AGM Auction 10 | Top 10 + 1 Tips on Collecting Art

Norval Morrisseau, Journey, 1990, from Dev Ramcharan’s collection.

Thinking of purchasing art for your home, and wondering how to get started? The AGM Annual Art Auction is a great way to begin! With bids for artworks beginning at fairly low prices, the AGM Auction offers the opportunity to snag great deals on high quality art pieces. The question then becomes: if you’ve never before purchased art for your home, how do you make sure you’re choosing the right pieces?

In this guest post, art collector and AGM Board Member Dev Ramcharan gives his Top 10 + 1 tips on beginning an art collection.

Art enriches, inspires and challenges us. We stand in front of it in wonder, delight, confusion and  awe, and can be changed forever by it. Sometimes we feel the urge to posses pieces that move or touch us. Many people would love to collect art, but getting started can seem so daunting. It isn’t really. To get started, just buy a piece you like. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are many wonderful pieces out there that don’t cost very much at all. If you’re looking for a few pointers on collecting, the following list might help stimulate your thinking.

Top 10 plus 1 tips on Collecting Art

1. Collect work that you love, work that moves and delights you, not what people tell you to collect. As a collector, important art is only important if it’s important to you.

2. Visit galleries, read good books on art, watch videos on the art and artists you’re interested in.

3. Try to meet and talk to the artists you’d like to collect; a personal connection makes the art you collect richer and more personal.

4. Don’t let the investment future value of the work you collect be the driver for what you collect. It can become tiresome quickly if it doesn’t touch you and engage your mind and/or your eye.

5. As time goes by, reflect on how your tastes and interests are evolving.

6. Consider supporting the careers of young artists struggling to build a career, and whose work “speaks” to you.

7. As your tastes mature, decide whether or not you want to collect using a couple of themes (aboriginal sculpture, women painters of Mississauga, iconic Canadian art, socially challenging work, photography, expressionist abstract, watercolors, etc. The possibilities are endless).

8. Share, share, share your art. There are few things as enriching as conversations about and in front of art. It brings out the full scope of our humanity and deepens our experience of life.

9. As your collection grows and evolves, consider seriously what you want to do with it in the long term. Consider lending, and especially donating, art to public galleries and to other public or not for profit institutions, so that they have a permanent place in a collection that will enrich the lives of generations to come.

10. Take the time to enjoy and to reflect on the work you collect. It’s a kind of magic that never loses its fascination.

11. Share your experience as a collector with other people trying to figure out how to become collectors. As time passes, you’ll find you really do have some experience based advice that can help others.


10 | Annual Art Auction will be held at the Art Gallery of Mississauga on May 2, 6 pm. Tickets available now – The Premiere Art Auction in Mississauga! Tickets are $75 each. This includes a $50 voucher used towards any one item in the live auction. Contact Reception at the AGM 905 896 5088 / to purchase tickets. Funds raised at this event support the AGM’s Growth Initiative and ensure that exhibitions and artist projects are accessible to everyone.

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