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aportación y apoyo intelectual de personas con un fin común, en este caso el arte, de este modo se han gestado movimientos artísticos únicos como el Impresionismo. Finalmente me gustaría concluir con una breve platica que tuve con mi hijo de 11 anos durante el almuerzo. Siguiendo con el tema de la inspiración y sabiendo lo mucho que el disfruta pintar, le hice la misma pregunta, que cosa lo inspiraba en su clase de arte en la escuela a lo que el me respondió: “Solo

pintamos lo que la maestra nos dice”, lo que me hizo pensar que hoy en dia las escuelas tienen un programa académico a seguir en el cual no incluye algunas veces crear libre e individualmente, creo que esto es erróneo ya que en cada alumno puede encontrarse un artista cuyo potencial se ve disminuido al no permitirle expresarse libremente. Se que cada maestro de arte trata de ensenar las técnicas y estilos propios de cada corriente artística por lo que no hay mucho espacio para la creatividad independiente.

THE FINE ART OF APPRAISALS Dana Gray There are taboos regarding the commercialization of art objects. A café or wine shop may put the price of the art work displayed on the wall right there for all to see. Some galleries will print an exhibition guide with prices included and mark the sold items with a red dot on the wall. But, most art going experiences will not involve conversations about the cost of the artwork. Museums use euphemisms to describe buying and selling transactions. Museums don’t purchase a painting. They make “acquisitions,” or “deaquisition” (it’s used as a verb) objects from their collection. Those who make these choices, curators and collectors, are sometimes referred to as cultural “taste makers,” a role that is anything but trivial. To be an art dealer is to determine the monetary value of something supremely subjective and convince an art buyer that the quantification of the object’s value is reasonable.

Appraisals are an intersection of money and art. The appraisal process for a work of art, or any personal property, follows a standardized process similar to valuation of real property. We all live somewhere, pay rent or a mortgage, and utilize comparables when determining a reasonable value for our living space. Assess the location, square feet, number of beds and baths, quality of finishes and condition. Then you review properties matching this criteria and compare prices within an appropriate market.

Dana Gray provides a peek into the interactions in which art and money intersect:

Consideration must be given to the type of value. The two types of values used most often in my appraisal practice are Fair Market Value and Retail

This same process is utilized for art. Some of the characteristics considered are the artist, the media, date, subject, dimensions, exhibitions and/or publications, provenance, and condition. The appraised object is compared with similar objects within an appropriate market to determine the value.


In August 2015, I was honored to participate in the AltArt Fair at the Koken Art Factory. I had really just begun to work hard at my visual art, and this was my first art fair. I spoke with the facilitator of the event, and she shared some of the ups and downs of the event's history, and mentioned her struggle to promote the outsider art scene in St. Louis. As I brought my paintings to the Koken Art Factory, I thought about how fortunate I was to be involved with such an event and how, year to year, there are no guarantees events like these might happen. I often tell people, including guests I spoke with at the fair, that I am not primarily involved with painting for financial reasons. Like many, I really should be. My wife and I get on ok, but we are not affluent by any stretch, and there are many things we would like to do that more money would allow. Spending two days at the fair, mingling with guests and other artists, reinforced my notion that art for money is not the choice for me.

There were several organizations that specialize in promoting art for developmentally or otherwise disabled people. Regarding their art-- some of it was quite good, and it definitely fit in with the "intuitive art" theme of the fair. Their presence also changed the flavor of the event-- for the better, generally. It made me feel that the AltArt Fair pulls people together with different backgrounds and situations and accepts them. Quite an interesting group it was, and all whom I spoke with were pleasant, at least. From the woman who portrays predominantly chickens, to the man who does wall sculptures with metal strips, to the local folk art gallery, the groups of disabled artists, old timers on the scene-- I really got the impression that this type of art brings people together, and that these different people get along well, cooperate together. We were certainly very able to share a space, and I never felt that my art, myself, or any of my belongings were at risk. To me that says a lot. COMMUNITY VOICES

Pienso que es una cuestión a debatir sobretodo porque en tiempos actuales los niños viven bombardeados de tecnología que los limita buscar y crear. Mi pensamiento final es dejarlos con la idea de buscar cada dia algo que nos invite a crear o simplemente que nos inspire seamos o no artistas, vivamos cada dia con las ganas de sentirnos asombrados antes las cosas que nos rodean.

Replacement Value. Fair Market Value is often used for IRS purposes and Retail Replacement Value is used for insurance. Those values are defined as: Fair Market Value as defined by IRS Section 1.170 and 20.2031 (b) is “the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having a reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.” “Retail Replacement Value is defined as the highest amount in terms of US dollars that would be required to replace a property with another of similar age, quality, origin, appearance, provenance, and condition within a reasonable length of time in an appropriate and relevant market. When applicable, sales and / or import tax, commissions and / or premiums are included in this amount.” (NYU Appraisal Studies Program Definition) The market determines value in an appraisal. Dana Gray, Fine Art Appraiser Dana Gray & Associates LLC

But what about the economics? Very little was sold at the fair. There was one artist who sold quite a bit-- most of his stuff. The disability organizations kept a nice business going. Folks like me tended not to sell or to sell very little. This is by no means a reflection on the event itself or its planners. There was a nice flow of guests through most of the event, and plenty of people stopped by. But there was a sense that people really are not buying much art-- whether they can't afford it, or do not have the need, or for whatever reason. That goes for outsider events like the AltArt Fair, as well as for leading-edge galleries such as the one I visited in the Loop, where the established proprietor shared that a recent and well-promoted reception attracted only a handful of people, those being mainly relatives. As a new artist to the scene, that gives me pause. The St. Louis art scene is indeed vibrant, in that there is a great network of intriguing people involved. Financially, I fear that it is struggling, as post-recession wallets and a general apathy or lack of need inhibits local people from purchasing works of art. So-- I ask myself again-- why am I doing this? Is it for the money, or for other reasons? WINTER 2015 ALLTHEARTSTL.COM 18

All the Art, Winter 2015  

The Visual Art Quarterly of St. Louis

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