How to use your GiftSpaces registry to Kick-Off your Art Investments
14 October 2016

How to use your GiftSpaces registry to Kick-Off your Art Investments

Gift Registry Ideas

With the freedom to create a gift registry of coveted things you love and the power of group gifting, art is a wonderful registry addition for modern couples. It’s enriching and inspiring and has the potential of being a great financial investment.

There’s buying art and then there’s collecting art. Art collecting is no different from other potential investments, in where you learn the business or at least familiarize yourself with the game, put up some (or a lot of) cash and get settled in for the long run.

Collecting can be a great project for couples to get involved together in. However, although art can be a great financial investment, the pros say that shouldn’t be the main reason you buy specific pieces. At the end of the day, the reason to start a collection is because you both love it. Choose works that that you’re both attracted to; that speak to you. Buy to keep.

Rather receive gifts of art? Some words from the pros:

 

Look at Art, Lots of It

“The first step to start collecting is to look at art, and I mean a lot of art!” says Simon Cole, founder of Toronto’s COOPER COLE gallery, “Go to local commercial galleries, look at international galleries online, visit institutions and artist run centres when you travel. Immersing yourself in art will help you develop your eye and learn what type of art you personally want to live with.” Familiarize yourself with art and artists. Go to museums and galleries, look online, read magazines. Peruse paintings, photography, drawings and sculpture. Speak to gallery directors, artists and art curators.

Jamie Angell of Toronto’s contemporary Angell Gallery suggests visiting gallery websites to easily review ‘Artist’ pages to see what appeals to you, “Visit various art galleries and talk to the owners. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

 

Visit non-profit art centers; make friends with emerging artists and gallery owners

While you’re honing your collector skills and learning what you like, it’s probably a good idea to start small, which is where emerging artists come in. When artists are starting out, their work is more affordable because there isn’t a demand yet - and you’re likely to hear about these newbies only if you actually seek them out!

“Many people find art galleries intimidating and inaccessible, particularly if they are not familiar with the art being shown or it's their first time visiting the gallery,” says Simon Cole,  “If you are interested in collecting multiple works or a particular artist in depth it is important to establish a relationship with a gallery. You should have the same relationship with your art dealer that you would with the person who cuts your hair.  The more you get to know one another the more likely they will be able to suggest art works that you will like and help you build a cohesive collection.”

 

Buy slow, buy only what you love, buy to keep

In her Wall Street Journal article, Margaret Studer says,  “Despite all the hype about art as a safe asset class, don't consider a collection primarily as an investment. The art market isn't the stock market, where you can easily buy and sell. Art doesn't supply dividends or earn interest, and selling with a gain is far from a sure thing … Buy what you like, not fashionable status symbols. You have to live with the works; their dividends should be the pleasure of looking at them.”

 

Ask for payment plans

Many small galleries will actually work with you to develop a payment plan. For $100 a month, you could be on your way to owning a piece you adore. As with any new initiative, do your homework. There are plenty of websites with specific artist info, galleries and auction sites to research.

At the end of the day, Simon Cole concludes, "Starting an art collection can be a very rewarding experience.  Not only do you get to enrich your own life by surrounding yourself with beautiful and thought provoking objects, but your patronage supports the creative class, and hopefully, if you purchase correctly your art collection can appreciate in financial value and cultural importance."

 

Sources:

COOPER COLE Gallery, Toronto
Angell Gallery, Toronto
The Artist Project, Contemporary Art Fair

Cover image: Cydonia, @erinrothstein, @morganjonesart @vickiejv via @theartistproject


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