Invest in Original Art and Discover and Nurture New Talent; Fancy Investing in a Piece of Art? If So, Pay a Visit to One of the Many Degree Shows That Are Taking Place throughout Wales. Karen Price Finds out How You Can Pick Up a Bargain and Help Kick-Start the Careers of Emerging Artists
BUYING an original piece of art is often considered a luxury as the cost of a painting, original print or piece of sculpture can be budget busting.
But canny art collectors are investing in items they love withs out breaking the bank by visiting degree shows.
At the same time, they are supporting emerging artists who are keen to get their work - and their names - out there.
Last night fine art students at Swansea Metropolitan University launched their degree show.
Amanda Roderick, director of Swansea's Mission Gallery, officially opened the exhibition. She says that degree shows are vital in showcasing the work of the students, particularly to curators.
"It's very important for us to go and see the student shows," she says.
"We like to watch the artists develop and grow from this point and we have exhibited the work of many ex-students from the fine art course in the past.
"In September we are showing the work of Alex Duncan who graduated about four years ago. We stayed in touch with Alex and watched his work develop."
Another curator who is a keen visitor to the student shows is Rhian Kooy, director of Cardiff's Kooywood Gallery.
Among those whose talents she has spotted in the past are portraitist Liam O'Connor and Andy Short, who focuses on portraits and still lifes. Both men exhibited as part of the degree shows at Cardiff School of Art, Uwic, and they have since gone on to have displays at her gallery.
"Degree shows are very important for helping discover talent and helping to nurture it," she says.
"I regularly go to the degree shows and when I saw both Liam's and Andy's work I realised they were just so fundamentally different (to the others) and painted with such confidence. I will definitely be going along again this year."
Sue Williams, acting head of fine art at Swansea Metropolitan University, says that as well as showcasing the students' talents and giving people the opportunity to invest in original art, the degree shows allow the students to reassess their practices outside the confines of a university.
"It gives them a chance to establish an understanding of where they are in the bigger art world of which they are about to be a part of," she says.
"It's extremely competitive and very uncertain."
She says with new communication platforms, there are so many ways in which young artists can now get their voices across. …