Art is a form of expression for which appreciation is definitely in the eye of the beholder.  I love to visit art galleries and museums as well as art shows and sometimes I wonder at some works. They don’t appeal to me but they clearly appeal to others.  Then I think this is the beauty of art, especially visual art. One person may be repulsed by a work while another may absolutely love it. 

A while back my husband (then only boyfriend) went to the art auction at the Mercer Union. We were young, happy, and finally making decent money (just barely) but we were still careful with our spending and buying an expensive piece of art was still out of our reach…plus who knew where our relationship was heading. If we didn’t make it, where would this expensive piece of art we’ve purchased together reside…would there be a custody battle? But I digress. The concept of the Mercer Union auction was that all art regardless of size or media was priced the same, $150  if I remember correctly.  Each person was given a number on a first come first served basis and would be called in order to choose a piece of art. We tried to make it early to get a good number, but failed miserably at this task so our number in the pecking order was dismal. As we browsed the selection and made our top choices, we said to each other there is no way we would get the art work we selected as our third choice let alone our first. So as the auction began my heart skipped a beat whenever a new number was called and the person would beeline to their choice. Each time we were sure the piece we so coveted would be next to go. But alas finally, after a nail biting half an hour, it was our turn and our piece, our first choice, still hung on the wall. So trying not to look as ecstatic as we were feeling,  we nonchalantly made our way to the piece and took it off the wall.  To this day I have no idea if this ink drawing is of any value, but to us it is invaluable. This piece still proudly hangs in our home, in my son’s room, and we both fondly remember that night and our first real foray into buying art.  In retrospect, it makes me realise just how subjective art can be and how thrilling to buy an original work regardless of the cost.

One Missing by Tanya Read

So to the artist who is a bit discouraged that their art isn’t selling as well as they would like (we heard this from a few artists we spoke to at The Artist Project), chin up and keep at it. There is always someone out there for whom your work will be their first choice.


March 17, 2014

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