BURT REYNOLDS ONCE SAID that “the more the art dominated my life and my house, the more the house became a home.” The late thespian may seem like an unlikely source for visual art wisdom, but that fact just further underscores my point: Great work enriches the lives of anyone in its vicinity, and it becomes part of your family. Lucky for us, there’s plenty of it available in Charlotte.
The area has more than 20 commercial art galleries and even more regional art fairs, each with its own collecting community, diverse roster of artists, reflected periods of art history, and price points. (Though in considering that latter attribute, I have two words for you: “installment plan.”) I spent several years covering the industry locally and nationally. Over time, it became apparent that dealers and buyers aren’t the only key players. There are logistics companies—framers and handlers ensuring your precious acquisition is safely transported and displayed. And though great galleries also educate visitors, there are no better venues for exploring what you love than museums.
Contained in these listings are different representatives of visual art’s many arenas. Charlotte’s an ideal city for jumping into the world of art collection. To end, a quote from a more plausible source than The Bandit: “Collecting means enjoying the pursuit of things you wish to live with, admire, enjoy, or study.” That’s Charlotte gallerist Jerald Melberg, who has been a leader in the cultural sector for more than 44 years. “Pursuit” is the perfect word for it, as the fun starts right here.—Andy Smith, associate publisher