Pick a memorable piece for brides, dads and grads this month.
The conundrum of gift giving doesn’t end in December. June can also be a prime problem season for those looking to make memorable presents to new graduates, wedding couples, dads for Father’s Day and Gemini or Cancer birthdays. For consummate givers searching for something more durable and personal than a gift card or check, the Buckhead area offers a wealth of options inside its numerous art galleries.
At first blush, the idea of giving a piece of art, sculpture or photography may seem fairly farfetched. The questions that immediately come to mind do need to be considered, says Tiffany Hayes, managing director of Pryor Fine Art on Miami Circle. “I’d start by thinking about what the person’s likes and interests are.
For instance, do they garden? Knowing that someone likes being outdoors might lead you to a still life with florals.”
The fun of learning about her buyers and guiding them in an art search is what drives Anna Walker Skillman, owner of Jackson Fine Art. She advises the same approach for anyone considering making an artistic gift.
“The best part of what I do is getting to know the person—what moves them, what can create an experience for them,” she says. “That comes down to knowing who the recipient is, who their favorite artists are and what they love. Keep a list of those things, and when it’s their birthday, we can find something available.”
Givers also need to establish specific boundaries around price. Knowing exactly how much the budget will budge often defines the options. Be it $250 or $25,000, gallery owners can provide a wealth of options.
“Many times, people want to buy something on a lower scale to give to a college grad or a young couple,” says Hayes. “We have some works, especially of emerging artists, around $500 that are a great way to help someone start a collection. Then they have a story behind the art, and won’t be so intimidated that they can’t buy another.”
Another option if your price range falls under $1,000, is giving a print and a fine art book of the artist’s work. “That’s a great option, and though we don’t typically sell a lot of books, we can steer someone to special editions,” Skillman says.
Skillman has also worked with gift givers to put together sample printouts of possible gift ideas. “We may print some things and put them in small frames so the buyer can say, ‘Go in and select one of these artists.’ We’ve also had people who brought the recipient in, gave a price point and let them pick out a piece. That’s another great way to avoid giving a gift someone doesn’t respond to.”
Hayes has taken a similar tack, making up an attractive certificate for a specific amount that allows the recipient to browse and find something that resonates. “Many times, people are nervous about whether the person will like it, and this way, the person gets to choose,” she says.
The gift of art can go beyond just giving someone options, says Skillman. It’s also a learning process that can take some time as potential buyers explore their tastes, consider their environments and figure out price points.
“A lot of people want to learn about art to get a sense of what they want,” she says. “Let them come in and talk about what their space is like, what they love, what they’re drawn to. We provide a warm and welcoming place to explore, and that process can also be a gift.”
Jackson Fine Art
3115 E. Shadowlawn Ave.
Pryor Fine Art
764 Miami Circle, Suite 132
Atlanta-based writer and editor contributing to a number of local and state-wide publications. Instructor in Georgia State’s Communication department and Emory’s Continuing Education division.