I am often asked by new collectors how to find attractive, affordable art. The answer is to look for talented students. At the end of the year MFA art students present their final thesis show. At some universities that art is for sale…at bargain prices. The year I graduated from Centre College, one student’s work was so popular it sold out in a single day.
Another option is to look for shows exhibiting work of “emerging artist.” This season, one such show is New Blue- Emerging Artists: First Kentucky Biennial at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville. According to their website, many of the artists in that show are recent college graduates and new university faculty members. In other words, these are qualified folks who are still making a name for themselves. I can not think of a better way to buy.
A couple of years ago, I purchased a piece of art from Kopilot on a whim. I walked into the store for the first time and they just happened to be having a opening that night. I saw a small piece of art for $75 and I fell in love with it. In a matter of minutes I discovered that the artist was Louisville’s own Kathleen Lolly. Today, Lolly’s pieces are still relatively inexpensive but they have gone up in value. I noticed that some of the pieces which are similar in style, size, and medium to mine sell for around $200. Lolly’s work is still shown at Kopilot. You can also view her work on her website or at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in the aforementioned show through May 24, 2008. There are also a lot of other really great artists exhibiting in that show and if you are looking to begin your own collection this may be the place to start. The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft is open from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday –Friday and 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Saturday.