You don’t have to be wealthy to be a patron

Yesterday I watched a video over at Diary of an Arts Pastor. In the spot, David Taylor talks specifically about his vision for artistic renewal in Austin, Texas. I’m not exactly sure what I think of the video, but it did convey some worthwhile ideas. One idea that I latched onto is one I’d already been thinking about this year:

“You don’t have to be wealthy to be a patron.”

This is probably coming out of my burgeoning desire to be a catalyst (a desire that’s been burgeoning, as it were, for the past ten years). It was helped along by the ceramic art my wife gave me for Christmas.

I haven’t fleshed this idea out yet, that you don’t have to be rich to be a patron of the arts, but there seem to be some basic places a person could start. Add new art to your budget, for instance. Give art as gifts, as my wife did. Befriend artists and become part of their street team; word-of-mouth is the best marketing.

If you don’t think you have money in your budget to buy art you haven’t visited the right venues lately. Look at Etsy (yes, there are imaginative and well-crafted plastic arts on this website amidst the ubiquitous jewelry and handbag collections) or other online galleries. Seek out aspiring artists who don’t charge as much for their pieces, which is the best kind of artistic investment anyway. Barter works as well. Maybe you’re a web programmer; trade website design for a painting or sculpture.

Any other ideas?

David Taylor video


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

4 Responses to You don’t have to be wealthy to be a patron

  1. YAY! I totally agree. We bought handmade ceramic dishes for our dinnerwear and we troll student art shows for good art for cheap. We collect lithographs and buy small paintings when we’re on vacation. My favorite is a 19th century oil painting of St. Isodore from Florence. He’s our kitchen saint. We’ve purchased hand blown glass wine stoppers for gifts. Etsy is fantastic. There is art for every budget out there! Also, think about how much you spend on other, less important, things. We spent $900 on a tv. We could’ve bought an oil painting.

  2. pNielsen says:

    Or a few oil paintings and sculpture if you were patient.

    Has the increasing availability of new technologies in the last century diverted some of our budgets away from the arts?

  3. It makes me a little upset that David Taylor, who in general I appreciate what he has to say, made a fuss about the nudity in one of the paintings on that video. How is the church ever supposed to get off of that “nipple-phobia” if even her artists have it?

    Think about the middle ages and the Renaissance- very little in the way of techonolgy and a lot in the way of art. We have spent a lot of money on computer equipment and gadgets, small in American standards, but think of the art my $1200 laptop could’ve afforded.

  4. pcNielsen says:

    You’re right about the way the nudity was handled in the video. There was a lot about the video I just didn’t take to, like I said in the post, but there were a few things worth remembering too. Course, that’s the way it is with a lot of media we take in in life. Just because we don’t agree with something doesn’t mean we shouldn’t watch a movie or read a particular book. Do we agree with everything in books we read? If so, we might be too gullible and not discerning enough.

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