Where does a first-time collector on a budget find good art?

Where does a first-time collector on a budget find good art?

Christina Dideriksen for COMPANY

(December 18, 2011) AirTran’s GO Magazine recently sent reporter Allison Weiss Entrekin out on an expedition to buy art in a New York. As Allison describes herself, “I’m what you might call an art idiot. I’ve never purchased an original piece; I don’t know how to pronounce curator (“CURE-a-tor?” “Cur-A-tor?”). But on this trip to New York City, I’m going to get a crash course in the art world and buy something incredible for my grandmother. Because I’m too much of an idiot to be intimidated.” 

And who did Allison find? Our very own Melodie Provenzano

Allison captures the experience of the first time serious art expedition. If you haven’t yet ventured into your own collection, you’ll appreciate the trials Allison goes through determining just how to balance subjective “value” and a budget. Even if you’ve run out of space to get that one last piece for your collection, you’ll appreciate the sweet reminiscences of discovering the art world.  And while you can’t take home the drawing Allison’s journey brought her to, a few of Melodie’s Limited Edition prints of Kitty Bed, Little Wing, and Our Gay Wedding are still available.

By Allison Weiss Entrekin with assistance from Rachelle Hicks for GO

I didn’t grow up appreciating art. Politics? Yes. Religion? Sure. But not art. My parents weren’t art aficionados, and though they took me to see the major museums when we traveled, I was usually more interested in spotting cute boys than masterpieces. I went to a state university (go Gators!) where I took not a single art class. And now that I’m all adult and a Mrs. and a mom, our Atlanta home is decorated in framed prints and mirrors. Mirrors make a 1930s bungalow appear bigger inside, you know.

But I wouldn’t be so humble as to say I’ve never been good at art myself. When I was growing up in Orlando, I took classes at a local art center, and my teacher once chose me to be a student judge at an art fair — hey hey! When I wrote stories (which was all the time), I often illustrated them with doodles that weren’t halfbad. I’m not sure why I didn’t pursue fine arts after the sixth grade, but I didn’t, which means I didn’t take after my grandmother.

In my hometown, Nana is considered an important figure in the arts. She sat on the boards of regional art centers, and, over the course of a few decades, collected nearly 30 original works, including a lithograph by Philip Pearlstein and a serigraph by Victor Vasarely. Her tastes aren’t anything like my friends’ grandmothers. You won’t find sweet, framed quotes hanging on her walls; instead, there are nudes and big white canvases with tiny shapes in the middle. She buys pieces because she loves them. And that love, it turns out, comes with a nice payoff — a recent appraisal valued her collection at more than $66,000, with some pieces having more than doubled in value since she bought them. Not bad for a granny.

So this year, I’m going to buy Nana a piece of art for Christmas....

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