5 Top Tips for Buying Art at an Art Fair

Expert art collector, first-time art enthusiast or somewhere in between? If you’re planning on hitting up an art fair, knowing what to expect and feeling prepped is the key to having a smooth and successful experience. In the run up to Affordable Art Fair (AAF) Melbourne, we’ve picked our top five tips for buying art at an art fair to help you make the most of these one-time events.

1. Look for what you love

As Bluethumb PR and Comms manager Freddy recently discussed with Domain, filling a home with the “right” kind of art can feel like a burden. Rather than thinking about financial investments and future monetary value in art, think about the feeling the piece you’re eyeing up gives you. “The most important thing is buying what you love… or it will end up cluttering your cupboards,” Freddy advised Domain.

While they vary in style and subject, original pieces such as this painting by Jimmy Donegan and neighbouring photograph by Ben Goh feed into the rich and vibrant personality of Freddy’s home. Credit: Breeana Dunbar

2. Do your homework

Figuratively speaking, going in blind to an art fair can be fun and give an element of excitement to your experience, especially once you’ve been to a couple of events before. If it’s your first time or you want to be choice-savvy, however, we’d recommend doing some research in the run up to the big day. This could be through the event itself, or articles from reliable sources. For this year’s AAF, we’ve been named as one of Broadsheet‘s top choice galleries, and The Design Files has listed Bluethumb’s Katie Wyatt in their selection of must-see artists.

tips for buying art at art fair

Expect to see Bikini Bottom by Katie Wyatt at the upcoming AAF in Melbourne, alongside work by some of Bluethumb’s most popular artists.

3. Ask questions

Whether it’s love at first sight between you and an artwork or a piece by an artist you’ve been following closely for some time, those burning questions deserve to be answered! “If you need an extra pair of expert eyes, seek advice from an interior designer or curator,” Freddy said to Domain. Don’t be afraid of asking ‘dumb questions’ – knowing as much as you can about a painting is the best way to inform your decision of whether it’s right for you. Contact Bluethumb’s awesome team of art aficionados, including our Curator Sarah Hughes and Interior Designer Alex Stavrou, to help you get the info you need.

tips for buying art at an art fair

Bluethumb’s interior designer Alex dazzled this happy attendee at a recent The-Arc Agency event. Get in touch with Alex and team to find the piece that makes you say ‘wow’!

4. Consider your payment options

There’s always an elephant in the room when it comes to buying art – money. Many see art as unattainable to the everyday homeowner, and while that may have historically been the case, events like the Affordable Art Fair are considered by the contemporary art scene to be a “global success” at disrupting the vision of a hard-to-crack art world. Not only does the fair specialise in artworks accessible to all art lovers starting from $100, more recent payment plans such as Afterpay for artworks up to $1000 and Bluethumb Layby for anything over mean that buying art at an art fair just got dangerously easy.

tips for buying art at an art fair

Speak to Sarah to find the right artwork for you with a payment plan won’t leave you out of pocket.

5. Don’t sleep on it

As Bluethumb curator Sarah points out, “Too many people go to art fairs, see a piece they love and assume it will still be there on their second lap. Don’t set yourself up for heartache – if you see an artwork you want, buy it.” There’s no need to miss out on taking that dream piece home with you; Bluethumb’s 7-day returns policy is as valid at art fairs as it is online, so if you do have a change of heart, you have plenty of time to return the piece and get a refund of 100% costs, 0% fuss.

tips for buying art at an art fair

Feel inspired and excited for Affordable Art Fair with our recent curation of surprisingly affordable artworks – click here to get started.

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