6 tips for selecting and purchasing art with help from Birmingham’s Four Corners Gallery.

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Photo by Four Corners Gallery

Buying art can be scary. It’s a decision that will, literally, be staring you in the face. You want to feel confident that you’ll love it in 5 years as much as you do today. I visited with the experts at Four Corners Gallery on 280 in Birmingham for tips on how to choose art that will bring you joy for years to come. ‘Hang’ with me to see what I learned.

You’ve heard the saying ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. Well, it’s true. If you’re like me, it can be hard to figure out exactly what you like. This can make choosing and purchasing art a complicated and stressful decision.

Photo by Four Corners Gallery

But, it needn’t be that way. I stopped in to meet with the experts at Four Corners Gallery. They’ve been in the art and framing business for 20 years so they’re pretty much experts about the topic. With their insight, I pulled together some tips to help you find your art style and confidently display it.

Four Corners is both an art gallery and custom framing shop. However, they specialize in residential and commercial installations and restorations as well. Click here to read more about their preservation services.

1. Look at a lot of art, then look at some more.

The best way to figure out what art you like is to look at art. A lot of it. Along the way you might find a specific artist, style, medium, etc. that you really like.

“By exposing yourself more [to art], the more comfortable you become. You shouldn’t be afraid to walk into an art gallery and feel like it’s out of your element.”

Carla Hamilton
Encaustic grouping by regional artist Jinous Kani. Photo by Four Corners Gallery.

2. Make note of what attracts you.

Once you have seen a lot of art, you will likely uncover commonalities in the personal style that you like. There are a lot of aspects to consider when it comes to art, such as the color palette, subject, medium, composition and style.

Chances are, your personal style spills over into other parts of your life without you even knowing it. What type of clothes are you most comfortable in? Do you see a color scheme forming in your closet? These decisions all hint toward your own personal style.

Climbers by Ancizar Marin. Photo by Four Corners Gallery

3. Buy what you love. Purchase with intention.

Art is created to elicit responses. You have the opportunity to surround yourself with emotion and meaning. This might suit your current decor or mood or might lean toward new ideas that you’ve recently discovered.

If you’re interested in collecting, then you should establish ground rules but allow some flexibility as both you and your collection mature.

A Basquiat inspired painting. Atlanta artist, Craig Alan. Photo by Four Corners Gallery

4. Consider others.

If you’re cohabiting or have a partner, then you’ll have to take them into consideration when buying new art. Is it something that you will both enjoy and appreciate in your living space?

Also remember that your taste will evolve over time, as will theirs. You might enjoy the same art now, but that may not be the case further down the line. 

The Lyric Theatre’s ‘Before & After’ wall. Photo by Four Corners Gallery

5. Customize to your liking.

While you wouldn’t want to change the art itself, you can customize the frame, lighting, background and location to create the setting you’re wanting to establish. A small piece can be made large. A soft piece can be made more bold. The options are endless.

An expert eye can show you plenty of examples of how the framing and setting can make the most of your art selection. Check out this article to read more about their framing services and building your own gallery.

Photo by Four Corners Gallery

6. Support local artists.

You may want to consider how your buying decisions support the Birmingham area. The stereotype “starving artist” exists for a reason.

There are many places and events where you can buy local Birmingham art. By buying locally, you are supporting Birmingham and the art community.

Four Corners promotes local artists, shopping locally, and supporting the arts locally through social media. They also offer artist discounts and sell local artists’ works such as Jane Marshall, Karen Cucinotta and Robert Berguson.

‘Diff’rent Strokes 2’ by Karen Cucinotta. Photo via Four Corners Gallery

Ready to start your art collection? Follow these tips and stop by Four Corners Gallery for help with all of your framing, buying, restoration and installation needs!

Check out @4cornersgallery Instagram to see more of their amazing work!

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