By Laura Jackson
While the answers to why we purchase art may be as diverse as the individuals who buy it, an enduring love affair remains. The beauty and freedom of art continues to thrive in a space beyond words, engaging in a different type of language entirely.
Meyer Gallery. What makes a piece of art unique? That will continue to be debated into eternity. Yet, it’s almost always a key factor motivating an art purchase. One of Meyer Gallery’s artists, Laura Atkinson, explains her philosophy, “I find the most satisfaction in taking something that was considered to be nothing and turning it into something fascinating that prods our thinking and encourages discovery, a work you can look at over and over again and still find something new.”
Art evokes emotion.
Julie Nester Gallery
“Our core customers buy original art because living with art makes them feel good,” describes Doug Nester, co-owner. It brings energy and life to their home. It transports them to a different time or place, and brings them closer to the human experience by knowing that their artwork is a product of another person’s vision, passion and skill. They have a connection to the artwork through a shared experience or point of view of the artist.”
One of their most sought after artists is Stephen Foss, who creates stunning and reflective abstract oil paintings. “His paintings have broad appeal because not only are they beautiful, but they offer various points of appreciation including abstract and organic elements, a unique process and tactile qualities,” said Nester.
It tells a story.
Gallery MAR. “Our collectors come to us from such diverse backgrounds that there is never a singular reason why one collects. We often find that a gallery guest will stop, stare, and feel overcome with emotion when they connect with a piece — it may remind them of a childhood memory, they may be moved by the beauty of a piece, or it may speak to what they aspire for their future,” describes Gallery Owner Maren Bargreen Mullin.
She explains that at other times, collectors will simply be moved by the beauty of a piece, a line or gesture of a brush, or a palette that matches their personality. “We love sharing Fred Calleri’s work because the people in his narratives touch your heart. One can see themselves in his paintings, which have a throwback, illustrative style.” With both a romantic and mysterious quality, his paintings chronicle relatable life experiences and emotions.
Lunds Fine Art. Debbie Lund, co- owner, describes what motivates her typical client, “It’s something they want to look at every day. The average client purchases a piece because they are attracted to its inherent beauty, style and color.” Allen Lund explains, “Though some clients discuss passing purchased art down to their children later, ninety percent of the time it’s about the emotions the art evokes verses an investment value.”
When Karen Awalt looks at art, she knows it’s right when it transports her to another place. For this collector from Sugar Land, Texas, it may be of a place she already loves (like the mountains of Utah) or one she would like to go to someday. “When I look around my home, I see many landscapes that speak to me, and they all remind me of a place of beauty, comfort or peace.”
It takes us back.
Greer Barney, a collector from Cumming, Georgia explains, “When I see Lund’s painting hanging in my kitchen, it immediately brings me and my family back to Park City. We live on a lake and spend a lot of time outdoors, so I was naturally drawn to his style and the beautiful way he portrays nature. Another painting I received as a gift from my husband, and all of them bring back special memories of our time spent there.”
Prewitt Gallery. “Buying art is an emotional experience,” said Hal Prewitt, photographer, race car driver, inventor, businessman and artist owner of Prewitt Gallery. “It’s not something we need to eat, drink or stay dry, so it has to hold a deep emotional attraction.” He believes two primary characteristics attract people to art, “Uniqueness of the item and its artist. And for me, it’s also about a passion for capturing and sharing a unique moment and place that may likely never occur together again.”
His gallery’s approach: “To capture stunning images of the uniqueness around the world.” Few of us are likely to physically experience Prewitt’s polar bears in Antarctica, or rare turtles in the Galapagos Islands, but we can be inspired by seeing their true beauty and rarity.
It creates connections.
Protho Gallery. Traci Prothro believes, “Art, simply stated, is a powerful form of emotional connection and expression. Reasons for buying art are many and multi-faceted at best. They can be summarized as psychologically and socially rooted in nature, but always having a connection component to either the artist, the place, the people, a feeling or nostalgia.”
A passion for art has been known to inspire all sorts of endeavors, especially love. This past fall, a long-term collector of Ford Smith, an artist Prothro Gallery represents, proposed marriage in front of his and his future wife’s new commissioned painting, “HueTopia,” creating a type of enduring connection that’s tough to top.
It brings us closer to the creative process.
“My experience in commissioning a painting couldn’t have been better,” explains Mary Mulvehill, a collector from Minneapolis, Minnesota. “In the commission process, you really get emotionally attached and invested. One of the end results of the Lund paintings I purchased is that I feel peaceful and relaxed when I look at them. They feel like they truly belong in my home and life.”
Trove Gallery. Gallery Owner Jen Schumacher believes, “Art acquisitions are generally motivated by emotional responses. People are interested in the talent that goes into making a piece, not only the execution, but how the artist’s mind works. The discipline and technique involved in Patrick Kramer’s hyperrealistic paintings exhibits a level of control that is fascinating; I believe this is why his work is so sought after.”
It reflects life’s passions.
JGO Gallery. Co-owner Jude Greeney said, “I believe our clients purchase original art for many reasons: it adds beauty to their homes, it’s a reflection of their unique aesthetic sensibility, it tells of their appreciation for an artist and often a relationship with our gallery. Something about it moves them; it stimulates a pleasurable emotion or state of mind they want to own and experience every time they look at it.”
One of their gallery’s most sought after artists, Carole Wade, describes how passion for the mountains affects her art, “I paint Park City icons because I am familiar with its atmosphere and spirit and I have an emotional response to it. Both locals and visitors can feel it.”
Art provides a memory link.
Thomas Anthony Gallery. “Clients are often first motivated to buy art by a need to address a specific wall or open space in their home. Other motivations include a primal, spontaneous reaction to the aesthetic of a painting or sculpture. A work of art can also create a personal connection, such as reminding a collector of a special memory, such as a geographical location from a vacation,” said Thomas Anthony.
One of their collectors from Austin, Texas, explains how a painting by Dorsey McHugh brought back treasured childhood memories of her father. Kathy Shafer shares, “The tranquil winter scene includes a sheep and her lamb. There’s just something about it that brings a smile to everyone who sees it. But for me, it brought back a special memory of my father coming into my room when I couldn’t sleep and telling me to count sheep, and I knew I wanted it in my home.” She also has several enchanting Joshua Tobey sculptures, including a small rabbit relaxing with his feet perched in the air on her late mother’s favorite bench, welcoming guests to her outdoor garden. “It creates a whole setting there in the backyard, and always results in a chuckle.”