Anyone Can Be a Collector of Original Works – Shannon Robinson

Windows to the Divine

What is patronage; and who can be a patron of the arts? For Shannon Robinson, curator and chairperson of Windows to the Divine, wants everyone to understand that they can become a collector regardless of financial means or cultural biases around the art market. She does this through Windows to the Divine’s educational programs that teach about patronage, the art industry, and philanthropy. Topics Include:

Collectors & Patrons:

  • “We use the term ‘collector’ or ‘patron’, and it feels like you’re being an elitist.”
  • “Patronage is for everyone; I believe it’s a moral imperative.”
  • “Everybody has to do collect in order to make sure that the visual arts thrive and survive.”
  • “This is the best time in human history to be a collector because anyone can do it.”

Getting started as a Collector:

  • Regardless of financial means, anyone can become a collector
  • Becoming a collector is a “wonderful lifetime journey.”
  • “Go to art shows, get involved in an art museum, subscribe to magazines, take an art history class, consider going to your local art student’s league and take an introductory class…”
  • Create a “mental bank of things you’ve seen, good versus bad, so that you can sit there and compare and make some sort of judgment.

Forming a cohesive collection:

  • Benefits of buying original art
  • Determine your direction and goals as a collector: recreational vs. legacy vs. investment collecting
  • Collecting deceased vs. living artists
  • “Collecting is a lifelong journey and it’s going to take years for you to have any real acumen.”
  • “Art collecting in and of itself is a creative endeavor.”

Online Art Market

  • Be wary of fraud, work with reputable vendors
  • “There’s no substitute for seeing it live, looking at the texture, looking at the brush strokes, being able to really examine the work.”
  • “The notion of a direct tie between the collector and artist is one that is changing every day and the whole gallery paradigm is changing.”
  • “The advantage of online art markets is that it could cut out the middleman for some artists. It could mean that some artists might have great opportunities they didn’t have before.”
  • “There’s just a lot of different economic paradigms out there and I think that’s exciting and that’s good for the consumer, and hopefully will be good for the artist.”
  • “Due to globalization, the internet there is original art in every possible price range and media out there.”

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Daniel DiGriz
Daniel DiGriz is Director of Audience Development & Educational Programming. He's co-founder of enterprise consulting firm Free Agent Source Inc.. He is Corporate Storyteller and Digital Ecologist® at MadPipe which provides sales enablement and campaign direction to various firms. His background in Fortune 500 life is in sales, education, and technology. Daniel is a musician, storyteller, and karateka. His personal website is

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