"Adulting:" How To Buy Your First Piece of REAL Art

Sarah Trundle

Sarah Trundle

“Adulting:” How to Buy Your First Piece of Real Art

According to a study commissioned by the National Endowment of the Arts, only 20% of the U.S. population owns an original work of art. Now we at The Rumjahn Gallery might be just a bit biased, but we think that number can and should be higher. Why isn’t it? Maybe because art is a little intimidating to those who have had no formal art education, which represents a majority of the population.

And yet, the very nature of art is elusive, subjective, and unique. It is exactly the kind of purchase that sophisticated consumers today are looking for. Your walls should only be decorated with the very best representation of your unique style, taste, energy, and personality. Your artwork should be nothing less than magnificent, as it is a direct reflection of YOU. You are not an off-the-shelf, mass-produced, lowest-bidder object, and so neither should be the very things you choose to surround yourself with. These are, after all, items that tell the story of YOU to the world.

But still, where to begin? Especially without any formal training? We’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind when making that first purchase of original art. Remember these key concepts, and not only will you have fun shopping for and buying art, you can look cool doing it.

Sali Swalla

Sali Swalla

#1 The Joy of Art
The NEA study mentioned above also sought to answer WHY people buy art, and the number one reason cited by sophisticated buyers was that it made them happy. By far and away the best reason to buy a piece of art is that it evokes something in you (hopefully happiness, or a positive feeling) that you would not otherwise obtain anywhere else. You will get ten times the satisfaction from your purchase if you buy art for this reason alone.

Shane Hickrod

Shane Hickrod

#2 Be Brave and Confident
If a piece of art evokes something in you, even if you can’t identify it, trust your emotional side. Go with your intuition. Don’t worry about what others might think. If it resonates with you, then it matters to you. If it matters to you, then it’s worth the risk. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

#3 There Are No Stupid Questions
If you have a question about a piece of art, just ask us. Knowing more about an art purchase, even a potential one, goes a long way towards your future enjoyment of it. When that beautiful work is hanging in your home, you will be able to articulate to your friends and relatives the reasons for your choice. Here are some questions to start with (and to which we have very good answers):

Kirsten Bowen

Kirsten Bowen

  • What influenced the artist to create this work of art?
  • Is this medium what the artist usually works in?
  • Why have you, as a gallery, chosen to represent this artist?
  • Can you tell me more about this artist?

#4 Know Your Type
The more you look at art, the more you will realize what kinds of art resonate with you. Do you prefer photography, oil paintings, pastels, drawings, abstract, landscapes, or sculpture? What kinds of subjects, colors, or textures draw your eye and capture your imagination? Not sure what you're looking at? Ask us! (See #3, above.) Understanding what you like will give you the confidence to make a purchase. A confident purchase lays the foundation for lasting enjoyment of your art.

#5 Know your Space
Where do you want to hang a piece of art in your home? Are you looking to fill a blank space, or are you looking for an “impact piece” in a place of prominence? Don’t forget about the bathroom! Design goals can significantly influence your aesthetic choice. Measure your space, bring us those dimensions.

#6 Trust Us
One of the great advantages to visiting an art gallery is the assurance that everything you see is good. We have taken the time to curate our collection, bringing you only the very best. Unlike shopping online or other random venues where you might wonder whether what you are looking at is trash or treasure, everything we exhibit is a treasure. It’s only up to you to decide which artistic gem is right FOR YOU. Developing a relationship with a gallery can be fruitful because once we know your specific tastes and preferences, we can inform you of new artwork that we know you'd like.

Armed with this approach to purchasing real art, you will have no problem decorating your walls with something uniquely you, and will surely make an impression on your visitors. More importantly, you'll be living in a space that serves to fortify and nurture you. You will never regret taking your home to the next level!