Collecting Art: Tips From A Gallery Owner

Above: Helpful tips from a gallery owner for when you start your own art collection (Photo: Netfalls - Remy Musser/Shutterstock)

Many of us have contemplated investing in art but the art world can sometimes feel a little cold and intimidating. The glaring silence of all those all white gallery spaces doesn’t help dispel this myth. But it doesn’t have to be, Daniel Faria of the Daniel Faria Gallery helps us wade into the wonderful world of art. Briefly, do your research, start small, keep it personal and have fun.

AmongMen: What is the best way to start your art collection when you don’t have a lot of available funds? Are any particular mediums more accessible to the beginner?
Daniel Faria: Works on paper and drawings are usually more accessible than paintings. Of course, emerging artists are always more accessible. Visit graduate shows from your local art colleges and the emerging artist sections of larger exhibitions.

AM: Any tips on emerging artists we should be paying attention right now?
DF: It’s always tricky with emerging talent, as you never know what the future holds. But I like to look for a personal commitment and dedication on the artists’ part as well as a general sense of curiosity in everything they do. Curiosity leads to exploring new ideas and mediums and that is a good trait in a young artist.

AM: Personal favourites? What is the first piece you bought? Do you still have it?
DF: I have lots of works that are favourites! Collecting art becomes bit of an addiction. It’s such a fun and fascinating world that you just want to be a part of it. The first piece I got was a watercolour by Derek Root of a boy’s choir singing in a field at night. It was creepy and beautiful. I used to be in a boys choir so it had a personal resonance for me.

AM: Great online sources to do research?
DF: There are so many. has just launched and is a fantastic site for reviews of exhibitions as well as providing a calendar of openings across the country. Canadian Art online is a wonderful resource to know what is happening across the country and there are various APs like ArtForum that also list openings and reviews.

AM: Best way to build a relationship with a gallery director?
DF: The best way is to go to galleries and ask questions when you’re interested in works. Don’t be shy to ask, even though galleries can seem intimidating. They’re not. If you like an artist the gallery is exhibiting that month, ask if they have other works by other artists in the back room. Each gallery has their own unique program so find a few galleries that resonate with you and your interests.

AM: Any other tips you would recommend?
DF: Just get out and look! The best thing to do is to go gallery hopping and look at art. The more you see, the more informed you will be.

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