Starting A Collection

Art Toronto 2013
Aug 29, 2013 11:58PM

Learning about the art world is a great way to gain confidence. Surf the web, subscribe to online news sources and read books or magazines about art. Picking up publications like Canadian Art will help you discover what’s happening in the Canadian art scene, and taking in Art Toronto’s talks and tours will provide a more personal experience. Many galleries also have Facebook and Twitter accounts, which is a great way to follow what their artists are doing and when openings are taking place. Gallery staff are also great resources and good art dealers will always be willing to provide you with information and talk to you about their artists. The more questions you ask, the more you will understand what you like and why. This confidence will help you to build your collection over.


Get out and see more art at museum exhibitions, gallery opening or art fairs. There are over 110 galleries, representing thousands of artists at Art Toronto, and hundreds of works of art on display. Projects like the RBC Canadian Painting Competition are great ways to discover artists who are just starting out and offer a sample of ideas young artists are exploring. Browse and explore sites like Artsy to see works from around the world.  As you gain more information and look at more art, you’ll become aware of your preferences and start to understand which mediums or styles appeal to you.


It may take a little while, but you’ll know what you love when you see it. The only mistake you can make in buying art is not to buy what you love. Remember, you have to live with the works and the pleasure of having them in your home is the dividend. Buying art is a very personal and emotional experience, so start by collecting what you love. Allow your emotions to guide you.


No matter how much (or how little) you spend, you can find artwork to fit your budget. Young, emerging artists will appreciate your support and are a great way to build a collection. Works on paper, such as photography or limited edition prints are often more affordable than other mediums. The Art Toronto MOCCA Benefit Edition for example is a great way to purchase work by an established Canadian artist at a more accessible price and support an important Canadian museum. The NEXT section of Art Toronto is the perfect place to discover up-and-coming talent, as well as invest in the careers of the next generation of artists. It may be easier for you to start small and then increase your budget as your interest and understanding grow. If you fall in love with something that you can’t afford to pay in full upfront, most galleries will set-up a payment plan over several months.


Your collection is a reflection of who you are, your tastes and your interests. Don’t be afraid to mix styles, eras and regions, over time you’ll begin to see common threads or themes in the work. Make sure you show it off and be proud that you have invested in an artists’ career. Art is made to be seen and not to end up in the garage. Protecting your investment with a good insurance plan from someone like AXA ART and proper framing will ensure you can enjoy your artwork for many years.


Tomas Libertiny, Vessel #2, beeswax, glass, alumnium 86 x 86 x 86 cm (cabinet) 50 x 35 x 35 cm (vessel), 2011. Courtesy of Beers.Lambert, London UK.

Akihiro Higuchi, Collection 0813, 40 x 30 cm, painting on moth specimen, 2013.  Courtesy of MA2 Gallery, Tokyo Japan.

Philippe Pasqua, Stella, 330 x 240 cm, oil on canvas, 2012. Courtesy of Zemack Contemporary Art Gallery, Tel Aviv Israel.
Art Toronto 2013