Taking “buying local” to the art market

L0068368 Louis (Ludwig) de Wette (Frame only)story by Adrienne Waterston

I am sure you have all seen the bumper stickers promoting “Pennsylvania – Buy Fresh Buy Local.” This is a statewide take on a national movement to do just what it says, “Buy Local,” primarily in regard to food. This very important movement promotes local food production because local food tastes better, is more nutritious and serves you and your environment in a much more sustainable way. Your money works both for you and your community.

I am proposing you add “Buy Local Art” into that mix. When you buy art from a local artist in Central PA, not only can you get great art at a great price, but you are supporting artists in your own community. You have something in your home that makes you remember or smile, think or wonder, and the artist you support gets to continue being creative. This model is a great community-building alternative to our anonymous, mass-production culture.

As you know, our area is beautiful, with scenic mountains and valleys, great schools and cultural interest as well as a relatively reasonable cost of living. As a result, great artists, both local and from all over, are inspired to live here, making the quality of the art as spectacular as the scenery. Plus, gallery owners here have lower overhead than the larger art meccas, making art prices much more affordable.

The most important element when buying art is, of course, whether or not you like it. Because if you like it and believe in it, the value of the art will stay fast—that is, the value of the art to you. And when you buy from a local artist, your connection to that art has the potential to be much more personal and intimate, making the art even more valuable to you.

Perhaps by engaging with art at a more personal level, you will participate in the discovery of something or someone new, an intoxicating experience for any art owner. Which brings me back to the “Buy Local” movement. When you “Buy Local Art,” everyone wins!