Art Collecting and the Power of Social Media
For art collectors, there are two distinct types: private and public. A private collection, also called a curio cabinet, is a single, locked collection of art. In a gallery or art-galore context, the word literally means a single work isn’t owned by the museum, but rather is on display “for the time or term.” Private collections are often made of art that was bought in a garage sale, from a friend’s estate, or was part of a set purchased from a coin dealer. The term can apply to any single item. It’s just more commonly used to refer to art collections.
Public art buyers come in all shapes and sizes. One way to find art collectors is to attend art shows. Most cities host a large annual show. Some of these exhibits are sponsored by major contemporary artists. Attendance at these exhibits is also a great way to meet other art buyers and dealers. You can find many established dealers at art shows, as well as up-and-coming artists.
Another way to find collectors is to attend art auctions. If you’re buying or selling fine art, you probably know that buying is the same as selling. You want to make sure the person who is selling the piece is who you think they are. Art auctions are an excellent way to do this. The rules for selling vary by the organization sponsoring the auction. Most of them require some kind of appraisal, although most require some kind of signed document.
If you don’t attend an auction, check out the message boards and chat rooms dedicated to art buyers and collectors. Art collectors and buyers hang out in these places. You can meet artists and dealers, you’ve never even seen. You can network with collectors who buy exclusively from art buyers and sellers, rather than dealers who sell exclusive pieces from local designers.
Finally, it’s worth visiting the online social media sites. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to meet art buyers and artists on these sites. Social media allows you to connect with people you would never otherwise be able to meet. The key, however, is being careful not to let too much information to go public, especially if you are still relatively new to the art world. Art collectors and buyers should always remain modest. They are working in the public’s eye, and they need to exercise caution when revealing too much about themselves.
These are just five ways to find and network with art collectors and buyers. Remember that these are just a few ideas, and there are literally hundreds of possibilities. Use your imagination, your resources, and your social media contacts to come up with other great ways to find and make new friends with artists you admire.