Why buy art, support our local artistic communities and preserve our cultural heritage? Those are interesting questions, suggesting a multitude of perspectives. Historically speaking much of what we refer to as civilization was built on the backs of artists. Start with cave drawings, a form of art born alongside humanity, millions of years ago, our oldest ancestors wanted to convey some message to the future of who they were and how they lived. I’m sure they had no idea that millions of years later we would still be viewing their treasures and trying to understand their art and communications.

petroglyph1Art elevates the spirit. By surrounding oneself with art, life feels better. Art brightens your day and your life, for a moment examine our interaction with art in our daily lives today and all through history.

What is art and why do our souls crave it? Art is a way to connect, on a very deep level. From the beginning man has used images from his brain to communicate his thoughts, feelings and aspirations.  Art chronicles our experiences and records our individual journeys. Art is the very thing that makes us human. We don’t just want to be surrounded by art; it is a human need to be immersed in artistic environments, whether that is wall art, music, architecture or motion picture art. Art makes us feel good.

How do you find and selecsistine-chapelt art that fits your personal needs and desires? The first thing is to listen to your heart; your heart will never ever lie. When you look at or listen to a piece of art and it takes your breath away and you find yourself saying “this piece is beautiful, I just have to have it” that is a clue. Your soul is speaking to you, take a moment to listen. True art is an inspiration, not a decoration. It doesn’t matter if it fits, or goes with the whatever (couch is the worst, I hate it when people want to match their couch), or what will my mother, brother, husband or Aunt Tilly think of this piece.

There is no feeling like the feeling one gets from owning a piece of art , seeing the piece day in and day out , it touches your soul, over and over and over again. The art becomes a very part of your history, your personal journey. This why we enjoy art, support art and the artists who create the wonderful pieces we embrace.

Reasons to buy art are not only to support the artists who create it, artists need patrons, big and small, to sell their work to, so they may to continue to create.  The real reason is to explore your own inner needs, feelings and communications. There’s that heart thing again

Ask yourself; does this artwork speak to me, what does it say to me, how does this artwork touch me? Where does it touch me? Are the shapes pleasing? Can I see myself enjoying this piece every day? Do I like the colors? Because the truth is that all living beings respond to color. Color is so important that there have been many psychological studies of the effects of color on our lives. Sometimes you like a color and you may not even know why you like it. The reason is because the colors you enjoy are connecting through your eyes directly with your soul.

Next most important aspect to consider is; do you personally know or have you met the artist. Is this artist local? Am I supporting the local economy? Do you know the artists history? After all, in the end the story is an important aspect of being the steward of someone else’s artwork. At best the artist’s story can give you some insight and understanding of yourself. At the least, out of respect to the artist’s creative spirit, know the artist’s name and a little about them.

Lastly and most importantly, shop local. We have all heard this suggestion in terms mostly associated with buying our food stocks from local farms and producers. Well, the same benefits hold true to shopping for handmade gift items. It might even be said that shopping local will have the greatest impact on the environment. By sourcing all your gift items from local artisans and crafts people the positive impact is directly measurable. For every dollar spent locally, 67 cents stays right in that very community not to a foreign country. By shopping local you help create local jobs. When we shop local we boost and support the local economy. Environmentally speaking, as an artisan we are much more likely to source our own basic art materials locally, often artists are avid recyclers of discarded materials to create our art. All the work is done locally and by shopping local we reduce the carbon footprint in so many ways. The single biggest positive impact is that there is little to no shipping and or transportation of raw materials or finished goods, therefore there is not much CO2 generated and released into the atmosphere. Art Walk Little Italy

So there you go, buy art first because it makes you feel good. Buy art because it helps support the local artists and the local economy. Shop local because it helps keep the money local and it is good for the environment.  Peace and Love, James Stone.