Untitled by Matsumi Kanemitsu, 1969
Untitled by Matsumi Kanemitsu, 1969

I recently spoke to the Atlanta Art Forum - a fantastic group of art collectors who bring in speakers from all over the country to educate them on different aspects of art and collecting. The talk was held at Kendall Fine Art, where art from all genres and mediums covered the walls. Before it started, this piece by Matsumi Kanemitsu caught my eye, and Matt Kendall told me a bit about the artist and the type of piece (sumi ink on paper).

I asked the price, and he told me, but I had no idea if that was a good value or not. Although I collect photography, I know nothing about this type of art or the movement of artists this represents, and honestly, it's overwhelming. I just like it. But should I buy something without knowing the context or value?

This experience related directly to the talk I gave minutes later. I spoke about the importance of cultivating a new crop of art collectors and ways Crusade for Art is tackling this challenge. I also spoke about the perceptual barriers to entry to engaging with and buying art.

First, many people feel intimidated by art and the traditional art experience (galleries and museums).  Their inexperience with art (the second barrier) makes them feel they do not know enough to participate with art and purchase it. And finally, there are misperceptions that art is not affordable or accessible.

I made this powerpoint slide, and since I'm not a graphic designer, this was a major accomplishment, so I feel compelled to share:

barriers to entry
barriers to entry

Art absolutely can be intimidating - a lot of new things are. But our challenge is to bring people into art in a way that is engaging and fun, because once you get over the hump, the other side is pretty spectacular.

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