a traditional linear display to a salon style where you mix and match work on one wall, a grid pattern of 2 x 2 or 3 x 3 or a large print as a focal point surrounded by smaller prints. It’s up to your preferences and the space you are curating.
Written by Amy Kaeser. Amy is a freelance writer for Art and Cake, a reviewer of contemporary art in and around the Los Angeles area. Currently, Ms. Kaeser has advanced to candidacy in the Master’s of Museum and Curatorial Studies Program at California State University Long Beach.