As I was saying in Part Three, you can collect art without a huge budget. Along with that, you can also collect art without any money exchange at all. I’ve actually acquired some great pieces this way over the last few years. Here are a few ways to go about this:
Be really nice to your artist friends
Okay, you’re not going to build up a vast, intense collection just by waiting around for gifts, but this year my lovely friend Brittany Peterson gave me a beautiful blown glass ball that she created, and it’s a great addition to my art collection. So remember to appreciate any art gifts you receive!
If you are an artist or maker yourself, trading work is also a fun collecting option! Talk to your artist friends and see who would be interested in swapping art. Or even if you’re not an artist, there is bound to be something that one of your artist friends wants and that you could give them/do for them in exchange for an artwork. I know I would definitely give up one of my paintings for someone to come in and help me paint a room or something.
Here’s a piece my friend Tashana Kjelland traded for a zine and some mail art I sent her:
When I first started feeling the acute desire to fill my home with artwork, I didn’t have any money whatsoever and so I got really into Mail Art. If you haven’t heard of this phenomenon, basically you send art in the mail to a participant and then they send you something back. Simple and effective. It’s fun to make, because there is absolutely no pressure, and it’s fun to get something in the mail besides bills. Plus, you’ll be surprised at the quality of work that abounds in the Mail Art community. A great place to start is the International Union of Mail Artists (IUOMA) website.
Unfortunately, in 2010 I was too busy to participate with my mail artist friends. This year, I’ve already made something that I’m sending to Jennifer Kosharek for her Utopia/Dystopia exhibition.
Here are some of my favorite collected Mail Art pieces from recent years:
Read Art Collected 2010 – Part Three (collecting on a budget)
Part Two (documenting/insuring your collection)
and Part One (selected pieces collected in 2010)