"When we first began purchasing art, we - um - bought one of those Thomas Kinkade paintings," he said rather sheepishly. "It was a reproduction signed by the artist."
|Thomas Kinkade Archive in Monterey, CA|
Not to cast aspersions on the highly collectable work of Mr. Kinkade, but as this visitor began to realize, what he had was, after all, not an original, unique piece of art. He went on to say that as he and his wife began to travel, they began purchasing art by local artists, and eventually began commissioning pieces. The Thomas Kinkade was relegated to a closet for years. They finally sold it.
The visitor shared with me some photos of their commissioned works, installed in their chic, modern apartment: abstracts, a huge glass mosaic piece and sculpture. I couldn't picture a mass-produced piece like Kinkade's in this setting. "We've evolved," he laughed.
When adding art their home, most people realize at some point that they've outgrown the prints and posters of their college days, and the reproductions from the mall furniture store. They want something original, but admit to a lack of confidence: As a result, some figure the thing to do is find the most upscale, chic gallery in their city, only to return home after finding that the piece they liked carried a price tag equivalent to that of a small car.
|Gallery Underground in Arlington, VA|
Most artists who belong to their local art organizations have been artists for years; many regularly are juried into competitions and win awards. The quality is high, but without the overhead the upscale urban galleries command, the prices at local art organizations' galleries are usually much more affordable.
The artists in our gallery are all members of the Arlington Artists Alliance, and as our recent visitor found, the art is exceptional. He took several business cards. "I'll be calling to commission some pieces," he said as he left. And these pieces will NOT end up in the closet.
--Sandi Parker, Gallery Underground Co-Director