Back to Home PageBack to Home Page
Back to Home Page Back to Home Page

Tips and guidelines for Collecting Emerging Artists

Summary By Carole Lindsey from COVA's Collectors Round Table on October 19, 2004.

The first round table by COVA for 2004 was held at the Oceanside Museum of Art where the bright and playful work of James Aitchison was displayed for the COVA open studios tour. The panelists were introduced by the moderator Betti-Sue Hertz: Eloisa Haundenschild, Ernest Silva, Bill and Alexandra Pierce and Peter St. Clair.

  • Betti-Sue Hertz described a "social identity "of collecting which helps artists promote the cultural aspect of art in San Diego. Every collector in San Diego has the responsibility and the previledge of defining that cultural identity.
  • Ernie Silva, artist, professor and collector said he goes "back and forth" and he likes to avoid being "pinned down" to one specific aspect of collecting. "Personally, (I) like work that challenges my prejudices and continues to surprise and seduce me."
  • Eloisa Haudenschild said she has always been interested in art including her own work as a performing artist which then led to an interest in collecting. Primarily she commissioned emerging artists. When an artist is just entering the "mainstream" she becomes especially interested. She likes to think, "She can help". She said she never sought a "piece" but enjoys the friendship with the artists. She really enjoys seeing local artist gain recognition.
  • Peter St. Clair said he grew up in an "arts" world surrounded by tapestries, sculpture, ceramics and photography as his father eventually progressed into that media. His collection has grown from a family that has historically given gifts of fine art. Peter said he is especially interested in art which has a theme, is well crafted, and made "now". He admires a confluence of types and techniques. He enjoys the work he has acquired from his family and also enjoys collecting current themes.
  • Panelists were asked to describe their "favorite" pieces and each described the relationship to the items by describing a relationship with either the "giver" of the piece, or the relationship to the artist. Mr. Silva said he is drawn to art because it's a cottage industry. He might be as excited by a piece done by an undergraduate as he would be by a piece in a museum. He likes to see contrary work, loves looking for something "surprising", hoping to plant a seed and make it grow.

Clearly the underlying theme of this discussion prevailed by collectors describing the personal relationship with the artist as a driving influence in collecting art.

Betti-Sue Hertz - curator of contemporary art, San Diego Museum of Art. Educated at New York's Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University New York. Executive director of Bronx River Art Center & Gallery, Director of Longwood Arts Project, Consultant to Thread Waxing Space. A writer and lecturer on art and urbanism, and art from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, Ms. Hertz has curated shows for the SDMA including Axis Mexico: Common Objects and Cosmopolitan Actions, significant works by the current generation of Mexican contemporary artists, with major grants from The Rockefeller Foundation and Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Eloisa Haudenschild - SDSU alumna, SDMA Board of Trustees, local art patron/collector and president of InSite (a bi-national exhibition presented in San Diego and Tijuana) The Haudenschild collection (jointly with husband Chris) commissioned two art works last year for the comprehensive show Zooming Into Focus: Contemporary Chinese Photography from the Haudenschild Collection shown at SDSU.

Ernest Silva - Artist and professor at UCSD, assisted in curating exhibitions and developing programming for emerging artists including teaching them about new trends as an aid to developing their careers as exhibiting artists. NEA Grant in Painting, co-curator of InSite, work in the collection of Fogg Art Museum at Harvard and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Exhibition at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library in La Jolla, 858.454.5872. Catalogs still available.

Peter St. Claire - comes from a long line of important artists including the monumental sculptor St. Gaudens, has a large collection of Bay Area painters from the 30th, but also buys local artists especially at charity auctions Peter is a great support of our local art organizations and a long time resident of Mission Hills.

Look for other topics in the SmART Collector
For more information contact us