Rule 1: It’s personal. Really personal. Rule 2: Yes, it can be about the money, but it often isn’t. Rule 3: Don’t assume “art collectors” buy pieces for the same reasons, using the same standards, through the same avenues.
In fact, don’t assume they all buy pieces in the first place. (See Pickersgill, Eric.)
To get a peek at art collecting here, writer Mark Leach and photographer Mitchell Kearney asked four Charlotteans to let us into their homes and talk about what they collect, why, how they got started, where they put it all, and what’s been most successful for them – plus what advice they’d offer to people who’d like to get started.
Carol Gorelick is a longtime fixture on the Charlotte art and philanthropic landscape; she and her late husband, Shelton, acquired an array of work, notably American and European ceramics but especially pottery made by artists in North Carolina. She continues specializing in that medium. “There’s no rhyme or reason to what I collect,” she says. “I buy what appeals to me.”
Gary Ferraro and Lorne Lassiter house their art in a ’70s Modernist home. Ferraro is a retired professor of cultural anthropology; Lassiter has worked in nonprofit management running the State Department’s USAID Business for Russia program and was the executive director of the Mint Museum of Craft + Design’s Founders’ Circle. “We are eclectic lookers and collectors,” says Lassiter. “We rarely go looking with any one artist in mind.”
Eric Pickersgill is an artist whose photographic series “Removed” won international attention last year. He earned a masters of fine art degree from UNC Chapel Hill and is on the board of Charlotte’s Light Factory. “The print is the representation of the relationship that I’ve had with each artist,” he says.