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Who Qualifies as an Art Lover?

by Niki Hilsabeck in Recent Posts
The term “art lover” pops up a lot in art marketing.  What does it mean to be an art lover?
“Beach Stroll” 9 x 12 Pastel on Paper
When I hear the phrase “art lover,” I tend to visualize people with a glass of wine in their hands trying to talk over annoying jazz.  Where did I come up with this stereotype?  I’m guessing it’s from reading newsletters, articles, and promotional materials about art events. 
I think there’s a little bit of an intimidation factor in people’s views of art and artists.  The truth is, not all art lovers enjoy wine and jazz while viewing or purchasing art.  I personally enjoy seeing art most when it’s being created, whether I’m a student, teacher, or onlooker.  As a teenager, I was just as interested in watching the street artists in Santa Monica spray paint planets as I was in watching my grandmother bring an oil painting to life in her kitchen.  I think the reason people wander over to watch an artist in action or scroll through hundreds of photos that they didn’t take is that art is a common human need. 
Most people have their own tastes in music.  We don’t usually ask “Do you like music?”  Instead, we tend to ask “What kind of music do you like?” 
“Mermaid” 9 x 12 Pastel on Paper
Maybe someday it’ll be commonplace to start a conversation not with “Do you like art?” but rather “What kind of art do you like?”

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