Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Collectors Panel Discussion at TAC

"...Buy it because you love it madly, because it makes you happy, melancholy, or nostalgic, because it touches a nerve in you, because it makes you feel—not because it may, one day, be worth a lot of money. Mere speculation is not, in itself, a reason to own art. If you buy it, buy it because you have, in some way, been moved by it—because it speaks to you in a soft whisper that only you can hear..." explains Independent Curator and Photographer, Susan Aurinko, one of four speakers at the Collectors Panel Discussion, presented last night at The Art Center-Highland Park.

The event offered opinions and a variety of stories from the guest panelists who came from different segments of the arts industry. Aurinko, was the Founder and Director for FLATFILEgalleries. Still a Consultant, her insights were thoughtful and unique—pointing out in an essay on collecting fine art, that "...collecting out of passion is far more valid than collecting out of a desire for eventual financial reward." Frank Paluch, the Director of Perimeter Gallery located in Chicago's River North Gallery District, agreed. Paluch—with great eloquence—went on to tell the story of a client who asked if a particular work that he was considering for his collection, would increase in value. Almost re-living the experience, Paluch paused, smiled and said—very clearly—" really never know."

The quiet manner and unexpectedly-perfect comedic timing of Peter Bartlow added numerous moments of humor to the event. An authority on the works of Chagall, Miro and Picasso, his contribution to the discussion was priceless—with perceptions based on his experience with high-end collectors.

The final member of the panel was Joan Arenberg, Private Collector and President of "Art on the Move Tours". Arenberg began a wonderful discussion of her experience meeting artists in their studios. She—as well as Aurinko—frequent the numerous open studio events that occur throughout the community each month.

The evening offered insight into the panel's personal collections... their first acquisitions, who they collect most and why.With a majority of Artists in the room, the question and answer segment turned to representation and how to get noticed. These questions were addressed but the most important take away was for artists to get there work in front of the public. Perhaps that will be a topic for a future TAC event ...which will offer coffee [as well as wine] and perhaps use of a microphone for the attendees in the back of the room. My apologies.

Thank you to our panel of experts... The knowledge they shared was invaluable. Without their generosity, events like this would not be possible. And special thanks to Maggie Meiners for her connections!

Our Panel: Joan Arenberg, Peter Bartlow, Susan Aurinko, and Frank Paluch - Deanna Krueger Image

The Art Center-Highland Park is dedicated to promoting the appreciation of contemporary fine art through exhibitions by both established and emerging artists. We foster creativity through the experience and discussion of fine art and offer extensive educational opportunities through a broad range of classes, panel discussions, workshops and lectures. A nonprofit organization, The Art Center-Highland Park connects artists with the community at large—supporting creativity at every level. The Art Center-Highland Park is located at 1957 Sheridan Road, Highland Park, IL 60035

The Speakers:
Joan Arenberg, President of "Art on the Move Tours" and private collector has led and designed over 250 tours for Potpourri at The Art Institute of Chicago. Day tours exploring Chicago as well as national travel programs feature visits to artist studios, museums, special exhibitions, sculpture parks and give participants the opportunity and responsibility to learn about art, and to explore, and continue to explore the wide range of fine art possibilities.

Susan Aurinko, as a curator, has created more than 230 exhibitions, both at FLATFILEgalleries—the gallery she founded and directed for nine years—and in a variety of other venues, including IIT, and exhibitions for both the Japanese and Danish governments. Aurinko sits on the Boards of Directors of Chicago Artists Coalition and Apprentice Lab, as well as the Advisory Board of Filter Photo Festival and the International Photography Awards (Lucie Awards).

Peter Bartlow is an authority in the works of Chagall, Miro and Picasso whose involvement with art dealing began in 1972 when he opened his first art gallery. He and his wife, Audrey, met as graduate History of Art students and have two children. In addition to expertise in Modern Master graphics, he has discovered and placed hundreds of paintings by Willy Ramos, Anna Caser, Doug Hatch, Rudolf Svehla and others. He is currently consulting for high net worth collectors.

Frank Paluch has directed Perimeter Gallery in Chicago’s River North Gallery district for 30 years. In addition to curating numerous exhibitions, Paluch has also juried museum competitions including University of Illinois, Milwaukee Art Museum, University of Wisconsin, The Racine Art Museum, and The Renwick Craft Invitational at The Smithsonian American Art Museum. Paluch has a background as a professional photographer and his work is in a number of museum collections in the United States and Europe.

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