Art Walk: Art Collecting 101

 In Culture, Guide

[For the main feature, Art Walk, please click here; for the artist profiles that accompany this feature, please click here.]

Start At the Beginning

Art collecting can be a little intimidating—it's hard to figure out exactly where to start. To the rescue is ALIVE's guide to starting your own collection.

1/ Start local. Attend gallery openings thatfeature local talent where you can meet
the artists and discuss their work. If you see work by artists that you admire and they aren’t present, write down their names and see if they have work for sale online. Wall Ball, Let Them Eat Art and St. Louis Open Studios offer great opportunities to engage with artists and pick up pieces you love.

2/ Start small. Collecting art doesn’t have to break the bank. Original poster art from Firecracker Press costs about $20, while larger limited-edition prints can run into the hundreds. Galleries often have works by emerging artists, which you can pick up for around $100. Both SOHA Gallery and Houska Gallery offer pieces in the $125-$500 range, with some running into the thousands. Remember that no matter how little you spend, you never know what it could be worth some day.

3/ Start with what you like. Don’t try to anticipate the future value of something—just buy what you like. Trust your own instincts. That’s what makes art collecting fun, and at the very least, you’ll have a work of art that you love to look at day after day, and that’s a win. For collectors, buying art is a passion, not a gamble.

4/ Are you ready? If you’re serious about starting a collection, the Contemporary Art Museum is hosting a New Collectors Seminar on Sept. 18 that can answer your questions and set you up for art-buying success. Then put your newly honed skills to the test at CAM’s Silent Auction and Party on Nov. 14, which will feature donated pieces from local artists.

Going, Going, Got It!

Auctions are exciting to attend—and great sources for acquiring art and collectables. The
adrenaline-filled action is enjoyable even if you don’t intend to bid on anything—except you
probably will.

1/ Link Auction Galleries: Founded by former employees of Ivey-Selkirk auction house, Link Auction Galleries promises to be the next big thing in St. Louis auctions. Located in the former St. John’s United Methodist Church at 5000 Washington Place, Link Auction Galleries holds both general and specific auctions. Its Fall Gallery auction, Sept. 13-14, will consist of fine art and everything else, from antique furniture to silver to glassware and more. Stop by the week prior, Sept. 7-11, to pick up a catalog and preview the pieces going up for auction, and then check the website for a schedule of Bazaar auctions held about once a month. The next Bazaar is scheduled for Oct. 11, which features toys and collectables.

2/ Leslie Hindman Auctioneers: With locations in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples and Palm
Beach, it’s no surprise that Leslie Hindman Auctioneers has chosen to open its latest location
in recently auction house-deprived St. Louis. Located at 32 N. Brentwood Blvd., Hindman’s St. Louis grand opening auction takes place on Nov. 21 and features silver, jewelry, timepieces, vintage couture and fine art.

3/ Mound City Auctions: The truly adventurous will want to check out Mound City Auctions, which conducts on-site estate auctions that feature silver, jewelry, antique furniture, collectables and of
course, fine art. Check out the website for an advance look at the type of auction it is and what items will be put up for sale before committing yourself. But if you’re in the market for some fine art or a tractor, this can be a lucrative and enjoyable excursion.

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