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How to Collect Art as a Millennial

By: Kara Caroccio

Collecting art can be tricky. Its an investment that requires education and risk. But incase you are not in the mood to read a few art history books and take a few too many risks, I’ll slow the process down for you.

It’s as easy as this, in art school (college for artists- yes this exists) my professor sat us around the studio and had us each pick  another's painting out as an example of a painting we would like to have in our house and stare at over coffee. This simple question is a vital consideration when buying art work.

Kara Caroccio_Collecting Art_Six Degrees

If you don't want to stare at it while you drink coffee in the morning, don't buy it.

But, where do you start? Firstly, Start slow, and low, meaning research some artists you like. Instagram is a great initial place to connect and follow up with upcoming artists. Start low. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT buy work starting at insane auction house sticker prices. Of course I mean this as your first work later on by all means please do invest in art.

Artists often make prints of their original work and sell them for a fraction of the price. Prints are a great way to showcase art in your home without the stress of an original piece. If you attend a gallery opening night or almost any art event, prints will be offered. If not, ask the artist if they offer prints on their website.

With that being said, there is nothing in the world like owning an original piece. Especially an oil painting, in my opinion. There are many excellent events in New York City such as the Anonymous Was a Masterpiece Benefit Art Sale at New York Studio. This is an event that is free to attend. The works of multiple artists will be listed anonymously for $100 each (so you are forced to pick work you enjoy and not by the artist label).  The 5’5’ works artist names will be revealed after purchase. Paying $100 for original work is a great way to add to your collection. Be sure to sign up for the New York Studios mailing list to get invited to their benefits.

Often times these events will have framing options. While not all sales offer free Framing a lot of sales, auctions and benefits will have a framing booth on site. Artists will also offer framing for an additional cost.

I also recommend looking into auction sites like Paddle 8 . Paddle 8 is a great way to get your hands on prints and multiples, pieces that generally sell for a lot less. check them out here.

Aside from  attending events, I would also scope out Etsy pages of upcoming artists. Sometimes they list their work for a sale price on their Etsy instead of their art website. This too is a great way to add to your collection.


Kara Caroccio_Six Degrees Contributor_Headshot

A New Yorker in every sense of the word, Kara Caroccio began her professional career after graduating from Seton Hall University with a B.A. in Biological Anthropology and Fine Arts. Her background includes experience in the non-profit and art space, as well as a position as Executive Assistant to the Chairman at IMG Media. She is an active member of her community, involved in the local church and volunteer work for her alma maters. She is an activist for lyme disease and children with learning differences. She explores creative ways to match art, fashion and philanthropy by participating in local community events. In her free time, Kara can be found trying out new restaurants with her fiancé, exploring local art exhibits or painting alongside her bare-eyed cockatoo, Buddy. Follow her adventures at @KaraPixie on Instagram.