SmART Collecting – Collecting the Work of Emerging Artists


Many art collectors and dealers seek out the work of emerging artists before they become stars and before the price of their work soars. Where do you find these emerging artists?

The hot places to discover new artists are through prominent Master of Fine Art programs where students are just beginning to share their visions with the world. The top MFA programs, particularly Columbia, Yale, and Hunter College, are springboards into the New York art world. Their MFA graduation shows or thesis exhibitions are considered the students’ coming-out party. At these shows dealers are looking for new artists to sign and collectors are literally buying things off the wall.

MFA shows are also a good place to learn more about contemporary art in general. If you attend a show, ask the students to tell you about their work, and also ask who else they think is good. Art students typically have a good sense of what’s new and innovative in the art world and enjoy talking about it.

A word of caution to collectors, buy only what you love. Don’t get caught up in the buying frenzy. Inexperienced collectors who think about art as an investment, like the stock market or real estate and follow a sheep mentality. There is no guarantee that the price of the students’ work will increase in the future.

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