Original, affordable art adds vitality, visual interest to a home: Buy smart with these tips


Art dealer Heidi Lawrence calls it “looping.”

Someone steps into her Lake Oswego gallery, nods as she greets, and slides to see paintings, sculptures, and art glasses. The card next to each piece has a price and description.

When a visitor loops again, it’s about focusing on a particular task. That’s what caught their attention, note Lawrence, venerable co-owner Lawrence Gallery.

Finding your favorite art is as easy as stopping to see it. Still, ask yourself. How long do you stare at the blank walls of your house before committing to a canvas that adds vitality and visual interest?

Original art enhances the home: it’s a conversation starter that brings vibrancy and dimension and brings color to a neutral interior. And because art is created in a variety of media, it’s priced for all your budget.

Art sellers understand the hesitation of shoppers. No one wants to make a bad decision. The art of your home should make you feel better every time you see it, but it’s also a reflection of who you are and your tastes.

To make the decision easier, many dealers and portland art museum rental galleries allow you to live together before buying your work. The artist invites you to the studio to learn about emotional visual works.

And every museum shop sells affordable prints, cards, and books that duplicate the original work.

Some of the portraits of photographer Jason Hill on display at the Portland Art Museum’s AUX / MUTE gallery are sold as limited edition prints called the Store on the 4th floor of the gallery. Numsbodega.

A 16-inch square print costs $ 50.

“We’re broadening our horizons of what art collectors look like in these price points,” said DJ Abush, an AUX / MUTE gallery featuring works by black artists. “Affordable art is neither so original nor important. It could be the first or second piece of someone’s collection.”

Institutions are more welcomed in an era when underrated artists are invited to exhibit their work in museums and art galleries, and NFT (Non-Fungible Token) digital art and other non-traditional art are valued. Ambusch said it seems to be. And he is spreading the word.

As a radio personality for the independent Black Station The Numberz FM (96.7), Ambush has been broadcast by the Portland Art Museum since the opening of the 2019 Hank Willis Thomas: Everything is Equal … exhibition.

Since the opening of the AUX / MUTE gallery in August 2021, Ambush has met its first visitor to the museum, who said he had come to see one of the gallery’s notable artists. After that, many go out to see other exhibits, such as the work of four indigenous contemporary artists of “Mesh”.

“By staying here and creating content and art in this building, it feels like a home,” says Ambush.

Ka’ila Farrell-Smith creates original art at her Modoc Point Studio in southern Oregon.Photo by Sam Gerke

Art is intimidating. Studies show that most people think that buying art is more scary than buying real estate. Bradley Lawrence, who runs a commercial real estate finance business and is the second co-owner of his wife Heidi and Lawrence Gallery, said.

According to art researchers, 95% of Americans have never purchased original art. What is the main reason? Most people said that art is exclusive, too expensive, and too much pressure.

It’s no wonder artists and art sellers want to change that perception. They say art adds a story to the living space. And the artist’s story is part of it.

Mixed media artist Ka’ila Farrell-Smith sees art as a powerful educational tool.

Her contemporary paintings are often inspired by her environmental activities, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Portland Art Museum (now seen in “Mesh”), and the Blue Sky Gallery in North West Portland. It is exhibited in many museums and galleries of. ..

Farrell Smith, a member of the Klamath and Modoc tribes in southern Oregon, is open about justice in the land. Visitors to her Modock Point Studio, or those who watch her social media pages and videos, see her opposition to gas pipelines and other forms of corporate energy in her “Landback” series of paintings. Learn what you are doing.

The work was also influenced by “the work of indigenous sovereignty, Black Lives Matter, and all the political activists currently bursting,” she said in a presentation at the Scale House Gallery in Bend in 2020. Stated.

Farrell-Smith is the daughter of an art appreciator. Jane Farrell and the late Alfred (“Al”) Leo Smith are native American advocates whose religious freedom proceedings shaped American law after refusing to accept the US Supreme Court’s decision.

Al Smith called himself a “red coyote”. Part of his story is represented in Farrell-Smith’s five-color lithograph, “Red Coyote for Pitsap” ($ 800, 30 x 22.25 inches).

Collectors can connect to an artist or a single piece. There are multiple correct answers to finding the type of art you like, said Heidi Lawrence, a commercial and housing designer. It may be a mood: landscapes can be a soothing memory of a carefree childhood, but abstractions can be a gloomy catalyst for reflexes, she said.

Lawrence calls home to ease potential clients with art. They represent nearly 100 Northwest artists, and prices start at less than $ 50 for handmade copper bowls, for example. Original ceramic and glass shards cost less than $ 100. And small, original framed oil paintings start at under $ 250.

“We are not obliged to visit,” said Heidi Lawrence, who started the galley in 1977 to spotlight local artists who are producing contemporary and traditional works. rice field. “Art is a luxury. People need to spend time.”

The Lawrence Gallery has a storefront in McMinville, Pearl District, Portland, a marketplace at the Salichan Coastal Lodge on Gleneden Beach, and was subsequently integrated into one gallery in Lake Oswego.

“People go here and say they bought a work of art 20 years ago, which makes them happy every day,” said Heidi Lawrence. “When it’s the right piece, it’s like a jewel. It completes the space, makes the client happy, and we feel like a joy broker.”

Bradley and Heidi Lawrence at Lawrence Gallery, now in Lake Oswego. Lauren Castillo Photo / Lawrence Gallery

Heidi and Bradley Lawrence of the Lawrence Gallery, now in Lake Oswego, offer art counseling and home visits.Lauren Castillo Photo / Lawrence Gallery

Art dealers Bradley and Heidi Lawrence make the following suggestions to help you live comfortably with your original art.

Let’s spend time with art. Visit museums and galleries and take part in art walks, art fairs and auctions.

Bonus: Art galleries do not charge admission like museums. “It’s a great way to spend time surrounded by beautiful, varied and original artwork,” said Bradley Lawrence.

Also, take a look at the auction catalog, sign up for the art newsletter, and pay attention to the types of fascinating art.

Artsy, an online art broker, can help you see and find what’s published Artists from Banksy to Anish Kapoor, Paul Oxborough to Snick Kwon, and buy or bid Paintings, sculptures, photographs or prints.

Other online sellers such as Artfinder and 1st dibs can search for artists in Oregon.

Understand art dealers. Dealers should welcome you to see without being forced to buy. The price also needs to be clarified. Make a reservation to see the art in the gallery or request a consultation at your home.

“Like most northwestern art galleries, in contrast to some big city locations, we were always welcoming and friendly to all visitors,” said Bradley Lawrence. ..

If you don’t want to loop through the gallery, go to that website and find the work you’re interested in. Not all are on display. View the social media channels of artists such as Patreon, TikTok and Instagram to learn about their inspiration. Then check the details by phone or email.

Portland’s 40-year-old Elizabeth Reach Gallery encourages hesitant people to step into the world of art at their own pace with livestreaming openings and artist talks on Facebook and YouTube pages. increase.

When you’re ready to commit, you can buy it from the gallery or its website. Purchased items will be shipped or shipped to most locations.

Not all walls need art. Blank spaces serve as a great background for your original art. Heidi Lawrence helps clients identify one or two focal points in their home.

The walls of the gallery allow a collection of artistic objects to look attractive together, while injecting personality and color into the space. Decorate art shelves with small sculptures and souvenirs, and hang canvas prints, portraits, and typographic art on the walls.

Limited edition prints and reproductions, especially the work of famous artists, are widely available.

Hire an art advisor Someone who understands your tastes and has connections For galleries and artists.

“Some people don’t have a high level of confidence in what they choose, but if it makes them happy, it’s great,” Bradley Lawrence said.

Finance art: To make your art purchases more affordable, some galleries and marketplaces allow you to pay over time.

Lawrence Gallery has partnered with online lender Art Money to provide a 10-month interest-free loan for art purchases over $ 1,000.

Other dealers have an arrangement with Affirm, a lender who can pay installments for 3, 6 or 12 months at the rates displayed prior to checkout (0% to 30% based on credit score). I am.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman


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