Writer / Janelle Morrison Photographer / JJ Kaplan Perhaps it is time to replace the prints hanging on the walls with original art. Buying art can be daunting if you don’t know where to begin and what is available within your budget. The good news is there is affordable, original, quality art on the market, and there are local gallerists who are as passionate about promoting art as they are educating their buyers. There is a difference between buying art and collecting art. Buying art is more of a random activity based on likes, preferences or attractions at any given moment while collecting art is more of a purposeful longterm commitment. In either scenario, buyers and collectors should buy what they love, buy from someone they trust and buy the best that they can afford. Local gallerist Barbara Jennings, CPF, and owner of CV Art and Frame is passionate about featuring artists from all over the world as well as consulting buyers about the art that is exhibited at her gallery. “My advice to someone purchasing a piece or investing in art is for them to buy what they love,” Jennings emphasized. “They should buy what speaks to them and what will make their life better because of the art that they are surrounded with. If they look at that piece of art and it does something for them emotionally, that is a well-made investment. If down the road, 10 to 20 years later, the piece is worth significantly more than what was originally paid, then that’s just gravy. That is how I purchase art for myself and how I counsel people who ask me about buying art. “People should want to collect art because they love art and because it enhances their life. If someone wants to collect art for investment purposes, then they should have an eye out for special pieces that are original or low in the quantities made. A prime example, hugely commercial Thomas Kinkade has numerous limited edition prints in the market. Some of them are being dumped on the secondary market for a fraction for what they retailed for. His pieces that hold value or appreciate in value are the ones that he hand-signed or hand-painted on. Jennings explained that it is hard to command a higher price on a piece if everyone has a piece very similar to it. In general, the retail, resale and appraised values of art resemble a roller coaster. The health of the economy is a major factor to the ebbs and flows of the fine art market, and another contributing factor is what is trending and popular among buyers. “Buying art should be done because the buyer wants to enjoy it,” Jennings said. “If the buyer collects wisely, he or she may collect a gem. There is a school of thought that the more unique or off-beaten a piece is and is a lesser known example of the artist’s work, that could become the one piece a collector seeks out to own because it is so unusual. “For example, I bought a Thomas Kinkade original right after he died. Most would never recognize that this piece is one of Kinkade’s. He painted it as a training exercise for his nephew, Zac Kinkade, who apprenticed under the elder Kinkade. He titled the piece, ’Picasso’s Angel.’” For someone who is not necessarily seeking to be a collector but wants art and is looking at a piece that may have potential to be valuable in the future, he or she should consider original art and not mass-produced art. Jennings suggested that attending art or gallery shows is the best way for someone to become exposed to original art and to a variety of emerging artists. The CV Art and Frame Gallery, located on Main Street in downtown Zionsville, will be hosting an incredible trunk show of some 350 original oil paintings by several different artists in varying styles like impressionism, abstract, figurative, expressionism, hyper-photo realism, floral, classic, modern and traditional. The collection will include works by Villasante (one of the world’s leading watercolorists), Cienfuegos (emerging as a top talent in hyper-photo realism), Diana Mendoza (renown for her Madonna and child paintings), Morante (equine master in art) and many renowned South American artists. Art on canvas as well as watercolors on paper will be offered along with the opportunity to customize attendees’ own unique artwork with a guaranteed commission. Works by emerging artists begin at an affordable price point of just $200. This show will be hosted by the esteemed Raul Mercier, recognizing artistic talent and brokering art for over 40 years. Mercier hosts exhibitions around the world, and Zionsville is delighted to bring him back for the fourth annual exhibition at CV Art and Frame to entertain art lovers and collectors. This fun event is free of charge. Food and wine will be served. The show will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 14. For more information on CV Art and Frame, the artists it features and the calendar of events, visit cvartandframe.com.