Art collection can be a daunting task if you don’t know where to start. These days, artworks cover such a wide range of cultures, styles, and movements that a nascent art collector might ask: how do I pick what truly suits me?
To help you, we talked to Miyen Lim of Morning Light Art Gallery and Shop and Evita Sarenas of Finale Art Gallery for some tips. Here’s what we learned:
Take inspiration from different sources
Asked which exhibitions in Davao she’d recommend, Miyen shared a few ideas: “I would advise you to visit school art fairs (University of Mindanao, Philippine Women’s University, Ford Academy of the Arts), art exhibits in malls (SM, Abreeza), hotels (Seda, Marco Polo, Park Inn), or any art gallery of your choosing. The artwork that moves you could be anywhere!”
Evita agrees that art students are talents worth keeping an eye out for: “They’re trained to conceptualize. They don’t paint to decorate but to express what they think and what they feel.”
But more than knowing where to go and who to look for, it’s important to have the right mindset: “Go with works that give you joy—that is all that matters,” Miyen shares. “Just be in touch with who you really are, and the right painting will gravitate towards you.”
Evita also emphasizes the subjectivity of art collection and the importance of trusting your instincts: “A good artist must be intelligent, skilled, gifted, and talented—you must be able to see all of these qualities in their work. But how we look at artworks is really subjective. What can be beautiful to me can be displeasing to another person.”
Respect your artwork by caring for them
Once you’ve purchased art pieces that resonate with you, you now have to keep them pristine.
When displaying artworks, living rooms, bedrooms, and hallways are all ideal. Avoid places where the pieces could be exposed to oil, water, and sunlight – such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Cleaning your art pieces can be an intimidating task, especially when the pieces in question are rare and expensive. But don’t fret—there are ways to clean them yourself without risking damage:
- DO use a soft art brush with natural hair bristles.
- DO NOT use moist dust cloths.
- DO brush slowly, carefully, and with light pressure.
- DO brush lightly downwards from the top.
- DO NOT use household cleaners to clean paintings.
Of course, these guidelines apply only to artworks that need minor cleaning. If you’re dealing with molds, acid stains, or foxing (brown stains) on paper, it is best to hire an art conservator or professional restorer instead.
When storing your pieces, keep in mind these do’s and don’ts:
- DO NOT leave your paintings on a concrete floor as they will absorb moisture.
- DO use a proper painting rack.
- DO NOT store paintings in damp places to avoid mold build-up.
- DO store paintings away from direct heat and sunlight, which can cause pigments to fade.
In a lot of ways, art can transform a home and sets the mood of a space, so starting your own art collection is well worth the effort. As Miyen puts it: “The right artwork can heal, inspire, and alter our brain chemistry leaving us filled with inspiration and love.”