Ask the expert: How do I start an art collection?

Michelle Jacques, chief curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, shares tips on art collecting.

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(Photo, Sian Richards.)
Choose to collect art that reflects your personality. (Photo, Sian Richards.)

Michelle Jacques, chief curator at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, knows a lot about art collecting. She explains her top tips for starting or expanding your art collection. (Tip: it’s all about getting inspired and involved within the art community.)

1. Seek out experience
It’s a good idea to work with an expert. Anyone from an art consultant to a friend who is already collecting can help.

2. Go to galleries
You want your collection to reflect your interests, which is why some people don’t want to work with gallery owners. But there are gallerists who think beyond their own stables and offer good advice.

3. Get with the programs
There are many opportunities to participate in groups, organizations and events that educate about collecting. Try AGO Next and Moccamigos (Toronto), the SéminArts series (Montreal) and the Contemporary Art Society (Vancouver).

4. Stay focused
Choose art that reflects your personality. Some people collect only photography or paintings; others stick with landscapes. You could also focus on collecting works by young artists, or from a particular region. What happens when works of art resonate with each other is the really interesting thing.

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