Art collecting advice
Image courtesy of Felder Gallery

New to art collecting? Robby Felder, of Felder Gallery, shares his advice for buying art at a gallery.

Felder Gallery was founded by San Antonio natives Linda and Larry Felder when they moved to the art community of Rockport, Texas, in 2004. Robby Felder took over operations in February 2009, relocating to the island-resort community of Port Aransas. Felder Gallery, LLC, was formed in 2017 and opened in its new location in San Antonio, Texas. Their revolving exhibits include a mix of contemporary representational art, traditional painting, sculpture, and pure abstracts.

On Buying Art at a Gallery

Art Galleries and Art Collecting
Robby Felder, of Felder Gallery

By Robby Felder

Plan to have a relationship with an art gallery. There are many places to buy artwork in today’s market, but I believe the brick and mortar galleries remain relevant because of our ability to create and maintain personal relationships. We as gallerists have insight into the artist’s processes and personality. This can be the difference between liking something and making a deeper connection. Galleries are immersed in the art world and develop their own connections they can share with potential buyers.

Another piece of advice is to be transparent. Although my job is sales, my passion is art. When you come in looking for art, you can help yourself by letting the gallerist know your likes and dislikes and be open to stepping outside your comfort zone.

Take the time to learn and be patient. We are all short on time these days, but if you admire a painting by a particular artist and the gallerist says they can provide more information, schedule a private talk, or plan a studio tour with the artist, you should. Art is a visual medium, but talking is key.

Be bold. Many people have predefined how they will go about building their collection. I think this approach is fantastic; however, sometimes you need to open the floodgates and let fresh water in. Take chances — they will likely be the best decisions.

If a painting speaks to you and you can’t explain why, visit the piece as many times as you need. Take it home on approval, ask friends their opinions — it might shed light on why you love it.

Lastly, get comfortable knowing you may make a mistake when collecting art and that is okay. Don’t be discouraged; you are going to purchase pieces that will become your most prized possessions.

What advice would you give to others who are new to art collecting? Share it in the comment section below!

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