With the holidays just a pleasant memory, (we hope), there is no longer a need to anguish in the stress associated with coming up with the perfect gift. It is vital to slow down, take a moment, a breath, and allow ourselves to savor the experience.
Just today, I had a gentleman visit us in the gallery, upon which he’d accidentally stumbled. The first thing he did upon entering our venerable establishment, is proclaim that he was “just looking and not an art person”. In other words, “back off”… I smiled and welcomed him, then, rather than my usual query about what he might be looking for or even drawn to, I asked him to sit down with me for a chat. You know when you’ve been marketing fine art for a long time, as I have, it is all too easy to overlook the emotional needs of a prospective collector in favor of wanting to sell to them. In this case, I figured I had the time, and he appeared to be up for the conversation, so we proceeded to get comfy in a couple of the oversize settees strategically arranged within the gallery viewing areas.
Now let me preface this by saying that I am truly enamored with this gallery’s distinctive art collection presented in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. My history in this business, however, has taught me many things. One thing I will always remember, is that there is more to selling art then just hanging it on the wall and hoping someone will love it. It is so critical that any collector be given the opportunity to express his or her own thoughts on a particular work or body of work, based upon their own histories and sensibilities, among other things.
That being said, I also know in my gut that an informed collector is a plus. So, taking a cue from this gentleman, I cautiously addressed the curiosity which had undoubtedly led him to our gallery in the first place. He had been checking out gallery sites online and had never actually been into a retail art establishment for fear he’d get “sold”. He used the word, “intimidated” by the traditional gallery and what he’d assumed to be the hardline and aggressive sales practices. Of course, I had heard this all before, and, in an attempt to reassure him, I thanked him for at least venturing in the door. “You have taken the first steps”, I reminded him. He laughed and got up to walk around the gallery, already feeling more comfortable. We continued chatting about him, his life, his wife and job, and art, as he related his world to the creations displayed before him. I personally believe the idea that the better educated a prospective collector becomes about art, the more confident they’ll be in their decisions. This guy was slowly beginning to trust himself and the idea that he he did not need to be an art “expert” to enjoy the experience of collecting and, ultimately, the art itself. As we walked around the cavernous space, we discussed many of the artist’s individual styles, skills, and the imaginations which they must possess in order to create and achieve such masterful works. His confidence increasing, he offered his own narrative on several of the paintings, explaining that he felt a sort of kinship with several of the artists. Again, this is an important part of the collecting experience, and one that can be most enjoyable for both the collector (whether they are a novice or not), and the consultant.
More than 1 hour later, this art “convert” left the gallery with, not one, but three very impressive, but unique original paintings. He was so excited about the art he’d selected to bring home, and, I think, even more so, by the fact that he had conquered a long-standing fear he had about the art experience itself. The art had become not only conceptually, but also emotionally accessible to him and this was, in large part, his own doing. I must confess, I too was re-invigorated from our conversation and appreciated the reminder about what that first art experience could and should be like.
I would argue with those who say that art is not required in our modern existence. The doldrums of a new winter season may be upon us, however, we can ward off the inevitable cold by renewing that insatiable passion for beauty which lives in all of us. This basic need has existed throughout history and will continue to be even more important in our hectic lives and into the New Year!
We invite you to stop in the gallery and share in a most comfortable and enriching experience.
Happy New Year From All of Us at Huckleberry Fine Art!