Keep New Times Free
| Art |

Become an Art Collector in These Five Easy Steps From Curator Denise Gerson

Art acquisition may seem like the ultimate first world issue. But what house is a home without a little aesthetic appeal? And for those who want to expand their collection beyond garish Britto prints or dorm room-era Salvador Dali posters, Miami's not-for-profit Bakehouse Art Complex is launching a three-pronged lecture series geared towards emerging collectors.

The three panels will cover, in order: how to emerge as a collector; the ins and outs of buying; and how to manage your collection. So if you're ready to ditch your bar-room bachelor pad décor, this will surely help.

We spoke to independent curator Denise Gerson, who'll be moderating the lectures, for tips for wannabe collectors looking to up their culture quotient. Here's what she shared:

See also:

- Get Lucky at Bakehouse Art Complex's Annual Fundraising Raffle

- Art Basel 2012: Art or Not?

1. Look.

"I think everyone always agrees that the most important thing to do in terms of getting started is to look. The collector has to spend a lot of time, put in the leg work, going to various venues where there are art shows and galleries. The thing about Bakehouse, why it's a good fit, is because it's kind of one stop shopping, and the studios are for emerging and mid career artists."

2. Ask questions.

"You also have to ask a lot of questions. So for a collector who really wants to focus, a good thing to do might be to identify a particular gallery where they can work with that gallerist. Say, a gallery where they mostly show photography so you can get your feet wet collecting photos or works on paper."

3. Know why you're getting in the game.

"Two things you ask collectors: do you want to do it for the love of the art? Is it about your gut? Or are you looking to invest in art? I think my experience is that collectors who don't have a lot of money just want to wade into it because it's a fun thing to do. People really today want to live with art, it's almost no longer a luxury. If you're going to have a home and you're going to fill it with furniture, you're also going to fill it with art."

4. You can start with almost any budget.

"If you are willing to buy drawings and other kinds of works on paper, you can definitely start to collect for under $1,000. Photography, also -- there are very nice photographic prints out there for $400 or $500. And at a place like Bakehouse where emerging artists have studios, it's very possible. The UM Beaux Arts Festival, the Las Olas Art Fair in Fort Lauderdale or the Coconut Grove Arts Festival -- those are absolutely legitimate ways to start collecting."

5. Avoid rookie mistakes.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

"One mistake is buying something because somebody told you you should. It isn't any different from the stock market; tips are not necessarily a good idea. Another is to think that you're going to be able to flip it. And I think the biggest mistake one makes is buying a piece before one has had an opportunity to hone one's taste. Then you're left with something you paid a few thousand dollars for and you hate it a year later, and divesting yourself of that art is very difficult."

The lecture series starts Thursday, continuing February 7 and February 21. They'll cover how to emerge as a collector, the ins and outs of buying, and collection management, respectively. All start at 6 p.m. at the Bakehouse Art Complex. Gerson, former associate director for the Lowe Museum of Art and independent curator, will moderate all three lectures. Admission costs $25 per session or $60 for all three. Reservations are recommended. Visit bacfl.org.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.