Dig Baton Rouge

Time for a Clean Sweep

By Tara Bennett

 

Was that poster in your college dorm room the last piece of art you bought? Do you fear not being able to afford the real thing? Time to quash that trepidation because there will be plenty of amazing art sold at affordable prices during Elevator Projects’ annual Sweep the Studio sale. The sale originally started as a way for EP to help out artists in the community make a little money while also cleaning out their studios at the same time.

“There’s a really big variety,” said Stephanie Landry, EP member and organizer of the sale. “We accept anyone who wants to sell art. It allows artists to be able to get out there and possibly make a little money from something that they love doing.”

Sweep the Studio will be held on Sunday, April 19 beginning at noon, with live acoustic music by Drew Thompson at 1 p.m., Peter Simon at 1:30 p.m., St. Frantic at 3 p.m. and Pacifico at 3:30 p.m. The sale occurs twice a year, with each showing held at the Radio Bar, which allows for a relaxed environment where anyone that comes to the show to become acquainted with the artists.

“They’re proud to have us and we love doing it there,” said Landry. “It’s in a nice neighborhood that a lot of people can easily get to.”

For the duration of the sale there will be works featuring original and artist-made prints, t-shirts, photographs, ceramics, jewelry, paintings, and more. Artists involved range from members of EP, to students of LSU and BRCC’s art departments. For the first time during the Sweep the Studio sale, EP is exploring a new direction as well with “You Are Now A Collector” to aid people in becoming future art collectors. As a result, each item is priced at $200 or less in order to be affordable to everyone. According to Landry, the majority of items are priced below $200 for pieces of art that are one-of-a-kind.

“We just wanted to make sure that everything’s really affordable,” said Landry. “They won’t be breaking the bank.”

How to start your own art collection.

Learn what you like. Go to galleries, visit museums, or flip through art magazines. Don’t worry about what’s popular, or what you “should” like. Develop your own taste.

“Buy what you like,” said Landry. “If you see something that strikes your interest and you would like to look at it on your walls then just buy it.”

Get to know the artists.  Attend openings and talks, and don’t be shy about grilling artists about their process, materials, and inspiration. Chances are you’ll find creators excited to discuss their work, put you on their mailing lists, and even invite you for a studio visit.

Don’t limit yourself to galleries. While you should embrace art galleries as a starting point in starting your own art collection, you shouldn’t limit yourself. If a piece at your local coffee shop catches your eye, chances are it’s for sale.

Establish an art fund. To address the perennial “can I afford this?” question, save a small amount of money every month and set a goal. Buy one piece a year on your birthday or when you get a tax refund. If you’re a couple, buy something together for your anniversary instead of gifts.

Put it up. Move the work around. Experiment. Sometimes a powerful, small work can anchor a big wall, or vice versa. One rule to follow is to pick a height—say 60 inches—as the center point for every piece in a room to create a sense of continuity. Or consider using a bunch of smaller works in a cluster. Start with several pieces at the center, and then expand outward as you buy more, maintaining consistent distance between them.

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