Jason Stout and Jon Rogers

Art in the House

Bare walls are no fun. Jon Rogers (Martin ’01) has friend Jason Stout to thank for making his home more colorful. Pals since preschool, Rogers and Stout (Martin ’01) enjoy art but in different ways. Stout paints, and Rogers collects Stout’s work in his home in Martin, Tennessee. “Jason is my buddy, and I love that abstract style,” says Rogers. Stout, assistant professor of art at UT Martin, says anyone can be an art collector.

Before starting a collection, Stout recommends you consider these questions:

  • What art do you enjoy? Do you like modern or traditional? Ultimately the work you collect is what you want around you.
  • Whose art should you collect? Consider artists who are living now as well as deceased famous and obscure artists.
  • When should you start? The first time you should buy a work of art is when you feel a connection to it and cannot live without it.
  • Where do you find great art to collect? Finding the right venue for your tastes, time and lifestyle can be essential to building any good art collection.
  • Why collect art? Supporting the arts is crucial to the vitality of any community.

To collect art as an investment, Stout recommends:

  • Use only reputable dealers, and find out the history of a piece.
  • Learn the period, date, movement and names of artists.
  • Seek supporting drawings or drafts that accompany the major works. While still original, these are less expensive.
  • Narrow your collection to a certain period, school, medium or even a certain media by a certain artist of a certain school during a certain period.

To begin a modest art collection, Stout recommends supporting local artists because you can have a chance to meet the artists and understand how your support is helping them and the art community. Check out these venues to find local artists:

  • Galleries: From commercial to collegiate, the work on display is usually for sale.
  • Co-Ops: Run by artists themselves; varieties of works include fibers, ceramics, paintings, sculpture and photography.
  • Openings: Talk to the artists in attendance, and learn about their work.
  • Auctions: Try sites like www.auctionzip.com to view local auctions in your area.
  • Yard sales: You probably won’t find a long-lost Van Gogh, but Stout says he has bought some amazing pottery and original prints at yard sales for little to nothing.