As we welcome in 2015, the New Year is always abuzz with the obligatory New Year’s Resolutions, predictions and forecasts. With the eclectic mix of art professionals living and exhibiting in Boerne, many of these artists and art professionals have various perspectives on what the New Year is going to bring to the local, regional, and international art communities and market.
The quotes below are from a range of Fine Art Professionals affiliated with Boerne through their gallery representations. Each person provided a unique perspective on the New Year based on their role in the art world; from previous president of the Boerne Professional Artist, to artists who have representation in Texas and New Mexico, to artists gaining a foothold in the local art market.
The professionals that gave us their perspective include Donald Darst of Carriage House Gallery, Sidney Sinclair of J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art, Jim LaPaso of Texas Fine Art Treasures and Mark Holly of Texas Treasures Gallery of Art & Artisans.
The conversations with these individuals focused on a variety of topics and issues pertaining to the following questions:
· What is your personal art world perspective for 2015?
· What art trends do you hope would continue into 2015?
· Is the economic climate in Texas driving a pessimistic or optimistic perspective outlook?
· How do you see the Boerne and Texas art community / economy growing or shrinking?
Carriage House Gallery
“From an art business perspective, both as an artist and a gallery partner/owner, I am very optimistic. There have been some hard times for art with the economy stalling but I believe we are well on the mend. The Carriage House Gallery was even able to grow its patron base with creative marketing and utilizing more e-commerce and social media. Continued investment and hard work paid off, with sales this year substantially over last year.
I predict an even higher increase in art sales now that we have higher employment, great jobs in the energy sectors, increasing home sales and more new home building. Collectors always bought, but in my opinion, were a bit more cautious with economic concerns. They now have the green light. We should see an increase in collector buying of original work especially of that by emerging artists.
There are and will continue to be a lot of new buyers entering the market. Many are younger who have always liked art but are now feeling they can buy. For the new buyers, a friendly and educational environment will go a long way in building their loyalty. These new buyers, ardent users of social media, will spread the word of their experiences. Smart artists will look for opportunity to demonstrate their work and to spread art knowledge.
From an art community perspective, art will continue to be a draw. This is due to sustained good news in the economy. Businesses will up their sponsorship of art endeavors to market to the younger patrons entering the art market. Savvy chambers of commerce and the visitor bureaus will recognize the draw of art for tourism, work more closely with members of the art community, and start contributing to advertisement of art even hosting their own art shows.
I predict more collaboration among the members of the art community recognizing that they can draw more patrons, create a more recognizable art presence, and be a bigger boon for the community by working together.”
J.R. Mooney Galleries of Fine Art
“I see the economy growing. Boerne can do nothing but get better, economically. With all the new homes being built, the influx of residences moving here from other parts of Texas and San Antonio, there will be a steady stream of economic stimulus, which should positively affect the art market.
The new generations who are starting families and moving to Boerne for the nationally rated school districts, I hope are the next generation of art collectors.
Based on a certain demographic of spending, we already know they have cultivated tastes and are in most cases, art appreciators. Once they see the dynamic and vibrant art community, they will enviably want to support it and plug in; whether it is through collectorship, business sponsorship, or in-kind generosity.
There is a certain Romanticism that drives people to the Hill Country – nature, hills, and quality of life, which will continue to drive people to this area. This makes me very optimistic.
As a fine art professional and art teacher, a positive economic indicator for me is that potential students are continuing to inquiry about studying with me.
However, we have to acknowledge the downtimes and valleys in the art market, by which are always followed with the upturns.
I think the art market if in a slump always seems to pull out of any recession, and I believe this is true here locally in Boerne too. I feel Texas is economically strong and will continue to be so through 2015.
The Eagle Ford Shale and Natural Gas productions in Texas has improved the financial structure that has allowed Texas and Boerne to weather some rough economic storms that other parts of the country have struggled with. The artists in Boerne are truly blessed.
There is a solid foundation of artistic support that has steady grown over the last 20 to 30 years with the Boerne Professional Artist. Here in Boerne, the artists like to help each other out and want see each other succeed.
I think we will continue to see the growth of artist based community initiatives with the City of Boerne, Hill Country Council for the Arts, and other non-art affiliated organizations.
For 2015, I am hopeful that the people coming to Boerne will love what (we) the artists do, and want to invest in helping develop careers, projects and collections. As an artist, I feel very optimistic going into the New Year.
Texas Treasure Fine Art Gallery
I have been an artist all of my life, first with furniture building and wood sculpture then metal sculpture maturing into kinetic metal sculpture. I have been sculpting kinetics for 18 years. At one time I had my work in 14 galleries all over the country. However, in the past 8 years I have gotten several commercial clients and now have 32 major installations in the United States and abroad. I’m now in four great galleries and find it much more manageable. I have great hope for the 2015 art market. As far as the future, I plan to keep doing what I have been doing - designing high quality pieces that I love. I am very fortunate to have the success I have and don’t take it for granted.
Texas Treasures Art & Artisans Gallery
So, as we near the end of 2014 I sit here asking myself, how the market for fine art photography has been in 2014 and what is likely to happen in the next few years. This last year, in my opinion, has been one of slow but steady improvement….Having said that, I must qualify it by saying that this is true mostly for photographers who have begun to master the "three legged stool" of success. First, an artistic vision especially for the subject matter that is desirable in your market area, second, the technical skills to bring a quality product to life and third, an understanding of how to effectively market your artwork. If you visit the various galleries and art shows in your area you will get an idea of the popular subject matter then you must apply your unique style and vision. The second leg on the stool can take time, and these skills include not only post processing software but knowledge of the materials used to present your art both digitally and in print. The third leg, marketing, requires face time with prospective buyers as well as an effective and efficient use of email, social media such as Facebook, Twitter, your website, etc. On a personal level, I have been lucky enough to be able to show in the Texas Treasures Art & Artisans Gallery in Boerne, the Kerrville Arts and Cultural Center (KACC), various commercial buildings as well as an occasional art show. This has afforded me the opportunity to get the much needed face time with art lovers which often results in a visit to my website. I have the good fortune of a background in computer science, previous ownership of a small gallery, printing, framing and showing my artwork and an early start in analog/film photography allowing me to develop my own style.
The future for Fine Art Photographers who have begun to master the "three legged stool" looks good, in my opinion. Since there are not many, if any, accurate records of sales in this price tier one is left to speculate. So, given my personal experience and conversations with dozens of other photographers, I see a continuously improving market. The high end market also shows increasing sales in the million dollars plus range giving us all something to dream about. Digital photography is now widely accepted as fine art and is available in major museums, galleries, and in the hands of connoisseurs and collectors. I have seen reports of many younger people entering the market which also gives us hope for the future. In addition, the global economy will bring new avenues in which to market. The Chinese ever increasing middle class and thousands of new multi-millionaires, in particular, are currently driving a large part of this market. If our economy continues to improve as expected and we suffer no global catastrophes the future looks bright indeed!