It's that time of the year again and you’d like to give a family member or a co-worker a special gift to show your love or appreciation?
Or maybe a birthday, a wedding, or a momentous life occasion that should be accompanied by an equally special present?
Whatever the reason, giving an original work of art as a gift is a thoughtful and bold move, and sometimes can be daunting as you try to choose the perfect piece. Although giving an expensive bottle of wine or useful gadget will always be appreciated and might be the easier option, it is so much better to buy something that is beautiful, unique, memorable AND has the potential to increase in value over time.
In this ARTicle we share some ideas and things to think about when giving art as a gift.
Art is a unique and personal present that will make the recipient feel very special. When you give a gift of a handmade original artwork by a local artist you are giving them something timeless and creating a connection between the two of you that will last a long time. Twenty years later, the luxury candles and wonderful perfume will be finished, the clothes will no longer be in style and that latest tech will be obsolete; but the art you gifted? That will continue to occupy pride of place on their shelves or walls. It will continue to stir emotions and feelings in the future, just as it does now.
Giving art as a gift is an environmentally friendly option: an original artwork has less of an environmental impact compared to mass-produced consumer products. Gifting art supports your local economy as every artist is effectively a small business and artists live and work in every community. Supporting artists, art galleries and your local creative economy by buying art helps this industry stay alive.
So you've decided to buy a piece of art as a gift, but where do you begin? You could purchase it in person at a Gallery; or from an artist's studio; or you could avoid the hassle and order online, with delivery straight to you or the recipient's door.
Firstly, here are some useful things to think about when choosing a gift of art for a loved one:
- Their style / taste - do they like monochrome and simplicity or lots of bright colours? Perhaps they prefer a minimalist, sleek, and neutral look? Or strike you as more eclectic, rustic or vibrant?
- Their living space / lifestyle - are they living in a permanent home, or are they renting and only in the space temporarily? Is their space very big with lots of wall space, or smaller and cluttered?
Think about the practicalities of their home, for instance buying a delicate sculpture for a family home full of pets isn’t the best idea; nor is buying a big work for a small home.
Perhaps you already have an idea in mind of where a piece of art could go in their home.
- Their passions - what do they like to do in their free time?
For example - maybe they are avid horse riders and an ink painting of a horse by Pascale Chandler will be perfect. Or they love the garden and would enjoy a beautiful botanical painting. Perhaps they love to read - one of Grace Kotze’s small book paintings could be perfect for their reading nook! If they love the outdoors and the ocean, a seascape painting for their office will add bliss to their workday.
Still having trouble making up your mind about what kind of artwork to choose? Here are some things to remember:
- Buying a smaller work of art, not only is more affordable but also gives the receiver more space and flexibility in how they would like to display it. Small art can stand on a shelf, or be grouped together with other pieces.
- If you are planning on framing the artwork yourself before you give it, remember to factor in some time and budget for framing. Again, considering what they already have in their home is a good starting point — do they prefer unframed pieces or is their current artwork all framed? Are they ornate and decorative or simple and contemporary frames?
- If you have fallen in love and found the PERFECT piece for a family member or a close friend, but your budget doesn’t quite stretch, don’t be afraid to get the whole gang involved. Another family member might be struggling to come up with a gift idea too, and you could split it between you. Likewise, Christmas or a big birthday is the perfect time to group together with your whole family and invest in a piece of artwork.
- Giving a gift of art is a valuable investment for the future. You are not just giving them a gift for now but for years to come too. Investing in emerging artists at the beginning of their careers could be a fantastic way to gift art to a child - for their bedroom, or a favourite room of the house. Over time the artwork will increase in value and they will cherish the memory and investment you gave them.
Finally, when you give the final gift, include a note that explains it, or if you’re giving it to them personally, let them know what prompted you to think of them. Art is always better and more meaningful when you know the story behind it. An artist’s vision and style set them apart from others, making every piece they create unique – not just when compared to artworks of others, but when compared to their own work as well. No two paintings are the same, even when created by the same artist.
When you gift someone an artwork, it is this exclusivity, this one-of-a-kind experience that you are giving them.
It is the knowledge that they and only they possess this original piece of art; the unique combination of concepts, colours and style to create this particular masterpiece.
Gifting art does not need to be expensive - StateoftheART offers a fantastic range of original and affordable gift ideas to thrill seasoned and aspiring art collectors alike. This curated selection includes paintings, etchings, and drawings, as well as limited-edition prints and sculptures. Prices start from R1 500 to R6 000.
If you are still struggling to find ‘that perfect piece’, take the pressure off and purchase a Gift Card for them to use in their own time to purchase artworks online from our contemporary art gallery, so you can be sure they will choose what they love. The recipient of your gift card can select an original painting, sculpture or limited edition art print from our catalogue of top emerging artists. Or they may choose to commission a new work of art, such as a portrait or painting of a place of personal significance.
Take a look at our 'Affordable Art Gifts’: a diverse selection of artful suggestions that would make treasured gifts for years to come>>