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Adopt an Artwork—For Free

Having just spent four early-morning minutes talking on the radio about the “money-no-object” collector (a topic about which I still plan to blog), I experienced as a welcome tonic an article in today’s Christian Science Monitor about a new plan to get art into the hands of the “no money for objects” collector—the art lover who wants to enjoy quality work at home, but can’t afford it.
Lee Lawrence reports about the Fine Art Adoption Network, an organization that matches artists with admirers who send e-mails “stating who they are and why they want to adopt. An exchange ensues, and if the artist decides this adopter will provide a good home, they discuss logistics.”
This initiative was begun by artist Adam Simon, with support from Art in General, a New York nonprofit organization that promotes new work. Among the adoptees is the well known New York artist Amy Sillman, who describes her participation this way:
These pieces I am putting up for adoption are small and modest gouaches. They are slightly older works on paper. My ideal adoptee is not an artist and is someone who wouldn’t otherwise have a lot of access to art, though they want to.
Simon describes the genesis of his brainchild this way:
I began thinking about how most artists create far more artwork in their lifetimes than they can exhibit or sell. At the same time, a lot of people with a real interest in art don’t own any original art. The system that we have for disseminating contemporary art, known as the art market, doesn’t manage to get a lot of art into a lot of homes.
There is no direct correlation between appreciating art and having the money to possess it. At last—a new method of distribution to address this condition.

an ArtsJournal blog