by Jeanne Beck
Reprinted with permission from Owl Light News | Copyright 2018
There is a growing interest in collecting original art works by regional artists. Rochester Art Collectors started in 2017; its mission is to encourage more individuals to recognize the joys of collecting and help them become more knowledgeable and informed about regional art and artists.
Spurring the development of this new organization are its co-founders Sarah Webb and Rome Celli, both dedicated collectors.
Rome Celli, a local realtor, has been collecting art since he ran an urban art gallery in the 1980’s. He has long known what a wealth of artistic talent there is in Rochester and the 60-70 mile radius around it.
As an avid collector, Rome became keenly aware of the need to expand the love of collecting. “I wanted to do something to support visual arts in the region,” he explains. “We certainly don’t lack for excellent and diverse artists in our area. What we do need are more collectors . That’s where Rochester Art Collectors comes in. We’re the gardeners who are sowing the seeds and providing the encouragement, education and exposure to help grow a host of strong new collectors who will love and appreciate what our regional artists have to offer.”
Co-founder Sarah Webb is a long-time collector, exhibiting artist and author, university instructor and community arts volunteer. Sarah has known Rome since they first worked together on the former Pyramid Center Board in the 1990’s. “When we ran into each other again in 2017 and I learned he was starting this organization, I knew I wanted to get involved.“
The two are building Rochester Art Collectors’ programs and events to help redefine both what a collector is and how to become one. Rome frequently speaks to groups about collecting ; when he does, he asks people how many original works of art they have in their homes. According to Rome, “If you own two pieces of original art, you are a collector!” He and Sarah are excited about creating opportunities for people of all ages and interests to learn to trust their instincts and buy what they love.
Sarah says she likes to ask people, “What does it mean to live with art? “ She also offers advice to beginning collectors. “Notice what you are drawn to. Is it a specific subject matter or medium, for example? What makes you want to look, and look again?
“Once you take your first art work home, pay attention to what happens next. How does the new work commingle in your home? What happens when you pair it with something you already have; perhaps another formal piece of art or perhaps a piece of driftwood that you picked up along the shores of Lake Ontario? How does that scraggly line in the artwork perhaps mimic the line of the horizon you see through your window? “
What is Rochester Art Collectors?
Rochester Art Collectors is a privately funded, independent, non-commercial group created to promote collecting all types and styles of art. This all-volunteer group is currently comprised of about 300 members who have a shared interest in building a strong, vibrant arts scene in the region.
Rochester Art Collectors does not provide information on the investment aspects of collecting; there are ample other resources for that.
Members of Rochester Art Collectors do get opportunities to meet other art enthusiasts, visit galleries, interact with and support artists, and learn more about collecting, types of collections and ways to get started.
Rochester Art Collectors does not represent artists and does not sell art. It does not endorse or recommend any particular venues for purchasing art. It does list venues where you can purchase art on its website and invites website visitors to suggest other venues that may not be listed.
The works you will see shared on the website are not for sale; they are owned by collectors and are there to give visitors to the website an idea of the range of types of art others are collecting in this area.
Members are occasionally invited to a tour of private collections. These tours tend to be very limited in size and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
In a recent event at Main Street Arts in Clifton Springs, gallery director and curator Bradley Butler led a discussion on curating. The event was called “Curating Your Collection” and paralleled the curating process at Main Street Arts to the curating that happens in your own personal art collection. “Bringing several different styles or types of art together on the walls of your home—perhaps around a single theme—can spark a meaningful dialogue and the whole is often greater than the sum of its parts. That is something I enjoy doing in group shows at Main Street Arts because it can make people see things differently.” Butler said. The group saw examples of past exhibitions that were high points for Main Street Arts as well as images of Butler’s own art collection
What are the benefits of joining Rochester Art Collectors?
• Participate in building a strong, vibrant arts scene.
• Broaden your exposure to artists and artwork.
• Meet other art enthusiasts and collectors.
• Build your art collection. • Interact with and support artists.
• Access to member-only information, services and content on this site.
• Access to member-only events and activities: Private tours, art exhibition previews
• Conversations about art with other collectors
• Participate in important decisions about the group.
Membership is FREE
If you would like to learn more about Rochester Art Collectors upcoming events, about buying and collecting art and if you’d like to meet others who share your interests, just go to: www.RochesterArtCollectors.org. Click on the “Join Rochester Art Collectors” button to get involved. It’s easy, it’s fun and it’s free!
Jeanne Beck is a mixed media artist and owner of Jeanne Beck Art Gallery & Studio, 154 Mill St., Canandaigua, NY. The gallery features periodic regional guest artists, classes and workshops as well as original works. Open Wed 12-4:30, Thurs-Sat., 10-4:30. 585-704-6419.
Header image © Roy Sowers 1999
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