Art-lovers collect art because of choice. Pieces collected can be priceless regardless of the monetary value. With every decision to select a piece from millions of options, collectors make the choice because it is special to them and represents that person. That is why caring for your collection properly is so important. It extends beyond maintaining the physical condition.
It is important to keep records and a collection history. This will be invaluable for insurance purposes in case of theft or a catastrophic event. At Hunter-Wolff Gallery we recommend documenting your collection history with individual folders or a binder with tabs for each item in your collection but the best option is to keep your data on a flash drive or some other backup device with the following details:
- color photographs of your artwork, with a full-view and close up details—front, back, framed, unframed. Photograph multiple views of three-dimensional art.
- purchase date, price, and title of work (receipt) from vendor or gallery
- artist/maker information (biography)
- detailed description of object’s subject matter or type of work
- dimensions—framed and unframed for two-dimensional works. Overall and base measurements for three-dimensional works.
- media and support data detailed description of object—include location of scratches, losses, dents, abrasions, etc., that may not be visible in photographs.
- copies of all conservation and appraisal reports, text of inscriptions, markings, and labels
- provenance – ownership history
- bibliographic information if your work is cited in any exhibition catalogues, auction catalogues, exhibition history.
Most of the information you need should be available on your sales receipt or available through the vendor or gallery. Take a few minutes today to update your list.
When we have great news about a new artist, it is simply impossible not to tell everyone we know. It’s like finding out you are having a baby. You just can’t keep it a secret.
This past January, I found Vicki Grant’s wonderful work in another gallery when I was vacationing in Florida. Remember her name because you will be seeing and hearing a lot about her and her work. Although we would love to have you meet her soon, it will likely be the fall when she can travel to Colorado. Keep checking our posts and website for information about her visit.
Where does she get such creative ideas? First, her background includes having studied Architecture at the University of Maryland School of Architecture. With more than 25 years experience as an architect and artist, she naturally creates a visual experience that engages the viewer both intellectually and emotionally. When you see her work in person, you will understand what this means. She says, she “always felt that the most amazing forms, structure, color and textures are found within nature and that exposure to these elements have been her inspiration and teacher”.
When she sits down to start a new work of art and her idea is in place, she transforms clay with her hands and tools to reflect the original conceptual thought. After firing the clay, oil pigments are hand applied, layer after layer, until the final patina of rich hues is achieved. She then embellishes her shapes with porcupine quills, fossils, stones, feathers, wood and shells. The results are always unique and truly engaging.
When you want something incredibly stimulating to add to your art collection, consider Vicki Grant’s colorful shapes on slate. Hunter-Wolff Gallery currently carries two sizes, 12×12 and 6×6. They are filled with surprises and textures inviting your touch.
Janelle Cox is Never Satisfied with The Status Quo and always brings new subject matter and fresh ideas to her canvas
How do you change status quo to get the most out of life? Do you look for new challenges? New adventures? Push the envelope a little?
In a recent conversation with a local Artist, he reminded me that he knows he isn’t improving or growing as an artist unless he brings new ideas to the forefront by challenging himself. He feels he isn’t doing his best work unless he sees improvement and the status quo never works for him. Ever.
In 1991, Ronald Regan said, “Status quo, you know, that is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in’.” If you don’t really like the “mess” you’re in, change it. Don’t settle for status quo.
I believe we all have the power to make change, to challenge ourselves, to improve our current state of affairs. I like to believe that collecting art is part of that process. It enriches our lives. It makes us see the world with different eyes and feel a closer connection to world we live in. Art transfers positive energy to our personal lives.
Case in point: After returning from being away for a period, I experienced with fresh eyes what visitors see when they walk through Hunter-Wolff Gallery’s door. It was reassuring to feel a much needed escape from the status quo and so much positive charge among our collections. I couldn’t have been more pleased to see new artwork that arrived while I as gone by Greg Custer, Janelle Cox, Fred Lunger and other dedicated artists.
It was a wonderful reminder that HWG continues to offer what is important and needed in our lives to stay uplifted and positive about the future. Stop in soon and see the new work now hanging by these fine artists–work that is always charged with energy, aesthetically appealing with a fresh contemporary flair and the perfect antidote for the status quo.
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow ~ Albert Einstein
Miniature Bronze Pike
Recently one of my kids asked my opinion about tiny homes on wheels, where the entire house is several hundred square feet (or less). I started laughing because I can’t seem to find enough room in my current home, which is substantially larger, for all my art. I am an art lover afterall and need space to enjoy it.
The small house movement (also known as the “tiny house movement”) is a popular description for the architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes. I love the idea but am not sure it works for me personally at this point in my life. For most art collectors this type of living could pose a problem, especially if you are an active collector and adding new works of art to your collection–to your living space.
One solution for the tiny home dweller is to continue to collect but go for those collectibles that are miniatures or smaller than the norm. For example Fred Lunger, a bronze sculptor at Hunter-Wolff Gallery, sculpts miniature bronzes that are typically between 2 inches and 5 inches in height or width. With miniatures, you often have a “miniature” price tag too! Hunter-Wolff Gallery has many options for ideal “small” art for those with limited space and want to continue collecting. Call 719-520-9494 or visit www.hunterwolffgallery.com for help with original art for your space.
My adult children often quote their Dad who wisely pointed out, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” — one of his favorite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson. He would urge our children and friends to enjoy life’s journey regardless of outcome even when they experienced a disappointment.
Collecting art is a journey too. Sometimes we are afraid of what we don’t know and don’t trust our instincts. As an art collector and gallery owner, I have often seen the look in someone’s eyes, even tears, when a special work of art triggers an emotion. But too often they walk away empty handed because of their lack of experience or understanding of a particular art form. They fail to experience the wonderful gift of art as part of their personal journey.
Like anything one does in life, it is important to be confident and trust ones instincts when considering art. A meaningful work of art in our life adds a new dimension to the person we can be. It connects us to the world we live in similar to other art forms such as a beautiful song or memorable stage performance or award-winning literature. These experiences make us who we are, a more fulfilled and interesting being.
How often have you purchased tickets for a show and walked out disappointed? Started a book everyone raved about, and put it down out of boredom? You might even purchase a piece of art that you are less than enchanted with later, but does that mean that you can’t enjoy art … or read another book or go to another performance? Taking tiny steps, on your journey of life, allows you to grow and smell the roses along the way. As you get more confident with your own tastes and spend a little time exploring what types of art speak to you, you will find the perfect gem to make your life sweeter.
Start today. Take a step toward the journey of collecting. It is fascinating and exciting. In closing, I share another Emerson quote that happens to be one of my favorites: “It is not the length of life, but the depth.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
The decision to approach a gallery for representation is followed by hard work and too often 7 common mistakes. Making these mistakes can create disappointment, waste time, impede financial opportunity and, more importantly, could permanently hurt the chance to secure the best representation for your work.
These few steps can increase chances for representation with a gallery. It may be surprising how many doors will open when following some simple guidelines. Just like applying for any job in the marketplace, one needs to be prepared and follow common etiquette. Don’t fall short on these areas:
- Appointment – First, visit a gallery in person. Study as much as possible about the gallery from their website or speak with some of the resident artists. Set up an appointment with the owner or hiring manager for discussion purposes. Never show up without an appointment if you want to be taken seriously.
- Follow-Up – Timing is always a factor. Follow-up with a second call if you are not successful the first time. After a call or meeting with a gallery, regardless of the outcome, be courteous and follow-up with a thank you for their time, words of encouragement or anything else that you took away from your meeting. Don’t be shy about asking if you can follow-up with the gallery in 3-6 months if you think it is a good match but maybe the timing is not right. It may not turnout the way you want but following up later may be the perfect time to be invited back.
- Answers – Like any job interview, be prepared to answer questions about your track record and demonstrate you are a reliable artist who is prepared to deliver what the gallery needs when they need it. They will want to know about your experience, sales history and commitment. Be ready to discuss how you might contribute to their bottom-line.
- Portfolio – Leave your work at home or in your car until you are asked for it. Deliver a portfolio of images of your best work and formatted in a binder and on a CD. The CD will be appreciated by the busy gallery owner. Label each image with a title, size, and medium and format large enough (4×5) to be clearly viewed. Busy galleries don’t have time to look at your life’s work; 15 examples are sufficient to determine a good fit. Keep it concise, consistent, informative and relevant and make it easy for review.
- Consistency – Each portfolio should exhibit a meaningful body of work. Illustrate your uniqueness, technique, style, and appeal, but be consistent. If you are an oil painter and excel at landscapes, showing pencil sketches of nudes or abstract watercolors because you enjoy that too aren’t necessarily helpful. Show only your most recent body of work and your best work. Include sold work to show you have a track record. Artists who work in different mediums should develop a portfolio based on one medium only. Create multiple portfolios but format each as a series of work based on only one medium. Be consistent–don’t confuse the gallery with your different styles and different mediums.
- Inventory – An artist with half a dozen pieces of work isn’t likely to be accepted into an active gallery. A viable partnership starts with a volume of work that allows galleries to swap out or replace work on a moment’s notice. Many successful artists have as many as 75 or more pieces in their inventory and are constantly creating fresh work. The gallery can’t sell what you don’t have. If you only create a few pieces a month, you may not be ready for a gallery relationship.
- Self-Esteem – Successful artists are confident in their artistic ability, marketability and the salability of their work. If you have a positive attitude, high self-esteem and confidence in your work, you will have a better chance to advance beyond your first meeting.
Lastly, for artists with a special talent, getting a foot in the gallery door should be the easiest step to an exciting career. There are many circumstances that may prevent an invitation initially; such as, timing, space availability, genre fit, etc. An unprepared artist, however, can turn a perfect opportunity into a disappointment. There is no short-cut to securing good representation. But, the artist who prepares has the best chance of enjoying a long and rewarding relationship with the best representatives for their work.
Tired of that black ring around your neck from sterling silver? Tarnish is natural when silver oxidizes but it can make a black mark on your skin. Good news for silver lovers who want their silver to stay shiny and not blacken. A brand called Argentium® Sterling is an alloy or mixture of silver containing 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper or other metals. Sterling silver is usually alloyed with copper to give it strength, durability and beauty. But sterling silver tarnishes and needs regular polishing to keep it from darkening or turning black.
Argentium® is a welcomed discovery by Peter Johns in 1996, a professor of silversmith at the Art and Design Research Institute (ADRI), School of Art & Design, Middlesex University in England. The project began in 1990 with research on the effects of germanium additions to silver alloys. Johns discovered that by reducing the copper content in traditional silver and adding germanium (discovered in Germany nearly 100 year earlier) to silver, it stays bright and beautiful. Can you imagine silver jewelry that rarely needs polishing? Argentium forms a clear oxide reducing the tarnishing and contains 92.5% silver and no nickel. If you love the look of shiny silver that only needs an occasional wipe with a soft cloth to remove a smudge or finger mark, look no further.
For thousands of years, we’ve worn sterling silver bracelets, earrings, cuffs, rings, and necklaces. This shimmery white metal can be worn day or night and is a very popular in everyday jewelry. Sterling silver jewelry is far more affordable than white gold or platinum. Hunter-Wolff Gallery offers Argentium sterling silver in designs by DKC Jewelry which are very durable and easy to clean. Even better, if you have a nickel allergy, you can wear sterling silver earrings and other pieces made with Argentium because there is no nickel. Made by hand in Colorado, Argentium sterling silver jewelry is designed for everyday wear.
Skyward by Jennifer Vranes
Typically art galleries paint their walls white, beige or pale gray for their display walls to keep the focus on the artwork. But, at home, add extra pizzazz by doing just the opposite and use rich, intense color on your walls. If you make color your focal point and first impression, even those tatty pieces you can’t wait to replace will become less noticeable.
Colored walls also compensate for poor architectural details. If you have beautiful moldings, trim, niches or built-ins, your walls look great in most any color. Some architectural designs are better in whites and beiges but the use of bold color to distract the eye can create something special where the builder didn’t.
If your room gets lots of sun and sometimes feels “too warm”, cool it down by painting the walls with a cool color. Likewise, if your room feels too frosty, warm it up with a warm paint color. The way we perceive a room affects the way we feel, and you can balance the extremes with the right color and the right art work.
Old Colorado City (Colorado Springs) offers a monthly art event, every first Friday of the month, that welcomes all ages and is family friendly. If you are looking for a way to stretch your legs and learn something new about art, get your walking shoes on and expect to spend at least 2 hours admiring, learning, and considering new art. With 15 venues along Colorado Avenue, from 23rd to 27th Streets, you will find something to peak your interests. Hundreds of artists exhibit work and there is no shortage of styles and techniques.
At Hunter-Wolff Gallery, 2510 W. Colorado Avenue, ArtWalkers have the opportunity to meet many artists. On April 3, David Newton, Justin Clements, Gina Grundemann, Gary Vigen, Marlene Kort, and many others will be available to answer questions. Selling art is their livelihood and we can’t think of a better way to support artists than to come prepared to fall in love with original art and take it home to admire in your own home.
Hunter-Wolff Gallery will also have staff on hand to help guide you through the gallery if needed and point you in the direction for the next discovery along W. Colorado Avenue.
What do you think of these examples of art work being shown at Friday, April 3 ArtWalk?
As an art-enthusiast and collector, have you had the pleasure of meeting the creator of the wonderful works selected for your home? Wouldn’t that be fun? For a collector of contemporary works, the ultimate personal connection to a work of art is meeting the artist. Personally, I have a long list of artists I wish I could meet, but unfortunately many are no longer living. However, for works by living artists, it can be thrilling to shake hands, tell the artist how wonderful he or she is, and chat with these gifted individuals who enhance our lives. Having the opportunity to personally be invited into the artist’s world is an added bonus.
One collector admitted, “The value of “bragging rights” that come with owning works of an artist-friend or acquaintance cannot be overstated. No one alive today can say he dropped in on Vermeer or Leonardo, but I can speak endlessly about my relationships with the various artists whose works are in my collection.” He continued to explain that when it comes to choosing between two equally wonderful creations by different artists new to his collection, he almost always supports the artist he has met.
For the artist, it is equally rewarding to meet admirers and collectors. It is these reasons we host regularly scheduled events to bring artist and collector together. By making appearances at openings and participating in events where the artist’s work is exhibited, the artist has the opportunity to engage with his admirers. It’s a win-win and sometimes it even tilts the balance toward a collector’s buying decision over another work.
Hunter-Wolff Gallery is one of a dozen galleries in Old Colorado City who participates in First Friday ArtWalk between April and December. Visitors and collectors are greeted by artists; some artists are demonstrating techniques, like Gary Vigen or other featured artists and jewelry designers. Mark your calendar for every first Friday of the month in Old Colorado City, Colorado, and take advantage of this great opportunity to discuss possible custom pieces one-on-one with the potential creator, too. Drop in and visit with your favorite artist. I bet that you will look at the artist’s artwork in a different light after you meet.
Can you put a name to the faces below? They are all represented at Hunter-Wolff Gallery and eager to meet you.