Written by Stephen Nilsson, Senior Preparator at The Art Gallery of Windsor
So you’re looking to pick up some artwork, either to spruce up your living space or to start your very first art collection. There’s just one problem: you don’t know where to start. What do you do?
Contact your local art school
Right in your own backyard, you will find there are many young artists just starting out who would love to sell their work — and who need your support.
Search social media
Follow your local arts organizations on social media; they tend to post content featuring local artists and their artworks. You can also join Facebook groups of local artists: in Windsor-Essex, we have Windsor/Walkerville Artists, The Visual Artists of Windsor, WEA — Windsor Endowment for the Arts: Celebrating Homegrown Talent, and Windsor Artist Network, among others. You are bound to find some strong local talent and you can get a feel for their style.
See your city — when it’s safe!
When it is safe to do so, frequenting your local cafés and independent galleries can reveal a sea of hidden treasures.
Protect your pieces
Now that you’ve found yourself something you like, it is important invest the time and money into having it framed. Even a little doodle on a cocktail napkin can be taken to the next level by having it presented professionally. Professionally framing your piece also helps to preserve and protect your investment.
Art is subjective, and its price tag does not determine its worth: if it piece speaks to you, it has value. Who knows — maybe you’ll be able to get in on the ground floor of an artist’s illustrious career! We have all heard stories of people who have purchased inexpensive paintings that end up being worth millions of dollars years later.
While art can be a very strong investment if properly guided, it is important not to lose sight of why the artist creates. Artists create to express or convey an idea to an audience. As such, if you really connect with an artist’s form of expression, then that is the reason to purchase the piece.
In closing, remember: you are choosing things that you like, and that you need to live with, so affirm your instincts, purchase what speaks to you, and support your local up-and-coming artists!