Deck the Walls...with ART!

In honor of Black History Month, Piedmont Arts presents the exhibit, Works on Paper from the Imogene and Isadore Draper Collection of African American Art. The Draper Collection is comprised of prints and drawings from some of the most important African American artists of the twentieth century, including Elizabeth Catlett, Charles Bibb, Sam Gilliam, A.B. Jackson, Martin Puryear and Jacob Lawrence. Retired local educator Imogene Draper, her husband Isadore and daughter Christina collected these works over a thirty–year period.

Inspired by their life–long work in public education, the Drapers have a desire to share this collection with those who might wish to join them in exploring the rich history of their cultural heritage. More than thirty years of collecting have given them a unique perspective on African American life and culture as expressed in the work of artists for whom they have deep admiration and respect.

For many, beginning an art collection like the Draper's may seem like a daunting task. However, knowing where to begin and how to make educated decisions can make the process much easier. Here are ten easy steps to follow when starting to collect art, courtesy of Art–Collecting.com:

1. Buy art because you like it and because it moves you, and because it will enhance your life.

2. Visit as many art galleries as you can, gallery staff can be helpful guides in your art education.

3. Get on gallery mailing lists so you'll be invited to openings and special events.

4. Visit and join your local art museums and nonprofit art centers. Curators sometimes give lectures on collecting art.

5. Attend National and International Art Fairs and Art Expos whenever possible.

6. If you know art collectors, talk to them and find out what they know and what they've learned about collecting art.

7. Read books on art history and books about collecting art.

8. Subscribe to a few art magazines.

9. Read reviews by local and national art critics, keeping in mind that reviews usually just reflect one person's opinion.

10. Working with a professional art advisor / art consultant is a good way to learn about art collecting, and they will guide you through the process of purchasing art.

Once you've educated yourself and have fallen in love with a work of art, buy it, take it home and enjoy it!

Works on Paper from the Imogene and Isadore Draper Collection of African American Art will be on display at Piedmont Arts through February 20, 2010.

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