Summer is a perfect time to travel, to visit new places and gain new experiences. Traveling is also a great way to learn about local art from all over the globe. Every major city, has at least a few promising local artists, waiting to be spotted by the global art market. And this is your chance to discover them before anyone else. Exploring local art can be difficult if you are in a completely unfamiliar place. That's why we've encompassed 7 easy ways to find local art no matter where you are.
1. Find art online
Browsing the internet is always a good way to start. A lot of websites (like Artsy or Artnet) have filters that let you filter out artists based on their location. So when you start to plan your journey, use these websites and the location filter to explore all artists from the area you are visiting. And just wait for the results to pop up!
Alongside artists names and artworks they sell, you will see additional information about the artist, including their representing galleries, contact info or social media profiles. Speaking of social media they can be a great tool for art sourcing as well. Many people advertise their art over Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and browsing through art hashtags combined with hashtags of the desired location can be a great way to find what you need. You can also use social media to contact the artist directly and set up a meeting when you arrive at the location.
2. Gallery Tours
Recognizing the needs of art lovers and collectors all over the world, many travel agencies organize special gallery tours, that guide visitors through the local art scene. These tours can encompass many galleries in a single day, leading you through the best local art has to offer.
Certain tours, include curators and art writers who can answer your questions about local art characteristics and trends. Others, include encounters with the artists, willing to answer any questions you may have about their work. Since gallery tours aim to please all tastes, you should expect to see a lot of diverse art pieces including, the latest cutting-edge artworks and experimental art.
3. Open Studios
Every now and then artists open their studios to let collectors get a glimpse of both their art and their creative process. Open studios are not only a great way to discover new art, but also to inquire about the artist’s work (process, materials, price range...), and about details of the purchase (paperwork, shipment...) In order to promote a wide variety of local artists and connect them with art collectors, certain travel agencies organize open studio tours which enable you to visit over 100 studios in just one day.
4. Art Meet-Ups
Art meet-ups are casual events that bring art enthusiasts together to talk about art and share ideas. Here you can meet a variety of interesting people - art curators, collectors, art writers, gallerists, and artists with different perspectives, which will paint you a detailed picture of a local art scene. There’s a variety of meet-ups organized all over the globe and many of them focus on local artists in particular.
Art meet-ups can include small-scale exhibitions, where artists showcase their work, live painting sessions or art talks. Here you can discover new artists, discuss local art and find out what your fellow art enthusiast think about local art developments. With many interesting people to talk to and bounce ideas off, art meet-ups are a fun and efficient way to learn moreabout the local art scene.
5. Collectors Clubs
Collectors clubs are another great way to meet like-minded individuals and find out more about the local art scene, as they provide you with both education and social networking opportunities. Unlike open studios and gallery tours, collector clubs are a great way to learn more about art without the pressure of buying it.
Here you can discuss local art trends, hot emerging artists and discover how the prices are expected to evolve. Certain collectors clubs organize sessions with art critics, museum curators, gallery owners and other private collectors, thus providing you with in-depth insight and understanding. And all this in an informal atmosphere while having a cocktail with your peers. And if you do decide to buy an artwork, a collectors club can probably get you a discount.
6. Local Art Universities
Most of the cities have local art universities, schools or colleges that can prove to be a real goldmine for discovering local art. Many art schools have their own galleries within the premises, where they organize student's exhibitions free for the public viewing, where you can find works from emerging artist, at modest prices. Here you can also find artists’ contact info if you want to get in touch and see his or her other works. If you’re lucky you can discover the art world's "next big thing" before everyone else.
7. Local Art Fairs
Many cities host art fairs including or dedicated to local art. Here you can discover hundreds of local artists in just one hall. Art fairs have the advantage of gathering a plethora of art in one place, which makes them less strenuous than gallery or open studio tours. Also, unlike the guided tours, where somebody else is in charge of the timetable, you can move around the art fair by yourself and at your own pace. This is a great way to get to know local galleries as well, since every booth has a representative ready to answer all your inquiries.
People often see local art as something less valuable than “regular” art but nothing can be further from the truth. Every famous artist of today was once a local artist, looking for his or her big break. And with these tips, you may be among the first to discover these local art gems and add their remarkable artworks to your collection.