The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

Small-time art collector

You don’t need to have a master’s degree in fine art -- or be a Rockefeller -- to be able to buy and collect art. Buying art should not be a frightening experience.

Fledgling collectors may wish to start by asking two fundamental questions: What do I like? And, how much am I willing to pay to get what I like? Once they establish the criteria for what they like, and what they want to pay, the beginning collector is armed with all the rudimentary tools of collecting.

I started collecting art about five years ago. I call myself a “small-time collector.” Why? Because the art I prefer to buy is no bigger than 8”x10” and usually costs less than $150 per item.

I also prefer to purchase art directly from the artist. There is nothing wrong with buying art through a gallery, but purchasing directly from the artist gives you direct access to the story about the piece you are buying, and the artist does not have to give a percentage of their sale to the gallery. And so, the artist benefits as well.

If price is an issue on any given piece, consider asking the artist what she or he would accept for the work. Usually, you will get a better deal on art this way. But, be mindful not to insult the artist by offering them too little for their work. Keep the recent blog on Worth by Proctors Art Director Richard Lovrich in mind.

There are many opportunities in the Capital Region to see and to buy good art. The City of Albany hosts 1st Friday every month (, Schenectady hosts Art Night on the third Friday of every month (, and Troy Night Out falls on the last Friday of the month (

Happy hunting…and best wishes in expanding your personal collection.

Schenectady native Mitch Messmore serves as the president of CRISTA (Capital Region Initiative Supporting the Arts,, and the founder and coordinator of Art Night Schenectady ( ), which happens on the third Friday of every month. His efforts have helped to bring a new hope and energy into the region through the arts. For more information about Mitch Messmore, visit

To learn even more about Proctors, visit or click HERE.

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