Arts and Entertainment

BAC lecture series brings home the love of art

BAC’s educational series the “Art of Collecting Art,” takes guests into the homes of several actual island art collectors. - Image courtesy of BAC
BAC’s educational series the “Art of Collecting Art,” takes guests into the homes of several actual island art collectors.
— image credit: Image courtesy of BAC

So often when writing, reading or talking about visual art, the focus is only on one end of the viewing relationship.

The story is about the artist and their methods or intentions, or the story is about the gallery or the museum and its mission.

Those are important stories, to be sure, but sometimes you just need to focus on the simple human love of art.

Enjoyment and stimulation is the beginning and end of the artistic process, or it should be, and the three-part tour series the “Art of Collecting Art” puts the focus squarely back on the end user of the process: the art lover.

The Bainbridge Arts & Crafts series, returning for its first of three installments Saturday, March 15, brings visitors into the homes of actual island art collectors to see their personal treasures and share in their specific artistic passions.

Past collectors to host the tour series have showcased their specific art obsessions, including pieces by specific artists or from a certain period or medium (including one collector who specialized in classic car accessories).

It’s a unique opportunity for island art lovers to interact in a new way outside of the gallery, said Lynnette Sandbloom, BAC’s director of education.

“What’s really fun about this one [event] is that people’s passions are reflected in what they collect,” she explained. “It can be as wide-ranging as a car or a certain period of time.

“One of our houses this year, the people really enjoy art from the island. So they have some really historical pieces, but they also still collect,” Sandbloom added.

The names and addresses of this year’s hosts are kept confidential for security reasons and they are made available to participants upon registration.

The first tour of this series highlights a collection of paintings from the Mid-Century Modern style. The April installment will showcase a local collection comprised mainly of Pop Art pieces and contemporary work by Northwestern artists, and the final of the tours will feature a collection of Asian art and antiquities.

“She actually went to England and studied at Sotheby’s,” Sandbloom said of the Asian art collector. “Her collection is stunning. I feel very honored that we get to go to her house and look at her collection.”

Sandbloom said that in addition to a unique chance to check out personal art collections around the island, the educational program often ends in some new friendships as well.

“A lot of people sign up for all three sessions,” she said. “So you not only get to see amazing collections at three houses, but there’s a certain wonderful relationship that builds with the people who are also into art.”

More so even than the art, Sandbloom said that often enough the host and their home prove as interesting as the collection itself.

“You [get to] have a glass of wine with people who have similar interests,” she said. “And even if the art style isn’t your style, [you see] the passion of the people who collect it [and] they talk about their work and what led them down their path. It’s fascinating to find out what makes people collect what they collect.”

Art collectors, being a notoriously protective lot, might seem an unlikely group to open their homes to a tour. However, the response to the program in the past has been nothing but positive from all involved, Sandbloom said.

“It can be difficult to find [a host],” she said. “Some people who have fabulous collections are uncomfortable doing it, frankly. So we really protect the privacy of the people who are opening their doors. There are 20 spots available [for each event]. We don’t want to take advantage of our host.”

Refreshments and wine are provided by the gallery at each home, including hors d’oeuvres by Cafe Nola. All proceeds will benefit the continued education programs at BAC.

Registration is extremely limited and can be done by phone at 206-842-3132, or in person at 151 Winslow Way East.

Visit www.bacart.org for more information about this and other BAC educational programs.

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