Forecasting Best Sellers for 2007: What Lies Ahead for Original Work, Giclees, Sculpture and Fine-Art Photography? Read What Our Experts Had to Say

Article excerpt

What do leading art experts believe will be the trends in 2007? In this second part of a two-part Market Forecast series, ABN asked gallery directors, art publishers and a specialist on the buying patterns of luxury consumers (persons with household income levels above $75,000, with the average being about $140,000), to share predictions on the market for original art, reproductions, sculpture and photography. The experts who agreed to provide their opinions are:

* Roland Augustine, president, Luhring Augustine, NY

* Alan Blazar, owner, Blazing Editions, East Greenwich, RI

* Bob Chase, Jr., president, The Chase Group, Northbrook, IL

* Pam Danzinger, president, Unity Marketing, Stevens, PA. Editor's note: Danzinger is the above-mentioned specialist in the buying patterns of luxury consumers.

* Todd Haile, publishing director, Editions Limited, Emeryville, CA

* Dick Kleinman, owner, Kleinman Fine Art, Cleveland

* Steve Lucas, owner, Gallery of Surrealism, NY

* Nan Miller, owner, Nan Miller Gallery, Rochester, NY

* Melanie Smith, co-owner, Seaside Art Gallery, Nags Head, NC

* Ruth-Ann Thorn, president, Crown Thorn Publishing, San Diego

* Larry Winn, president, Grand Image, Seattle (Editor's note: Boldface denotes member of the ABN Editorial Advisory Board.)

Do you believe we will see an increase in the sale of original art in 2007?

Alan Blazar: Yes.

Pam Danzinger: We're finding that sales of original works are up among luxury consumers, and prints are down.

Ruth-Ann Thorn: Yes, and not because original art is necessarily better than limited editions, but because the Internet has made it difficult to compete when it comes to reproductions. Galleries are looking for more originals so they don't get shopped via the Web. But it shouldn't be about whether galleries should sell originals or prints. It's about what is best for your collector. In other words, is it better to connect your clients with original works by unknown artists? Or, is it better to sell prints by known artists with the potential of being historically significant? (For more on this, see our special sidebar, "When Is a Print Better than an Original?")

Larry Winn: I do believe we will continue to see increases in the sale of original artwork. Old-school, limited-edition models (i.e. signed and numbered limited editions) are increasingly more difficult to sell, particularly at higher price points. A cultural psychographic phenomenon has occurred in that people really do want to differentiate themselves with originals even more than what a limited edition used to provide.

Roland Augustine: The market for high-end original art will continue to prosper.

Nan Miller: Possibly. About 90 percent of the art we sell is original works. It's up to us to tell our customers about the artists and the works, and why it makes sense to buy originals.

Melanie Smith: I hope we will see an increase in the sale of original art. Most original art is very reasonably priced though I believe many consumers believe the opposite. It is the job of galleries to educate the public about the uniqueness and value of originals.

Bob Chase, Jr.: We're putting forth an effort to create larger-scale events that will generate greater sales of originals and prints. For example, the city of Kansas City hosted an inaugural exhibition of five monumental sculptures by Mackenzie Thorpe as well as a 10,000-square-foot exhibition of recent paintings, graphic works and unique sculpture installations. Dealers were flown in from around the country, and the event generated extensive media coverage.

Do you believe we will see an increase in the sale of giclees in 2007?

Alan Blazar: Yes.

Todd Haile: Yes, we do predict an increase in giclee sales as our customers are looking for other options to fill their image needs. …