In Step 7 - Accompany a Creative you ventured into art arenas that were non-commercial. The next step is to venture into the commercial realm and
Attend Something Artsy
The goal of the emerging collector is to Acquire Art so at some point the commercial confrontation has to enter. But, the necessary ground work has been accomplished so that this won't be a totally foreign experience. In fact, you can see an art opening in play at the link below -
Take in the Atmosphere
After watching the video you might notice it's a fun, relaxed, party-like atmosphere. When you find one to attend have fun with it. Take in the art and talk to people. Here are a few places you could do that at -
• Opening Reception of an artist at a local gallery
• College BFA shows with the artist's at the opening
• Alumni Art Shows and the reception
• Open Studios, artists open their personal studios and sell art
• Art Street Fairs
Whether you attend an opening or not, attend an Art Gallery and accomplish the following process:
Take an Artist with You
At this point, you've made art connections. Hopefully through Adopt an Artist or Accompany a Creative or some other way. Now is the time to ask them to show you their world.
Take No Money with You
At least not this time. The goal is to acquire art but that doesn't have to happen the first time you walk in a gallery. In fact, it's best if it doesn't. So leave your Art Fund home this step.
Take Note of Prices
Even though the point is not to purchase this step, money is still part of the process - gain an understanding of pricing. What is the price range for small works, large works, differing genres and particular artists. If price is not posted go ahead and ask.
Take a Stand
Since this is a commercial art establishment there is a likelihood that someone will approach you and ask if you are interested in anything or need any help. The natural response is, "No, I'm just looking." But, you are doing more than looking, you are an emerging art collector and are willing to learn from those who know things you don't.
So instead say, "Yes, I am looking to increase my art understanding. Though I am not going to purchase art this moment I am going to acquire art in the future. Can you share anything that would be helpful in that direction and any art or artists that would be a good place to start." You have just stated all that they the gallery owner needs to hear and also taken the purchase pressure off of you.
Take Your Art Journal
This should be a habit by now. But, just in case it's not here's the reminder. Writing down first-time thoughts and experiences never comes again. First times, are first times. Write down what you think.
Date Night Idea: Obviously, going to one of the party-like openings would be a great date night. But, while you're at it play a little 'what if' game. What if you had $30,000 (or any amount you want to pick) to spend on art, what pieces would you buy at the moment? Have fun attending something artsy.