The art world can be intimidating and seemingly inaccessible to seasoned and aspiring art collectors alike. Friends, family and other people I meet tell me the same thing, that they love art but don’t know anything about it or think that fine art is only for the extremely wealthy and must be out of reach for them. It is no wonder that these aspiring collectors feel intimidated by the stark white gallery walls, purported high sales value of artwork and the exclusive nature of fine art galleries.
It is my belief that everyone can and should experience the joy and pleasure of discovering original fine art, falling in love, making it part of their home and connecting them to a greater community. Our mission is to create a gallery environment where anyone can feel comfortable visiting to explore marvelous works of art whether they are an art aficionado or not.
Whether you are considering buying your first piece or have an art collection you want to enhance, here are some FAQs that will help guide you in making confident decisions.
How do I start an Art Collection?
Research and discover what you like. It may seem like a chore, but your sense of personal style doesn’t develop overnight. Visit art museums and galleries, follow them on Instagram, peruse their websites. Go to art fairs to see a large quantity of art in one place. Get a sense of the style of artwork that you like and what you don’t like.
Take your time. Any great art collection has been built over the course of a lifetime. Purchasing artwork is a world of discovery and patience. Envision where you want art in your home and think about how any given piece of art could fit.
Trust your instincts and Buy what you love. Pay attention to how art makes you feel and trust your feelings and insticts. Art is supposed to make the viewer experience some emotion – positive or negative. When you feel overwhelming sense of excitement about possessing the work, a passion about the particular content or artist, or a sense of calm wonder and instinct to share your discovery – all of these are a good reason to make the work yours.
Even with an emotional connection to a piece of art, it is still advised to think practically and intelligently about your purchase by asking questions about the artist, their exhibition history, other collections they are in and get the provenance of the piece you are purchasing. Think about where the piece will fit in your home and where it will live with you.
Know your budget. Don’t be afraid to discuss your budget with the gallerist. J. Rinehart Gallery has artworks starting as low as $500 and can go up to the tens of thousands of dollars. There will always be something for everyone and your budget may go further than you think.
Think outside of the ordinary. Art can be anything from paintings, photography, sculpture, mixed media, design, fine art prints, installations and everything in between. The different variety of artwork available is as diverse as your tastes, so keep an open mind.
What if I don’t know anything about art?
Ask Questions - You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy art. The gallerists have become experts over a long period of time studying art and art history and having specific in-depth knowledge about the artists they represent. Ask them everything you want to know from the artist’ intention, to the materials they used, or ask about the artists career and even the pricing structure of their work. They have a wealth of knowledge and most are more than happy to share it with you to help you make an informed decision.
Go to artist talks and lectures. Most galleries will host artists talks in addition to the exhibition openings so you have the opportunity to speak directly from the artist to answer any questions you might have in a more casual setting. Sign up for our mailing list to receive invitations to artist talks and other events.
How do galleries work with artists
The relationship between the artist and the gallery can be described as a very close partnership. The artist creates work that is consigned to the gallery for sale. The gallery works hard to present the artist’s work in the best light and bring as many opportunities to the artist as possible to exhibit, promote and ultimately place their work with collectors. As partners, the gallery and the artists split the profits on any sold artwork 50/50.
While each gallery may take a slightly different approach, most artists are solely represented by the gallery in the state and sometimes the region where that the gallery is located. The artist may have additional galleries in other regions where they are represented as well.
How are prices decided?
Each artist has their own pricing structure that has been worked out between the artist and the gallery over a long period of time based on a variety of factors. Materials, Framing, fabrication and other costs involved all are built into the price of the work. The artists’ reputation, career trajectory, museum exhibition history and inclusion in significant collections are all considered in the equation for determining price. For a living and working artists, this pricing is consistent throughout their representative galleries. Remember that 50% of what you pay goes directly into the hands of a living working artist.
Can the price of artwork be negotiated?
The simple answer is yes, but make sure your expectations of what can be negotiated are managed. There is a reason that fine art galleries do not have fire sales.
The listed price of an artwork is methodically thought out and deemed appropriate by the artist and the gallery based on a variety of factors, including supply and demand. Some artists’ work is so sought-after that a wait list may exist for new pieces so the list price truly cannot be negotiated when 10 other collectors are who are willing to pay full price are in line behind you.
A good rule of etiquette is to only start negotiating if you are serious about moving forward with purchasing the piece and be prepared if the gallery is unable to offer a discount on the work itself. There are other incentives that galleries can offer in lieu of a discount such as offering a payment plan, complimentary delivery and installation service, or shipping if needed.
With that said, galleries are willing to extend discounts on artwork under certain circumstances.
A new collector that the gallery would like to turn into a regular client may receive a 5-10% discount as an incentive to keep working together. A previous collector may receive a 10% collector’s discount as a token of their support of an artist or the gallery. Additionally, a collector purchasing multiple works may receive a volume discount of 10-15%. Rarely will discounts over 15% be extended. Works priced under $1000 are typically not discounted.
Can I set up a payment plan?
Absolutely! Many galleries offer payment plans on artwork to help you establish or grow your collection. Particularly when discounts cannot be extended, a payment plan may be offered as an alternative. J. Rinehart gallery is happy to arrange in-house interest free payment plans for up to 6 months. The artwork becomes yours once the payment has been made in full. If you would like your artwork now and still want to set up a payment plan, we work with Art Money who can assist you. I want you to have the artwork you love just as much as you want it.
How can J. Rinehart Gallery help me buy art?
We are here to help both experienced and aspiring art collectors have access to unique and interesting works of fine art so they can beautify their space, enhance their sense of personal style while feeling comfortable and excited about the artwork they choose to have in their home. With a stellar reputation as the friendliest art dealer in Seattle along with a commitment to ethics, equity and transparency, Judith Rinehart is a trusted source for original contemporary art in the Pacific Northwest.
Because we deal directly with living contemporary artists in their primary market, we can guarantee the provenance and authenticity of all of the art we sell. With our diverse group of well-known emerging, mid-career, and national artists we strive to find something for any collecting need.
What if I don’t like any of your artists?
That’s okay! At its core, art is personal and subjective. What you choose to have on your walls or in your home is a reflection of your personal values and taste. J. Rinehart Gallery is happy to discuss your thoughts and needs to help find the right piece for you. With connections to galleries and other artists all over the city, we can source work on your behalf and present everything to you in one easy to navigate document and arrange to bring any of the works (yes, even from other galleries) for you to view in your home. Contact us to discuss your options.