That Perfect Piece!
I think that if you are an artist you observe things differently than a non-artist.
Restaurants and Cafes and more
Let's start with restaurants. When I sit in a restaurant, one of the first things I do is check out the wall space. Is there art there? What kind of art? Is it good or bad, according to my own personal opinion. Is it an original, a print or a box store piece of art?
Is the art for sale in this restaurant? You may be surprised to know that many restaurants and cafes have artwork for sale. It allows them to have fresh art once in a while and also gives artists a venue for their work. Some places take commission from the sale, and some do not. I would venture to say that most artists get all the proceeds.
So if you are looking for that perfect piece for your home, don't just look online or at an art gallery. You probably see art that is for sale, every day! Just open your eyes and SEE the art!
This art hung at the Misericordia Hospital in 2021. Look on the walls all through many hospitals and find art work for sale. Generally, a portion of the sale goes to the hospital!
Speaking of art galleries
There are probably more galleries than you know of. There are really two types of galleries. Commercial and Public.
The Public gallery's primary goal is to offer artistic and thoughtful inspiration. The public is invited to view the art displays and gain knowledge of the artistic world and its artists. Art may be for sale or it may be just for display. There is generally an entrance fee, but not always. The Public gallery is funded by government and donations. Examples are the Art Gallery of Alberta, Vancouver Art Gallery, Federation of Canadian Artists (Vancouver),
Commercial galleries are everywhere. The goal of these galleries is to sell artwork to private collectors and the public. You may find an extreme price range difference at each gallery. The art you find in these galleries could be quite different from what you find elsewhere. It's worth looking into. If you have a large pocketbook, you could have a successful shopping spree.
What is an art walk? Does the art do the walking? Ha, well maybe, if someone buys a piece!
An Art Walk takes place generally in the summer months (here in Alberta). It may be a smaller one, like the St. Albert Art Walk, or it could be huge, like the annual Whyte Ave Art Walk.
So, what happens at these things? Artists sign up for a spot at the Walk. It can cost an artist anywhere from nothing to hundreds! The artist will have a certain amount of room for either a tent or a table. He/she will have to plan out what art to display and how to display it. If he/she is lucky and sells a piece of their art, then there has to be options for payment. Cash, debit, credit or e-transfer are common.
.It does not cost you, the public, anything to attend an art walk. It is a great opportunity to see the art and also meet the artist! When you visit a gallery or see art in a restaurant, you have no opportunity to speak to the actual artist. It can be very satisfying to purchase original art, in person, from the artist.
You may see as few as 5 or 6 displays. At the very big art walks, there can be as many as 400 displays set up. So bring your walking shoes and your wallet. With that much selection you are sure to find something to suit your taste and your space. Take heed. If you are serious about finding "the perfect piece" make sure you have the space measured out and know what color scheme you are looking to match up.
Artist Group Shows
I can't think of an Art Club or Society or Guild that does not organize a show or two for it's artists. These are, again, a great opportunity to view the art. Watch for ads for these on social media, the newspaper, online news and the radio. Flyers will be distributed and signs posted. Shows can last anywhere from one day or night, to several days, or even several weeks. Don't wait until the last day to visit. You will be disappointed if the one piece you just love has a red dot beside it. That means it's sold!
Online searches and websites
If you are savvy on the computer and like to search for things, try searching for art. Various websites will turn up. Those belonging to artists themselves. I have my own website. I manage it and maintain it. Some artists prefer to join an online site that does all that work for them. Artists upload their pictures and let the website do the work. I happen to do both. The website I joined is called "Art by Locals". It features local artists from Alberta. Plenty to look at. If you like merchandise with art on it try Redbubble. I'm on there, too, I just haven't updated my artwork in over a year. But check it out. You can access thousands of artists' work and get it printed on anything you can imagine, from mugs to shower curtains to clocks, aprons and more!
Don't go big box store on me!
Nothing can disturb an artist more than you passing over their art in favor of the cheap reprints at the big box stores. Please, please, consider original art from an original artist!
Face it, you may be ashamed to say you ordered your artwork online from Amazon but you will always be proud to reveal that you personally met the artist of the great piece hanging in your home.