(A blog by Peggy's sister, Betsy)
Is buying art a luxury?
I don’t think so. Frankly, you don’t have to be a millionaire to buy original art, but how great if you are – because then you can buy LOTS of art!
My sister and I are excited because we were accepted into a number of art shows this year. Peggy is busily working the wheel and exploiting her fertile imagination to build enough inventory. My background is in business, so my thoughts have turned to the concept of art as business, and I’ve been thinking about why people buy art.
And of course, there are so MANY reasons to buy original art. I am sharing with you my top 5!
1. Art enriches us and our environment.
Art can be beautiful, and give us joy when we look upon it. Or it can be sad and move us to feel compassion or sadness. Or - make us laugh! Personally I think EVERYBODY could stand to laugh a lot more – am I right?!
A piece of art can also make us think, and consider things in a different way - from another perspective. Perhaps the art in your home or office can even start conversations about the nature of things: art, life, love, our natural world, and much more.
Being surrounded by real art simply feels good too; it beautifies our surroundings and deepens our humanity. Our senses are stimulated, our hearts and brains touched. Color affects our moods, objects remind us of feelings, thoughts, ideas and people.
2. The art we choose and purchase expresses to others who we are.
Who knew, for example, that you would be the kind of person who might own an armadillo sculpture, store your jewelry in a pelican box, or use a teapot with frogs on it? Who knew your taste could run so far afield to the quirky and unusual?
How fun to show off all the varied aspects of ourselves to others in the art we buy! In my house, I have a painted tree saw, and an antique fur stretcher painted into a new life with a Fall landscape. I have mermaids, and crows and tapestries. People love to look at the art I have collected, and it makes my house feel warm and interesting. One of my sons was obsessed with painting icons at one time – and thus I have a few very unusual icons on my walls. I also have many beautiful pieces of ceramic art and drawings that my sister has given me over the years. Visitors to my home never fail to ask me about them. I am even so lucky as to have a mermaid box with my name on it….
3. Buying and using functional art enhance the everyday details of living …
When you serve yourself tea from an armadillo teapot and eat cookies from a red poppy platter, you just enjoy the experience that much more! And when we serve food and drink to those we love, our family and friends – using a bunny platter for cheese and olives makes a huge difference in how lovely they appear and how good they taste.
My husband is Greek, and so I tend to throw a lot of parties in my house. Again, lucky for me, I have beautiful platters that I have hauled home from my sister’s Florida studio. They really raise the profile of the humble salads and cakes I serve on them. But they mean a lot to me as well, and so when I pull them out to use – I feel deeply the delight of celebration that comes with using something so beautiful.
Magic exists in the ordinary objects we use and handle every day. When they are also objects of art created by an artist, we are using and handling these beautiful things constantly, and are surrounded by color, design and joy in everything. That is how what is ordinary becomes sublime.
4. The gift of art to others is enduring and satisfying beyond measure.
Children who receive art as a gift will receive something with meaning far beyond that of a material possession. It may be a treasure, or a place to hide treasures, or the first piece in a lifetime to come of collecting art.
We can gift newlyweds with kitchen magic, or art to decorate their home. It is a gift that is perhaps a bit unusual, that will last forever, a gift of beauty. And how about art as a housewarming gift?! Warming a house with art …
Gifts of art often become heirlooms. They will be forever associated with the gift giver.
My parents gifted me with a painting by a friend of theirs when I was very young. I have brought it with me everywhere that I’ve lived, and I now display it with love and pride in my office. When I look at it, I think of the respect they gave me by gifting a very young girl with art. It is one of my treasures, and I believe it to be the first piece of my own collection of real art
5. And then there is the actual artist themselves being the reason to buy their art!
As expressed by one writer, “buying art allows us to participate in our culture”. By buying directly from an artist, we support their creation of art. We express appreciation for their handicraft, for their vision and for their work. We also ensure that they are able to continue creating art. It’s sort of like a vote for the artist! It makes you a part of what they do.
As a serious fan of my sister’s ceramic art, I am glad it is so accessible to those who are not millionaires. I want people who love her art to be able to purchase it, and use it and see it in their homes every day.
And I also want her to be recognized for the work it has taken her to achieve what she does: the countless hours spent learning to see the way she does, learning to throw and carve and paint and fire clay. And oh my – the infinite number of recycled pots returned to clay….! By buying real art, we do recognize artists for the importance of what they do.
We need art. We need it because it inspires us and enriches us. We need it because art makes the world a better place.
We hope you will be able to come and visit us at a show in this coming year. We'll keep you apprised of when and where via our newsletters and social media. I personally will look forward to meeting you – and showing you the gorgeous new things that are constantly emerging from my sister’s kiln!
I love to educate people about clay, and am passionate about how it works; joining it together, kneading it and making it do what you envision - and then firing it.
I am Peggy's sister. I love what she does, and have set out to show off her work! I am the webmaster here at PTCA, and I write some blogs too. My background is in building a values-driven business.