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Supporting or buying from local artists is something that many of us are encouraged to do, and whether you're thinking of shopping at a local craft fair, or going in to a local boutique full of handmade goodies, or locally painted artwork, there are a lot of benefits. If you're trying to decide whether to donate to a local artist fund or cause, or purchase artwork for a benefit fund, then the reasons remain the same. Art foundations, galleries, and fundraisers all do a world of good for your local economy and art community, but you can choose to support artists by simply buying art from them when you want it.
Support Your Economy: Supporting your local economy means that money you spend goes to someone local, who then spends it with someone else local. This kind of support is taken away when you choose to support nationwide artists, buy art from a chain store, or otherwise spend your money outside of the local area. Supporting the local economy usually means that other people have more money to buy, produce, or sell locally, and that more can support themselves with their own businesses. This is ideal if you want families and people that you know to succeed, rather than filling the pockets of a corporate business. This holds true whether you're donating or buying art, because eventually, your money will go back to other local businesses, rather than going somewhere else.
Encourage New Art: New art is the future of art, and while it may not be worth anything now, all artists start out as local. If you want to ensure that the future of art is constantly growing and moving forward, then buying from and supporting local artists is the way to do so. While many artists only truly become valuable after their death, you can ensure that they can support themselves with their artwork and continue painting, sculpting, or otherwise creating art while they are alive. Supporting St. Louis art is encouraging new art, because it ensures that the artists making it can do so. If you want to see new artists, and encourage the next generation into art, then you have to support the cur
Increase Art Tourism: A flourishing local art trade is actually a tourist draw, which means that the more you put into your local art community, the more outsiders will as well. If you have small art markets and fairs or galleries, you can draw a small tourist crowd, who will often come specifically to buy. If the artists don't have the money to put those events on in the first place, this will never happen. There are plenty of different ways to support the St. Louis art community, but supporting them does ensure that they can afford to present their art to tourists. If you already have a thriving art tourism community, then supporting the artists helps to ensure that this continues to thrive, and that some of the art stays local.
Support Education: Many art and artist events and fundraisers are for education, and whether it's aimed at a local school, a college, or even a gallery, you can help to support art education. Many local artists also offer demonstrations and lessons to children from time to time, which means that supporting your local artists is helping your children, or those of your friends and family, to get the education they need. If you want to specifically support art education, you will have to double check where your support is going, or discuss it with the artists in question.
Get Something Unique: Probably the best thing about buying from local artists is that every piece you buy is completely unique. Rather than having something that your friends might have, or that everyone can see hanging in Walmart, you get something that's one of a kind. While not all support is in the form of buying art, it often is, and buying is always supporting. While mass produced items are most often cheaper, they do not have the uniqueness, the life, or the creativity put into them.
Local artists are often hard workers, and many have full time jobs in addition to their art. If they have the luxury of focusing solely on their art, they usually live off of fans and supporters who purchase their work. If you're thinking about donating or purchasing, you can consider researching to see which local artists you like, which need the most support, or which causes do the most good before you do so.
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