Art Collecting 101 (Courtesy of Art Toronto 2010)

From a media release:

Art Collecting 101

Here's a few tips on art collecting, courtesy of Art Toronto 2010 Canada’s biggest modern and contemporary art fair, which comes back to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre - October 28 to November 1

Artists, collectors, curators and art enthusiasts will converge on Toronto in late October to experience Art Toronto, a four-day event featuring over 1,000 artists exhibited in more than 100 Canadian and international fine art galleries. The 11th edition of the fair runs from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1, and features artists, galleries, special projects, speakers, installations and parties. An Opening Night Preview to benefit the Art Gallery of Ontario will launch the fair on Oct. 28.

Check out daily programming here.

Collecting art can be a richly rewarding hobby. Here are some things to know before you dive into the world of art collecting for the first time.

Educate Yourself
· Visit as many art galleries as you can, as gallery staff can be helpful guides in your art education. Read wall panels and engage with the artists whenever possible. By visiting galleries you will be able to form a better concept of what kind of art you like, what genre, medium, etc.
· If you know art collectors, talk to them and find out what they know and what they've learned about collecting art.
· Attend national and international art fairs whenever possible. These are especially useful as you’ll get a great selection of top galleries all in one place and can get acquainted with a large spectrum of art. Take a few days to walk around the fair stopping at the booths that really interest you.
· Conduct follow up research on artists you are drawn to. There is a wealth of art information available:
· Read books on art history and about collecting art
· Subscribe to art magazines (examples - Canadian Art, Border Crossings, C Magazine, Magenta Magazine)
· Follow art-focused social media
· Read newspaper reviews of local galleries and openings – see what has been reviewed and visit the exhibition to see if you agree (examples - Saturday’s Globe & Mail, The Toronto Star, National Post, Eye Weekly)
· Check out openings and special events at local galleries. These events are a great way to network with art collectors, artists and curators.
· Visit your local art museums. There are often special lectures and seminars on collecting art and art education.

Ask Yourself
· The best way to begin collecting is by getting to know your personal tastes when it comes to art. Is there a medium - drawing, sculpture, or painting - to which you’re particularly drawn? What’s your budget and spending limit? Where will you exhibit the artwork? How much room do you have?
· Most people purchase art to adorn their homes; some people buy art to beautify a room, while others fall in love with a piece and decorate a room around it. Get inspired! Art can be used to complement a room, create a focal point/conversation piece, create the illusion of more space or light, make a space feel more intimate, or bring drama into a room.
· Buy art because you like it and because it moves you...not because someone else likes it. There is no “how-to” guide to cultivate an appreciation for fine art. Trust your own artistic likes and dislikes.

· Develop a master plan for collecting - Once you’ve decided what you like, start planning some order or characteristic for your collection. Smart collecting is well thought-out, so that all the pieces in the collection relate well to each other.
· You can collect on a modest budget
· Ask artists you like if they have any works available on paper, or if they produce prints or multiples (which will be available at a lower price point)
· If you’re feeling overwhelmed, working with a professional art advisor / art consultant is a good way to learn about art collecting, and they will help guide you through the process of purchasing art.
· Cultivate good standing with art retailers and let them know that you wish to be informed when choice art pieces become available that will fit in your collection.

· Once you've fallen in love with a work of art, buy it, take it home and enjoy it. It is important to love every piece of art you buy, that way if a work doesn’t appreciate in value, at least you’ve got something that you’ll always enjoy owning.
· If you are buying in the hopes that your artwork will increase in value over time, ensure you get the appropriate documentation associated with the artist and artwork to ensure authenticity.

· Lastly it is important to take proper care of your art collection – protect your pieces from humidity, heat, light and pollution. Ask the artist or the gallery from which you purchased the piece about specific care instructions, proper hanging and lighting.
· Contact an art insurance company, like AXA Art. Along with fine art insurance they offer preventative and active conservation advice to collectors about all aspects of caring for their collection.
· For any pieces requiring treatment or stabilization, the advice of a conservator is invaluable.

This tip sheet was created exclusively for Art Toronto 2010 in partnership with AGO Next and AXA Art.

• Degas sketch
• Nikolai Astrups atelier by Harald Oppedal

Michelangelo's David