Kayenta Style – By Matt Marten

Kayenta Style – By Matt Marten

Choosing Art For Your Home

By Matt Marten, Principal/Designer Gulch Design Group

Buying art is – in itself an art. You can find artworks and decorative items just about anywhere. But making a smart choice can seem intimidating. Size, style, statement, craftsmanship and price are all things to consider. Develop your strategy for choosing art and you can feel confident when making an acquisition. Outlined here, you will find some – hopefully – helpful tips.

Knowing Art

Original works-of-art are artist created pieces vs. mass produced pieces from a factory. I would not call anything a work-of-art unless it is a thoughtful creation. There are some very fine, well-designed and crafted decorative items that are produced in factories and might be considered art or craft. For instance, you might find mass-produced crystal, pottery or prints as part of the in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. These items are considered to embody good design, function, artistic expression and quality. The items are considered pieces of art but not an original piece-of-art.

In most cases, an original will cost significantly more than a reproduction or one-of-many produced. Original art may increase in value if the artist is considered popular or noteworthy. Popularity is controlled directly by public demand or desirability. Critical acclaim by art critics or art historians, bases value on the cutting edge technique, style employed by the artist and/or social, political or religious statements the artist is commenting on. The most acclaimed and potentially valuable art is generally breakthrough, controversial or revolutionary in nature.

Choose what you like

Art is subjective. There is no good or bad – right or wrong. We connect to the “feeling” that a piece may evoke. It may resonate with shape, color or style that we find appealing or memorable. It is a gift from the universe when we connect to a piece of art – it brings us in touch with a part of our soul. Listen to your intuition.

Choose a Color or Theme

Artwork does not have to match your sofa and chairs but in some cases, complimentary colors or similar colors to your furnishings add to the cohesion of a space. If your room is neutral in color (browns and cream colors) a splash of your favorite color, black or white can add the spark you need in the room. The artwork will stand out as special.

Get to know an artist

Some art buyers like to develop a personal relationship with an artist, which makes their ownership of their artwork more personal – with a greater connection or understanding to the creator of their acquisition. Visiting the artist in their studio adds another layer of understanding of how art is born. Several artists call Kayenta home: Jeff Ham, Fredrick Stephens, Linda Calison, Andrew Kramer, Ed Hlavka and the artists of Blue Raven and Zia Pottery. Stop by their studios and get to know their art.

Embrace A Conversation Piece

An unusual piece can spark a conversation, a story or a shared emotion. Art is sometimes created as decoration and other times its purpose is to ignite a thought, conversation or tell a story.

Determine a place for your new found object

Put your art in a special place. Let the artwork breath. Let there be plenty of blank space or wall space around the painting or sculpture. And avoid hanging the artwork too high! Avoid the pawn-shop or garage sale look! Rather than display your precious treasures as random things placed around the house, determine a theme and cluster them together by style, size or color – things look special if they are displayed together as one collection rather then separate items.

Treat and handle art as a precious treasure

Something of quality can be handed down or gifted. Your children or grandchildren a niece or nephew may develop a fond memory or connection to something they remember as being part of a family home. Art can hold special meaning and energy. Treasure your art.

Buying Art

Art galleries, online shopping, on the street while on vacation, at a festival or art show are all viable places to buy art. I like to inspect the piece in person to witness detail, quality and craftsmanship. Close to home, here in Kayenta, there are several options to finding quality art. Coyote Gulch offers several galleries to browse and find a wide variety of paintings, sculpture and decorative pieces.

The Art in Kayenta Festival, the annual gathering of artists and enthusiasts continues as a tradition in the Coyote Gulch Art Village again this year on Presidents Day Weekend in February. This year the festival will be a 3 day event beginning on Friday.

A “Quick Draw” event will be held on Saturday afternoon where prominent artists will create works that will go to the highest bidder in a live auction. Artists participating in the event are: Ed Hlavka, Jeff Ham, Royden Card, Gary Collins, Frederick Stevens, Gina Jerel, Todd Prince, Aimee Bonham, Kate Starling, Ginny Northcott, Lynette Thompson. This might be a great way to add to your unique collection or start one!

The festival brings unique artworks to the area and a fantastic opportunity to transform your blank walls and vacant niches with unique and colorful statements.

When purchasing a piece of art, ask for information about the piece and also information about the artist. Many artists and galleries will have printed Bio’s and information that can accompany the work. This information can be useful or just provide some background for the making your acquisition more valuable or interesting.

Mostly, just have fun and enjoy art!

Buy Art Locally:

Coyote Gulch Art Village Shops & Galleries
Open Daily 10am to 5pm

Art in Kayenta Festival 2012
Presidents Day Weekend
February 17, 18 &19

In Town
St. George also has a growing arts scene
Check out Main Street (Downtown St. George) and
13th & Park – Art Space (Industrial Area)

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