Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What is Art Worth? Part One

What is art worth to you?  This could be addressed in a multitude of ways: cultural, emotional, financial.  Right now, I am referring to the money worth of art.  Not the elite objects that are enshrined in museums, I want to focus on the art and fine craft made by the many creative individuals that produce and sell for the most part on a local or regional basis and travel around to sell their work directly to buyers. 

I returned this year to two art sales fairs that I attended regularly some 20+ years ago: the Boston Mills Art Fest and Winterfair.  I was inspired by both shows, and they confirmed my thoughts that I if work hard at what I love, I could eventually support myself with my creative endeavors.  However, some other recent incidents that I have observed make me concerned for the future of the local arts markets. 

These two ceramic boxes were made by Rob Wiedmaier,  The one on the right, I purchased from the artist at Boston Mills in the early 1990s.  The one on the left, I rescued from an estate auction earlier this year.  I do not recall the purchase price of my original box.  I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I bought the other one for all of two dollars.  (By the way, Mr. Wiedmaier, if you happen to see this, I treasure both of these lovely boxes!)

This black walnut bowl, made by a local woodworker, was purchased recently at a local benefit for a school.  The high bid was only $15, and sadly, plastic made-in-China toy trucks (likely from a certain national discount retailer) were selling for over $70 each.  How did this happen?  Why aren't the handcrafted, one-of-a-kind items; crafted locally with skill and love, valued more?

To be continued...

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