The visual arts, by their very nature, are collectible works. And Montreal’s art market is very rich, its artists firmly established. So it’s easier than you think to start a collection, even a modest one!
- Keep abreast of the latest cultural events by reading such magazines as Voir or the specialized blog ratsdeville.
- Familiarize yourself with the contemporary art galleries in your area. The website of the Contemporary Art Galleries Association provides a good list.
- Discover the artist-run centres near you. The Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec presents its list of members here.
- Stop by the Belgo Building between noon and 5 p.m. and discover its numerous art galleries (372 St. Catherine St. W. across from Musique Plus).
- Note in your agenda the public openings and discovery tours that are offered from time to time. Les Journées de la culture (Culture Days), for example, should be circled on your calendar.
- Take a tour of a museum! The permanent collections are often free of charge. Target those exhibitions that feature several local contemporary artists.
- Sign up for the next SéminArts group and discover the city’s collections, collectors and the best way to go about setting up your own collection.
When you spot an artist you particularly like, talk to the gallery owner to learn more about his or her work. It’s part of their job to share this information, and they will be more than happy to answer any questions. Ask to see more works by the same artist, and about the possibility of meeting the artist or even visiting his or her studio. Most artists respond favourably to these requests, since they reflect a real interest in their work.
The artwork fits your budget? Then it’s simply a matter of arranging things with the gallery owner. While you’re at it, benefit from his or experience and contacts to have the work properly framed.
You’re afraid the price is a bit high? Why not spread your payments over several months? After all, you’re fond of the artist, so it’s better to grab your little jewel right now than to have regrets later on! Talk to the gallery owner. Most often, they can set up an instalment plan.
You’re acting on behalf of a company? It’s possible to recover the TPS and TVQ, and to write off the expenditure for 3 to 5 years, thus benefiting from significant tax advantages and reducing the purchase price.
- Am I really fond of this work? And of the artist’s work in general?
- Have I done enough research to understand the artist’s evolution?
There are many specialists in Montreal who would be happy to share their knowledge of the local arts scene, to guide you through the galleries, artist centres, auctions and other venues to find works that match your budget and tastes. But be sure to ask them to explain their own tastes beforehand, and why they have chosen to show you these particular works. This will help you to decide whether or not the consultant can set you on the right track.