Art and Travel

By local contributor
Local Expert

Bring Home a Memory or a Masterpiece

There is something about traveling that goes hand in hand with exploring and discovering art. Perhaps it is that there is more leisure time and families or couples are together creating memories. But whatever it is, travel and collecting art are a frequent combination. Purchasing a work of art that is hand made by a local or reflective of the area is a great way to take home a memory. These works can be large or small. On a recent trip to Whitefish, MT my husband and I discovered a gallery that had beautiful works of art, mostly landscapes and wildlife. There was one artist who had a series of mini 6” x 6” paintings that were lovely. One was of the iconic open-air red buses that take visitors to the top of the pass in Glacier National Park, which we had been in the day before. That little gem found its way home to Scottsdale and serves as a sweet reminder of that trip. Art collecting while traveling does not necessarily always reflect the local flare. Many times when you are taking the time to explore the art scene as you travel, you will come across beautiful masterpieces that will be the perfect addition to your collection. These works of art can become legacy pieces to pass down through your family along with the memories of how you found them.

Plan Ahead, but be Prepared to be Spontaneous

Prior to traveling to your destination, do some research on the art local art scene. Check resources such as the local tourism website to discover art galleries and art events that are happening when you will be there. You can also search art publications such as Fine Art Connoisseur, American Art Collector, Western Art & Architecture and others which will frequently highlight the art markets in different areas around of the country. You can search these publications online or save articles about places you plan to visit as you see them. Ask around when you get into town about where to find art events or artist studio tours. You’ll often find unexpected gems off the beaten path. As my husband and I have traveled across the country we have seen many artists painting on location from the craggy rocks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Maine to the docks of Balboa Island in California. It is always inspiring to watch them at work. We’ve bought pieces right off the easel! This has helped us build a collection of wonderful art work and great memories. Of course, we find fabulous art right here in Scottsdale in the galleries and at the Celebration of Fine Art where all of the artists are working in their own studios under one big tent. We seen many collectors take home pieces that enrich their collection and build their friendships here. If you have the chance to buy directly from the artist, take a photo of you with them and your work to capture the memory!

Be Prepared to Ship Your Masterpiece

Make sure to budget either a little space in your carry on or a little money to pay for shipping. Given the travel carry-on restrictions these days, you will discover that many items you fall in love with will have to be shipped. In many cases when you ship items you will not be required to pay some or all of the sales tax. This varies from city to city, so check the local tax regulations. When you ship, always insure it for the full value of the art work and the cost of shipping. You will find that it is well worth the time and investment to make sure that your masterpiece makes it home in good condition.

Enjoy the Journey

As your art collection grows and takes on its own personality, you will cherish the memories of the moment that you discovered the piece of art that you knew had to go home with you! Take a few moments when you bring the art home to record how and where you found it and you will build a beautiful travel and art journal that you can reflect on when you want to enjoy some beautiful memories.

By Susan Morrow-Potje, owner of the Celebration of Fine Art event.