Funny, I’ve been out to many fine restaurants where patrons will easily spend $200 dinner/drinks for two but will walk out of a store still wanting to purchase a piece of art for that same price; yet they can’t seem to justify spending that kind of money. The taste of the meal or headiness from their cocktails will long have vanished when they will venture out another weekend and plunk down another $200 for what – a fancy pasta dish or filet mignon. I prefer to try my hand at preparing these wonderful meals at home where I really impress my partner for 1/4 of the price which leaves me with $150 to buy a one of a kind piece of art jewelry or a emerging artist’s fine art print. Items that will stay with me far longer than the extra pounds I put on from a calorie rich meal.
I like to go out to eat as much as the other person but my priorities are in a different place. I grew up with the thoughts of value for my dollar. My mother would buy vogue patterns and imported fine wools from Italy and look like she could be on the cover of Elle Magazine. The reason for this is her clothes were tailored made and hung off her body perfectly. I see women spend tons of money on designer clothes that only look good on the runway model or a hanger in size 2. I refuse to buy something that doesn’t fit correctly especially if it costs a small fortune. The knowledge that most clothes are made in sweat shops in foreign lands where women and children are worked to the bones for meager wages just doesn’t sit right with me either. Sorry for going off on a tangent.
I make my own jewelry line utilizing beads that I’ve sought all over the world which makes each bracelet/necklace or earrings unique. I have sold my line in NYC salon boutique and in an eclectic gallery shop in the foothills of VA, but mostly off my body where people just had to have it! But I’ve also had some co-workers love my stuff and think that the friends of the artist price was still too much for them to spend on themselves. Yet their happy hour bar bills have been higher and cost them a vacation or sick day to recuperate.
Maybe I just like supporting the arts and artists who come up with some of the most interesting designs and unique pieces. Maybe I just don’t like seeing everyone wearing the same boxed jewelry from department or speciality stores. Maybe I just want what I wear to be different.
The prints that hang on my wall can not be found in Pottery Barn’s catalogs. And the house I live in is not a cookie cutter floor plan that a developer builds giving you limited color choices of the same carpet, tiles and lamintated flooring. There is nothing wrong in that, so please don’t get offended, it is a lot easier for others to narrow down the choices for you. But every now and again you should break the mold… buy something you fancy for no other reason then it put a smile on your face or made you stop and appreciate it for the work that went into something handcrafted. Think of art as an investment. One that may increase in value over time OR just something that can bring you pleasure every day.
Years ago I purchased two photographs from a photographer friend, I could probably sell them for a profit but I profit from owning them -I love the serenity that overcomes me when I stop to appreciate them. That’s what having pieces of art hanging on my walls does for me. It takes me to another time and place, it makes me ponder different thoughts.
We live in an area where art and objects d’arts are at our doorsteps, One such shop is new to Williamsburg – Barking Lizards Gallery and yes, I am promoting them because they carry both my fine art photography prints and a few of my “wearable art” jewelry pieces. But I also have purchased a few stocking stuffers by other artists, things within my price range that put a smile on my face. I know the people I give these to will also appreciate the work that went into them and instead of bringing a bottle of merlot to their houses, they will have something that will last far beyond the evening to remember the night of friendship and laughter we shared.
So if you are still looking for value for your money, look to something lasting, something that will be treasured for years to come – look to the arts and fine crafts. I have met some very nice people who stop me to ask about my jewelry. That in itself makes it worth the time and effort I put into my designs. I love people and making connections.
Barking Lizards Gallery
231 Bedford Ave
(1 stop from NYC on the L train)
Just over the Williamsburg Bridge
take the 1st exit West Broadway, make a right onto Broadway then a right onto Bedford – corner of North 4th And Bedford Avenue.