6 things I learnt from Art Month Sydney

People tend to think that art is for the wealthy. That buying art is somewhat of a snooty past time. And I wouldn’t disagree with those people. 
But I also happen to believe that art is something everyone can appreciate and enjoy (or not). From the art enthusiasts who love interpreting every bit of detail to the people who just don’t get what all the fuss is about; at the end of the day art should be accessible to everyone.
Dr Dick Quan (courtesy of Art Month Sydney 2013)
Which brings me to Art Month Sydney (1-24 March 2013). I love festivals like this one because they bring Sydney’s local art scene to the forefront (teetering on the edge of mainstream even). This is the first one I’ve experienced, and I’ve got to say, I really enjoyed the programs and events on offer (just wished I could’ve attended a lot more!).

From the two events I experienced here are are 6 things I found interesting: 

1. There are absolutely no rules to collecting art. As psychiatrist Dr Carlson Loke advised during the Magnificent Obsessions: Personal tales of art collecting talk at the Collector’s Space in Sydney: “Collecting is like the Wizard of Oz – all you need is a brain, heart and courage.”

2. A lot of the time art collectors simply love the art of collecting. Pioneering medical practitioner and avid contemporary Australian and international art collector, Dr Dick Quan also has a vast collection of hotel slippers he has accumulated from his extensive travels overseas. Emerging art collector and art worker, Amy Griffiths, also collected Elvis memorabilia.
3. There are two main kinds of art galleries in Sydney. As part of the Buy Art Tour in Chippendale and Glebe I got to visit spaces housing artist-run initiatives (ARIs) and commercial galleries. ARIs are funded and largely curated by the artist or a collecive of artists and are often subsidies by the local government. ARIs are less about selling artworks thereby allowing a greater level of experimentation and use of non-traditional forms like performance art and video. Commercial galleries are privately owned and often take a 40-60% commission on artworks sold. To get into such a gallery the artist will have to lodge a formal application to the gallery directors who will then select which artists to exhibit.

4. ARIs are great for first-time art buyers. These spaces contain works that are usually a lot more affordable with pieces in the $3000 and under range. ARIs will also be the place to uncover emerging talent with many of our top artists getting their start at such spaces before scoring a commercial exhibition. Crawl promote ARI artists and exhibitions and do a great listing of ARI spaces in Sydney.

5. There are such things as art consultants. These guys basically get to scour galleries for pieces their clients will like or are on the hunt for. That’s right, people actually pay good money for a private consultant to pick and choose what hangs in their living rooms (how rad would that job be?!). 
6. Spread the word.Apart from the bigger galleries like the Art Gallery of NSW and MCA, ARIs and other small private galleries don’t have the budget to do any advertising or PR. Other than art festivals likes this one, the smaller galleries have to rely on the art community (and great blogs *wink*) to spread the word. So check out some Sydney Galleries here and don‘t forget to drag grandma AL along with you!
Chalk Horse Gallery
The Commercial Gallery
Until next time Art Month Sydney!
x Grandma AL

2 thoughts on “6 things I learnt from Art Month Sydney

  1. the last time i bought art was in lyon. i was out to buy a 1 euro postcard of the city, ended up carrying home a 50 euro oil painting. unwilling-tourist.

  2. (a very late reply to your comment, but a reply nonetheless)REPLY: GOOD ON YA. I would love to see this 50 Euro oil painting sometime Miss red bike.x

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