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Questions About Art Collecting

Q: Is buying art a good investment?
A: Both original art and numbered prints can increase in value over time. Try to purchase art by a well-known artist and from a reputable dealer — it will help to ensure that you are really getting an authentic piece.

Q: I don't have a lot to spend, but still appreciate art... any suggestions?
A: One-of-a-kind artwork and prints can be very affordable to own. Why spend $50 to $100 or more in "big box" stores on framed art when there are dozens of artists in your community with original artwork for sale. You will get an original piece of art that you can cherish for a lifetime, and you'll always know that you are the only one in the world who has it. High-quality prints are also a good choice for buyers on a budget. Look for signed and numbered prints from a reputable dealer, and ask for a price history. Many dealers will be able to show how the price of the art has risen over time.

Q: How do I know if a particular artist or work of art is really any good?
A: Art is judged on a number of criteria. Age, originality, size and medium are just a few of the many factors that determine whether a certain piece or collection is of value. One could easily argue that all art carries some artistic merit, whether it be a 12 foot oil painting from the 19th century or a modern-day collection of marbles glued to a board. A good question to ask yourself is whether or not the artwork in question evokes a feeling. Does something stand out that makes the viewer say "WOW!"? It could be the sheer skill involved in painting intricate details with a brush, or a social element that cannot be avoided. No matter what, art is subjective and thus there will always be two opinions about an artist or piece of art. What makes art valuable is when it evokes feeling from the viewer.

Q: Does Travel Art purchase art?
A: Yes. We are always looking to add to our galleries. We pride ourselves on offering our clients the best artwork available on the market. Please contact us if you are a dealer, collector or artist and you believe your art is marketable.

Q: What is a giclée?
A: Giclée (pronounced ZHEE-clay) is the French term for "fine spray." A giclée print is created with digital printers using four tiny ink jets that spray more than 4 million microscopic water-based colored ink droplets per second onto a sheet of fine art paper or canvas, spinning on a drum at the rate of 250 inches per second. Precise computer calculations control these ink jets to produce over 500 shades of dense, water-based ink. A computer scans the artist's original work to control the jets — no printing film or plates are involved. The final product is a lush, vibrant and velvety-looking art print —one that has the feel of a watercolor and the clarity of an original painting.

Q: What does limited edition mean?
A: A limited edition print is a reproduction of an original painting which is numbered and signed by the artist. The limited number of pieces in the edition as well as the artist's signature yields a collectible piece of art. The materials used in producing a limited edition print are archival-quality. This is done to preserve the life of the print and to prevent discoloration. The paper on which the image is printed is treated so it is pH neutral (acid-free) and is a heavier paper stock than the open edition prints. Limited edition prints are often referred to as lithographs. If the print is framed by the publisher, the hinge tape, backing paper and the fiber matting are all acid-free.

Q: What does open edition mean?
A: An open edition print is printed on a lighter weight paper stock. It is usually smaller in size than the limited edition, and is also not signed, numbered, or personally inspected by the artist. For these reasons, the open edition is less expensive than a limited edition print. Open edition prints are ideal for those who are interested in the power of the image rather than the collectibility of the piece.

Q: What does secondary market mean?
A: The secondary market is a source for obtaining prints or canvases after the edition is sold out from the publisher. The value and availability of a piece are based upon supply and demand. The secondary market can be extremely unpredictable as price is determined by the value of the print to the individual consumer and may differ from one geographic area to another.

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