The idea of Art Subscriptions: Individual artists are getting into it.

I have found two examples (via Exposure Compensation) of artists taking cues from the art subscription model as a way for a community to help fund their work and then reap the benefit of that support.

Dalton Rooney has started a Print of the Month Club.  He’s got some interesting ideas: tiered involvement- you can sign up for 3, 6, or 12 month intervals, and he allows subscribers to occasionally skip a month if they aren’t interested in that month’s piece.

CStein is trying out another method- he asks for a monthly $10 payment support, and then at the end of the year you can get two prints from a selection he puts up for subscribers, or you can apply your contribution towards buying any other of his prints (though they are typically more expensive)

The power of collective support can be huge- and subscribers reap the benefit in lower cost works for their collections.  Hooray!

Handling, Storing, and Framing Your Print


Gently remove your print from the box and separate it from the foam. Use two hands when handling the print, as creases in the paper are hard to remove. You may leave it in the plastic to protect the paper from the oils on your hands. Lay the print down on a smooth surface. Use smooth weights, like books, on the four corners of the piece to flatten. Once it’s mostly flattened, turn the print over and weight it again until flat.


If unframed, it is best to keep it in a cool, dry, dark place on a flat surface in contact with acid free materials.


If you are going to frame the print, here is an explanation of the different elements you’ll encounter.

The Frame:

Made of wood or metal, the frame is the support system for the work of art. The larger the piece, the more substantial the frame should be, since the weight of the glass and other materials are heavier. When going to a custom frame shop, the frame is usually the most expensive part of the process. This is because each frame is built specifically for your artwork, and many of the mouldings are hand-crafted and/or finished. There is no shame, however, in buying and using pre-joined frames, as long as they are strong enough for your size artwork. You can find these in many art supply stores and craft stores, or you can get used frames in thrift stores or antique shops. Another option is to buy a frame with a poster or print already included, like the ones sold at stores such as Target and TJMaxx. Just remove the artwork, use the frame for your new work, and you’ll still save more than getting a custom job. Also, at craft stores like Michael’s you can buy kits with sets of two frame legs, so that you can easily build your own custom sized frame.
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Introduction to Collecting Works on Paper

Collecting works on paper is a great entry into collecting fine art, especially in the past decade. Collecting works on paper has become very desirable because pieces by emerging artists can be acquired at low price points and there is a lot of innovative work being done in the medium. Collectors are attracted to the uniqueness of works on paper, as opposed to prints, and to the experimental nature, exploration and story-telling through the intimacy of paper.

Works of art on paper include drawings (in any media), collages and other paper-based methods, but not prints (prints are made by drawing a stone or metal surface, not on paper or canvas, from which an image is printed a number of times).

Works on paper are delicate and can be easily damaged, so proper care is a must. When unframed, works on paper must be handled using cotton gloves to protect the paper’s ph-balance from the natural oils in your skin. Poor framing and exposure to strong light are also issues. The paper should be framed using acid-free materials because the acid from regular paper or cardboard will eat into the paper and stain it. You can choose between museum-quality, UV retardant glass or Plexiglas to reduce fading. Cleaning agents should never be used on the glass or Plexiglas because it removes the UV protection and the paper should never be in direct contact with glass; use a spacer. Once framed, a work on paper should not be hung in very humid areas which will cause fungus to grow, this is known as foxing (small brown spots). Also environments that are too dry or cold will cause the paper to become brittle and crack and dust and pollution are also variables that can damage all works of art.

In regards to lighting, if at all possible one should avoid halogen and florescent lights and use tungsten light instead. Works on paper should never be rolled in tubes for mailing or rolled for extended periods of storage. They should be stored flat, between acid-free tissue paper or glassine.

If properly taken care of, works on paper should retain their value and can potentially increase the integrity and synchronicity of a collection overall.

Lauren Gentile, Assistant Director and Director of Sales at Irvine Contemporary is a 2007 graduate of the Sotheby’s Institute in London. She specializes in the economics in the international art market, with expertise in valuation, art advisory services and art collection management. Ms. Gentile holds a Master’s in Art Business degree from SIA London, where she wrote her thesis on fine art as an alternative asset class and fine art investing; the work focused on the recent phenomena of fine art funds. She also has a thorough background in art history, and holds two B.A. degrees in art history and international studies from DePaul University in Chicago. She has studied art history, Italian and German at The School of the Art Institute in Chicago, the Goethe Institute, and the University of Florence.

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