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"Giving everyone their fifteen bytes of fame"
October 2002
Page 4
Collectors Corner
Four Things Collectors Should Know 
Laura Durham, Utah Arts Council

As a spin-off from an earlier article I wrote for 15 Bytes titled “Four Things Artists Should Know,” I came to the decision that art collectors should be “in the know” as well.  After all, collecting art can be an art in itself.  It takes years of research, making contacts, making improvements and even making mistakes.  Here is what I’ve gathered from art dealers, galleries and the collectors I know:

1) Do Your Research: 
Visit galleries, exhibitions, and museums and read up on artists.  When looking at an artist’s background, look at education, training and sales history.  Don’t rush into any serious investments, but go to exhibits and get on artists’ mailing lists so you can get a good idea of their style and the new directions they’re taking.  You’ll start to understand how the public perceives the artist, thus gaining a broader perspective.  Most artists attend their own gallery openings, so frequenting those is a great way to get to know the artists and develop personal relationships. The pieces you end up purchasing will hold much more meaning if you have a personal story to go along with them.

An art collection takes years of work, research and improvements.  Collect qualitatively not quantitatively.  This may be a given, but one of the biggest mistakes people can make is when they move into a big house, they decide they want to decorate it so they fill up the wall space immediately. The art pieces which are most powerful are the ones you live with over a period of time.  You associate memories with each piece and develop a sense about them that you cannot get any other way.

2) Don’t Rely on One Art Gallery or One Art Dealer
As soon as you rely on one person making all your decisions, you get to the point where that person has the opportunity to take advantage of you.  Once you let the galleries and the dealers know that you are looking around, you are drawing from a bigger base of information, everybody has to treat you fairly and you will get what you pay for.  It’s like shopping for furniture or electronics – if you shop around, you’ll quickly become aware if someone is overcharging you.  If you have just as much information and knowledge as the dealer or gallery, you are working on an equal basis with them.  Don’t let them have the advantage by knowing something you don’t know.

3) Move Your Artwork Around
This is a good idea for two very different reasons.  First, depending on the kind of lighting you are using, some lights (such as local light sources) create a hot spot at the top of the canvas which can lead to accelerated aging.  Sometimes the sun will shine through a window and concentrate its light on a certain spot of the painting.  If you move the paintings around it can help in evening that out a bit.  It is also a good idea to shut the blinds when you are not home and maybe even turn the paintings toward the wall if you’re gone for extended periods of time. 

If you do rotate your paintings, you might discover something that leads to reason number two: seeing the painting anew.  For example, if you change the location of a painting in your house, or even the objects around it, you may see the painting in a different light (we’re speaking figuratively now).  Sometimes people remove a painting in their house and loan it to a museum or gallery for an exhibit or change it from one wall to another and once it’s gone, they miss it.  Personally, I’ve noticed this while working in the Rio Gallery for the past year or so.  We rotate exhibits every six weeks.  There are times when I’m sad to see the artwork go after having it there with me every day.  On the other hand, sometimes I’m ready for a new exhibit.  Try moving a painting of yours to a different wall or taking it away for a month or so.  If you don’t notice a difference, maybe that painting would be a good one to trade in to a dealer for a different one.  Most dealers are willing to swap the paintings you bought from them for another painting valued at the same price for which you bought the original.  As mentioned earlier, a good art collection takes years of trial and improvements.

4) Buy what you like, not what you think has good resale value:
There are some people who collect art purely for investment purposes.  It’s not to say that you can’t make any money collecting art, but it’s risky and not nearly as rewarding as surrounding yourself with artwork that lifts you up, makes you think or act differently and represents something important to you.  No matter how popular the artist is, no one can guarantee that his/her art piece is going to increase in value.  Past results cannot be indicative of future expectations, but if you collect artwork that you like, independent of its monetary value, you are guaranteed satisfaction.

Art From the Heart--Sugarhouse Rose Garden Building

A number of local Utah artists will be displaying their works at the fourth Art from the Heart Art Sale at the Sugarhouse Rose Garden Building. The event will be Friday, November 15th, from noon to 7pm, and Saturday, November 16th from 11am to 6pm. Participating artists include Heather Tuttle, Shaari Pedderson, Kevin Winn, Heather Barron and Gail Piccoli.

"Angel" by Heather Barron

Exhibition Announcement -- St. George
Distance and Space
New Landscapes by Kate Starling

On display currently at the St. George Art Museum is Distance and Space, new landscapes by Rockville, Utah artist, Kate Starling. Distance and Space features twelve recent works by Kate Starling. Starling is an oil painter who lives in Rockville, Utah. After several years of working as a geologist, she pursued a love of painting through art education at Southern Utah University and the University of Oregon. 

Settling in southern Utah, she has devoted herself to painting the landscape on site, striving to create in her canvases the sense of space and atmosphere unique to each subject. A winner of many awards, Starling continues to travel and paint about the places she visits.

Starling is an avid plein air painter. "For fourteen years I have been painting the landscape on site. Several times a week, often in the morning and again in the late afternoon, I pack my gear into my truck and head out."  Living in Rockville certainly makes her job easy.  Inspiration is rarely far away, whether in a rancher's pasture or along the red rock cliffs. 

Each painting is partly a depiction of the relationship of color and light and partly a record of the experience. Light is fleeting and two hours is usually the duration," Starling says of her work.

"Through oil painting I have found a way to communicate the feelings of joy I find in the landscape. From when I was a child I have chosen to spend a large part of my free time outdoors and followed careers that required me to work outside. Whether I was hiking for fun or working as a geologist or a park ranger, I have always felt a need to express the beauty I see– and for me, it cannot be said with words." 

The paintings in this new exhibit are a departure from Starling's other work in that she has increased her scale.  "The paintings in this show are concerned with creating the feeling of distance and space. Most are painted within a short radius of my home and celebrate the places I see everyday. I gave myself a new challenge with this exhibit by painting large canvases. Painting on a large scale has required a change of process. While remaining loose and painterly in approach, I want to retain accuracy of form and space."

For these works, Starling mounted an easel to the back of her truck, painting the canvas over serveral days at the same site.   Back in the studio she worked out the details in the works.  "The process of alternating between field and studio keeps the excitement of the experience fresh. As people view these new works, I would hope that others can feel the joy of landscape." 

Distance and Space is an exhibition opportunity which was awarded to Starling at the 2001 Regional award ceremony. Each year an artist participant of The Regional, an annual juried exhibition by the St. George Art Museum, is selected by a review committee for a solo exhibition for the following year. 

This exhibition of striking southern Utah vistas will be on display thru Januray 25, 2003 in the Museum’s Legacy Gallery, located 47 East 200 North, St. George, Utah. The community is invited to attend a free reception to be held 6-9 p.m. on Friday, October 25, 2002.

Museum hours are: Monday 6-8; Tuesday -Thursday 11-6; Friday 11-8; Saturday 11-6; closed Sunday and holidays. For further information call (435) 634-5942 or email: