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Art of gold 

Becoming a collector of new Nova Scotian art can be a challenge. Who’s going to be hot in the years to come and whose work is worth the investment? We polled local experts on the subject of how to be an appreciator.

“Trust your gut instinct. The best thing you can do is love it, because you have to live with it! I deal with NSCAD students and alumni, and people always come in and ask, ‘Who will be successful? Who will be famous?’ It’s hard to say, since we do everything: jewellery, textiles, ceramics and paintings. We have our Spotlight at Seeds, two-week shows. They always do very well. The best part of my job is telling students that their work sold. It’s a real confidence-booster.”
Jennifer Simaitis, Seeds Gallery, 1892 Hollis Street, 494-8301

“Beginning the process of collecting art can be confusing and intimidating, but it need not be. In Halifax, we have several galleries that represent working artists, and it is part of our job to make it easier. First of all, the galleries have a natural interest in providing a selection of the finest work available. Essentially, we endeavour to filter the possibilities so that, by and large, consumers can feel confident about their purchases. Further, the galleries are always prepared to be helpful in the process, by providing plenty of selection as well as information about the artists. Most importantly for the collector at any stage, we should gravitate towards the work that we find the most compelling. In many respects, the work that we choose is a reflection of ourselves.”
Phil Secord, Secord Gallery, 6301 Quinpool Road, 423-6644

“It’s good to buy what you love. But also, purchase from a reputable gallery. It helps if you have a good relationship with a local gallery as there’s a good sense of what’s up-and-coming. Maybe keep an eye on someone over the course of a year. If an artist is producing consistently then they’ll probably keep doing that.”
Brandt Eisner, Swoon—Fine Art, Antiques and Fashion, 1410 Hammonds Plains Road, 404-2888

“We do have young artists. Jack Bishop and Jessica Korderas come to mind. But if it’s work that you hope will have legs, you should choose an artist who you hope will keep making work. An artist who has some form of art education is a good bet. We think it’s great to support artists who are very serious about their work. There’s a lot of outsider art here, but it’s such a gamble. It is an inexpensive way to start a collection. But number one always has to be, ‘Do you like it?’”
Victoria Page, Gallery Page & Strange, 1869 Granville Street, 422-8995

“When people come in and they say, ‘I don’t like that piece but I know what I like,’ our director Ineke Graham always says, ‘No, you like what you know.’ You have to spend some time going to galleries, to educate yourself. That kind of thing is not focussed upon in our general curriculum. It’s about visual literacy. You have to read more. The more information you have, the more you see and you’ll be able to tell what you really like.”
Maria Graham, Studio 21, 1223 Lower Water Street, 420-1852

Other Local Galleries

Argyle Fine Art
Historic Properties, 1869 Upper Water Street, 425-9456

Art 1274 Hollis
1274 Hollis Street, 446-4077

2089 Gottingen Street, 407-3390

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1723 Hollis Street, 424-7542

Bogside Gallery
Hydrostone Gallery, 5527 Young Street, 453-3063

Craig Gallery
Alderney Landing, 2 Ochterloney Street, Dartmouth, 461-4698

Eyelevel Gallery
2063 Gottingen Street, 425-6412

Frame Plus Art
2705 Agricola Street, 455-9762

FRED. Beauty Food Art. And Whet Cafe
2606 Agricola Street, 407-3733

North Pocket Studio
5926 Hillside Avenue

Viewpoint Gallery
1272 Barrington Street, 420-0854

Zwicker’s Gallery
5415 Doyle Street, 423-7662

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