Monday, September 14, 2015

It is time to Start Your Art

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb, PhD
Co-Author: So YouWant To Blog

This week starts SPF 15 (St. Pete Art Festival 2015). It's time to start your art collection or add to it.

This festival is the first in a series of annual events, which will be staged by the City of St. Petersburg to support the City’s growing arts community.

The goal is to attract art buyers and those thinking about starting an art collection, so they can see what our St. Petersburg artists have to offer.

SPF 15 is the brain child of Wayne Atherholt, St. Pete’s Director of Cultural affairs. You can see my six part conversation with Wayne beginning at Part 1 A Casual Conversation with Wayne Atherholt St. Pete Director of Cultural Affairs.

You might also find my two-part Conversation with Rob Davidson of the Davidson Fine art Gallery informative.

There will be numerous events for the next few weeks, and you can see the schedule at Visit St. Pete Clearwater events

During my interview with Wayne Atherholt, he made a very interesting comment. He said, “Most people don’t start their art collection with a $1000 painting. Most people start their art collection with something small, a $5 or $10 dollar coffee cup, or soap dispenser painted or crafted by the artist. It usually comes with a tag telling a bit about the artist. Maybe at the next art show the person buys another piece from that artist, and that’s how an art collection begins.”

That is exactly how my small art collection began.

I was at an art festival in Key West when a porcelain-on-copper plate caught my eye. In those days, money was kind of short but a very good friend encouraged me to take the plunge. That was over 30 years ago, and as I sit here today writing this and looking at that beautiful plate, I am so thankful I bought that first piece of art.

Today the walls of our home have pictures from Florida's artists like Clyde Butcher, R.C. Fulwiler and my favorite: a collection of Haitian artists: J. A. Bernard, one of my favorites, J. Gautier and others along with artists from Tarpon Springs to the Caribbean.

And then there is that fired clay soap dispenser with the blue backdrop and a single white sail out on the horizon that I purchased for $9 at the Tarpon Springs art festival almost three decades ago that sits quietly on the bathroom sink and has greeted every morning since putting a smile on my face as I start my day.

There really is something magical about the art these talented people create. From the wood inlay given me by my father to the hand-crafted  rocking chair that has become my dog Max’s favorite afternoon spot to snooze, art from people whose names you know and have met becomes part of your fabric.

If you have not already started your art collection, it is time to START YOUR ART.

Sometime in the next few weeks of SPF 15 grab just a little cash from the cookie jar and head down to the St. Pete arts district on Central Avenue around 22nd Street and take a stroll.

Find something you like - buy it and get some info on the artist.

Take your new-found treasure home and put it where you will see it every day.

Go to art festivals and add to your “art” collection every time you get a chance. Pretty soon you will find yourself in a reflective moment, and you will remember when and where you bought that picture, statue, cup or soap dispenser, and it will make you feel better – much better.

SPF 15 is a good place to START YOUR ART and help our growing art district become a place where artists flourish.

E-mail Doc at mail or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook. 

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