The Value of Owning Original Art

Houston artist Donna E Perkins creates an original work. | Photo courtesy of Archway Gallery

In a special 8-part, bi-weekly series—created in partnership with member artists of Archway Gallery in Montrose—we’re pleased to feature a selection of artists’ tips, recommendations, and perspectives on connecting with art, beginning your own collection, finding affordable art, and more. In the series‘ seventh entry, Houston artist Donna E. Perkins shares how she determines the value of individual works of art and the impact her art collection has on her daily live.


Why Surround Yourself with Local Art?

Let me tell you why I love living with my collection of original art. Before I get up in the morning, I enjoy seeing the morning sun, as it rises, play across three artworks on my bedroom wall.

One is a cast of a torso covered in strips of musical notes, one is an oil painting of a woman bound by a string of Christmas lights, and one is an explosive abstract with lots of energy and texture.

In another area of my living space, the large electrical box located near my front door is covered by a joyful young nude with a tattoo proclaiming, “Happiness is Free.” This image always lifts my mood. All these works have their own emotive energy. All carry memories. 

I live in a work/live studio which has fewer walls than a house, but my celling is extremely high. So, in the area I’ve designated as my sitting room, I’ve hung works salon-style, fitting paintings, drawings, prints, and photos together like puzzle pieces far higher than I can reach. My furniture supports the sculptures in my collection.

Body Music | Photo courtesy of Archway Gallery

It’s a Pleasure to Live with Original Art

Every painting, drawing, print, photograph, and sculpture that embellishes my environment brings me pleasure.

Each one has emotional content. Each one has a story; a story about when and where I first saw the piece, and what attracted me to it. I enjoy remembering what I know about the artist, and the artist’s story.

I’m fascinated with how everything is made. I have all sorts of questions about how the artist created the piece, so it’s a bonus to meet the artist and learn more about the specific artwork. 

How Do You Determine the Value of a Collection of Original Art?

I’ve lived with some of my collection for decades while some artworks are newly acquired.

When I moved to my new place, during the bleakness of the COVID-19 lockdown, I was so overwhelmed and isolated. But once I had some of my art on the walls, this strange space began to feel like home. Being surrounded by my collected art made me feel less isolated as these artworks are my friends.

The value my collection has for me is that it makes my life incredibility richer. 

Bound, by John Slaby | Photo courtesy of Archway Gallery

The Pursuit of Specific Works, or the Work by a Particular Artist, May Suit You 

Some people invest in art for a future financial profit. For this to be successful, it takes more money than I have. It takes a lot of knowledge about the art market. It often takes working with an art consultant who keeps up with what is currently available or coming up for auction.

If you can play that game, good for you. To me it sounds like as much fun as actually reading all those reports my mutual funds send.  

How Do You Want to Invest Your Time, Your Energy & Your Money? 

What makes sense for you? Did the pandemic change how you feel about your home? Were the walls closing in on you?

A seascape might remind you of being at the beach. A landscape may enlarge the feel of a room, acting like an added window.

Perhaps, you would prefer some totally abstract artwork that adds color and motion and energy to your space. What emotive experience do you desire? What objects do you want to see as you let your mind and eyes wander? 

You may find, as I have, that by adding original art to your environment, you enrich your life.

An abstract work by Becky Soria | Photo courtesy of Archway Gallery

Elevating local art and supporting the Houston art scene for 46 years, Archway Gallery is the longest-running artist-owned gallery in Texas. Stop by the Montrose gallery, meet an artist, and learn about owning original, local art. Plan a visit to the gallery or learn more.

Donna E. Perkins has been drawing and painting since she was a child. She became an Archway Gallery artist in 2008.

Learn more about Archway Gallery and explore its current and upcoming exhibitions.

Daphne, by John Slaby | Photo courtesy of Archway Gallery

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Houston artist Donna E. Perkins has been drawing and painting since she was a child. She became an Archway Gallery artist in 2008. In 2008, she became a member artist at Archway Gallery in Montrose, which has been elevating local art and supporting the Houston art scene since 1976.