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Buying & Selling Fine Art

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Where to Sell Fine Art?

Feb 2012

I inherited a couple of pieces of fine art (20th century prints), with a market value of about $45,000, that I'd like to sell. Bonhams did the original appraisal, but I can't get them to respond to my inquiries about auctioning the items. Can anyone recommend another auction house or dealer who can sell these prints for me or buy them from me? Anon


It's hard to say without knowing the artists. You could try Franklin Bowles. www.franklinbowlesgallery.com. I'm guessing that they are well known artists if they are that valuable. I would bet that Bonhams is your best bet. Not sure why they are not returning your call. Strange. You could also try looking up the artist on a website like Askart and seeing who sells the work and contacting them. Good luck. anon
Mahoney Suter can help you. Talk to Ellen: www.MahoneySuter.com ellen@mahoneysuter.com anon

We need art to fill our blank walls!

Nov 2011

Our walls are blank and it's driving us nuts. We need art! Please recommend any galleries, artists or other outlets where we can take a look. We love to buy direct from artists if possible.

We are picky, but I can't really tell you what we like. it just depends on the particular piece. But anything from unique landscapes to abstracts to monoprints to simple line drawings. As far as budget goes, again, that depends on the piece and what it's value is to us, but we're not rich!

I am a photographer and oddly enough we are looking more for paintings, drawings and other non-photographic pieces, but still, please recommend any photographers you particularly like if that's what you know.

Of course we won't buy everything at once; over time is what we are looking at, but we want to start now. And BTW being a Berkeley parent our free time is limited, for what that is worth.

Much appreciated! Thanks. art withdrawl


I was surprised to discover how great ebay.com is for original art! If you look under the Art category and then look in the 'Direct from the Artist' category, there is TONS of art! I've found some lovely photographs and oil paintings there - at much lower costs than in galleries. Amy
For photographs, try the art auction at SF Camerawork. You can get fantastic work from as little as $100 to all the way up in the thousands for bigger, well known artists. It really is one of the best secrets in the area for getting good work, learning about artists, and supporting the arts in a significant and meaningful way. I believe it's December 3rd. Good Luck!
I'm going to recommend a couple of Berkeley friends (both BHS parents) whose art I find compelling. Both display at open studios, and you can look at their web sites.

Terri Saul -- mostly paintings, drawings, prints. Her work is currently up at Mythos Gallery on Solano Ave. http://www.terrisaul.com/

Ruth Shorer -- paintings, ceramics that can be hung on a wall. http://ruthpetersenshorer.com/ anon


Richmond and Pinole are great places to find artists and art. Point Richmond has a collective-The Point Richmond Art Collective, and a cooperative-The Arts of Point Richmond, as well as a gallery-Refined by Fire. You can find glass, painting, photography, jewelry, metalwork, and more. I believe AOPR is having a big event on the 10th of Dec. from 11 to 5, and there's an artwalk tomorrow night. Downtown Point Richmond is only 4 blocks, so finding the art is pretty easy. Pinole Artisans is another gathering of a large number of artists and they have a storefront in downtown Pinole. All these groups except the gallery have websites. Sydney
I have a world of ideas for you sis. First of all, have you been to the Art Murmer? I think now they are calling it 'first Friday'. Uptown Oakland, the first Friday of the month all the artists from 18th to 30th and telegraph open their doors in the evening. There is some real crap and some MIRACULOUS works. Its like being in Paris in the 20s, really. Because they are starving the prices are very reasonable. Some very clever folks down there, and the food artisans are there as well, so bring the kids. Its fun.

Secondly, find a history book on your area, like Arcadia Press or contact the Chamber of Commerce, and buy a file of an old photo of your specific area. (about $50 bucks)

When a friend of mine moved to Lafayette into a big walled empty space, I bought two great old files of Lafayette and blew them up to 16 x 20 and framed them as a gift. She LOVES THEM as they are great conversation pieces and give the home a very solid feeling.

Lastly, ummmmmm.... pix of your family? Large unusual, kinetic black and white?

Be Well Reenie


I find a lot of art I love on Etsy, and you can browse it from home and buy directly from the artist. I've also bought a couple pieces I really love off the walls of cafes we frequent - that's just sort of random luck, but keep your eyes open as you go about your day. 20x200.com sells prints in editions of various sizes (and often the originals, too) and has truly great variety. Lastly, Lost Art Salon (www.lostartsalon.com) in SF is fun to browse online or in person, and the owners give good advice. Have fun! Art Lover
What a great opportunity to make your house a home! I would spend time at the open studios that come around this time of year, search out artists you like, spend some time in galleries. I would love to have this project! art lover
A wonderful selection of art can be found at Magnolia Editions, at 2527 Magnolia St. in West Oakland. Many treasures from many artists, at all price points. It is also a fascinating place to visit. They have a website : www.magnolia editions.com. Magnolia fan
Did you see the new art store on College Avenue? It's next to the Lululemon store on College at Ashby. THey have mostly paintings, and the prices seem reasonable. For pricier items, you should check out the Open Studios at the old military station in San Francisco. They have an Open House twice-a-year (spring and fall). The fall one was just a few weeks ago. There are many artists to choose from. june
I have an artist friend that makes stunning, one-of-a-kind fine art woodcut & linocut prints at very reasonable prices. Check out her Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RedTailStudios. art lover
I've had a lot of luck going to Open Studios (mostly in SF just because I used to live there) which gives you an opportunity to look at a huge range of artwork at a range of prices and feel great about buying directly from local artists. I'd also highly recommend a Berkeley photographer Margaretta Mitchell--full disclosure: she's my mom :)--her work ranges from landscapes to gardens to still life to nudes and portraits, B&W & color, photogravure, etc. She's also amazing at helping people select artwork so she would be able to refer you to other artists in the Bay Area. You can always email her with your thoughts about what interests you and start there. mmkm@margarettamitchell.com (her website is rather old though it does give you a taste of her work). Have fun! Julia
I have several pieces of beautiful art work hanging on my walls: The local artist and her family lives in Berkeley. Her name is Sally K Smith and her web site is www.sksmithart.com. Please check it out if you like. Just recently she had an exhibition of her oil paintings hanging in a wine store on College Avenue. Sally paints a lot of landscapes in the Bay Area and also does commission work (let's say you like your neighborhood, your street, house or even a portrait of your kids). Whenever I have visitors I get compliments on her paintings. They are warm, charming and wonderful topics of conversation for guests. If you like her style, I highly recommend you meet her in person! Owner of the 'Chinese Bird Market' by Sally K. Smith
Why not go directly to local artists?

Each year about 100 studios are open during Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios. You can get a complete list and map at www.berkeleyartisans.com This year's dates are Saturdays and Sundays 11am-6pm, November 26-27, December 3- 4, 10-11 and 17-18.

Stop by the huge Sawtooth Building at 2547 8th St. in West Berkeley. It's full of artists and many will be open. If you're interested in a piece for your wall that's made of old hardbound books visit Jim Rosenau (my husband) in space #30. Dianne


Take a look at the art on my friend Sheila Sondik's website--www.sheilasondik.com. She does a range of realistic to abstract watercolors and prints, many based on scenes in Tilden Park. I have an original in my house which I love, and which draws frequent positive comments from visitors. art lover

Lighting and Hanging of Artwork We Bought

May 2011

My hubby and I just invested in our 1st piece of 'real' art. We would like to have someone come professionally hang it and also would like to have lighting installed in the ceiling. The lighting would need to be adjustable as the picture takes on different looks with different lighting. We don't know where to start looking for help with this.. Any suggestions. New Art Owner


Congratulations on your new art! You are so right to get it installed and lit professionally. I know just the person. Ellen Evangeliste specializes in this and is a delightful person to boot. email her at ellenevangeliste@gmail.com Becky

Art consignment stores?

Feb 1999

There is a fun store on Grand Avenue (opposite the ex-Safeway/now construction site) that has art consignments, but I don't know their policies. Also, I remember seeing one on the north side of University Avenue near Milvia. Good luck. Laura


Oh what memories. Contemporary Arts was the name of a consignment/rental store I bought a fabulous piece from many years ago: Vermillion Glow by Claussen. The artist had a studio in Berkeley and may still be listed under his name; and therefore able to direct you to a consignment place. I also suspect that the various art collectives in Berkeley and Emeryville could let you know of consignment places. Have you checked the yellow pages ? ? ? Karen
There is an art consignment store located on Redwood Road in Oakland in the Lincoln Square shopping center. (This is near Holy Names College.) It's called PotPourrie and, although it mostly has craft-type things (jewelry, pottery, woodworking, etc.), it also carries paintings, sculpture and photography works. Cathy
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