Written by Alli Hames
(reading time 2 minutes)
Is it possible that there is a regional taste for art buyers? And as a gallery is it important to keep this in mind, regardless of the gallery focus. The simple answer is YES.
And here’s why.
Geographical location develops and influences local taste. Examples of some of these influences can be found in the raw materials readily available, the atmospheric light, local colour and seasons. This process begins at the beginning; meaning you will find proof of this in historic and indigenous art from each region around the globe. These influences create a solid foundation, it is a part of regional identity, and is deeply rooted.
To illustrate this concept let's consider the Pacific Northwest of Canada, with it’s rugged coastlines, huge rainforest and temperate climate, it was a region of abundant resources. The indigenous people of this area enjoyed bounty in food and shelter year round, leaving them ample leisure time. Using what the land provided and drawing inspiration from the surrounding area the people created a rich artistic identity unique to them and their geographical location. This land based inspiration plays a strong roll today; it is reflected in the way we build our homes on the Pacific Northwest, which favor natural views, light and local materials.
The local appetite craves local content, this can take shape in all art forms and movements, be it conceptual, contemporary, architecture, design, performance art or music.
In our gallery we encounter this phenomenon regularly. Clients who are seeking to dissolve portions of their art collection often contact us with the goal of obtaining gallery representation for their estate items and eventual sale on commission. There is a list of requirements that we consider when viewing estate items, among these requirements “local relevance” is especially important. This is because though an artist may be well known and influential, on a global or even national level they are most often little known, understood or appreciated.
Regard for a talent is formed in a region. If the artist's creative ideas are well received in the area they are working and selling in, their recognition is born from a naturally occurring local appetite.
Though a “hundred mile art diet” may sound cheeky, proof of its existence can be found in any region. Local taste will touch upon every surface and will be present in its people, just as one region's cuisine is distinct from the next. Whether you are currently doing business in the art industry or are considering doing so, take some time to closely consider the local flavor, you will do well to know it intimately and will be sound in your business when you source your ingredients for success locally.