Local Collectors Share. The Story

Local Collectors Share. The Story

It’s really hard to believe that November is upon us and that I’m making a Thanksgiving dinner shopping list. The magic of the season is just minutes away.    It’s always a time of reflection for me and for many reasons I am overwhelmed with love, joy and appreciation for all of the things that make living the creative life a dream come true.

Of all the exceptional things that go hand in hand with running my own business and representing local artists in the gallery, one of my favorite parts are the bonds and friendships that come with getting to know both the artists and my customers.

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Michael and Elizabeth Fletcher are two of those special people that make it all worthwhile.  I was so fortunate to spend time with them during Open Studios – as well as their two beautiful daughters.  I asked them if they would share their story of collecting art and they so sweetly agreed.  Collecting art is a passion for the Fletchers – they were first customers and now I am so thankful to call them my friends.  Enjoy their story…

Tell me about the first piece of art you purchased as a couple?

The first piece of art we purchased as a couple was a copper sculpture of a fish.  We got it at the Spoleto festival in Charleston about 15 years ago.  It now resides in our oldest daughter’s bedroom.  We don’t recall the artist but it reminds us of good times in Charleston when we were younger.

 How does your art collection reflect your family’s personality?

I am from Charleston and Michael is from here in Greenville. The common thread in our interest in art lies in understanding process.  We are most likely to collect from local artists where we have a relationship and the opportunity to understand their perspective.  It’s important to us to support local art and we’ve already seen what local art can do for our community.  We alslo enjoy being involved with organizations that provide exposure to artists and art work that we otherwise may not be familiar with.  We tend to fall in love with pieces and we can’t walk away.  We never buy something for a particular place in our home.  We figure it out as we go,often moving our art around. We like to have fun, and our collection reflects that!

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 Do you have a wish list for a piece of  art?  If so, who is on your wish list?

Yes, we always have a wish list!  We add to it often and look forward to our next purchase.  We would love to add pieces to our collection from painter Jim Gorman, encaustic artist Patricia Kilburg, metal sculptor Ryan Calloway, and painter Kiah Bellows.    Since we make collecting a partnership, it sometimes takes us longer to compromise and know that a piece is just right for us both.

 You once told me that you get a piece together for your anniversary each year?  What made you decide to do that?

Yes, each year, we choose a piece of art together to celebrate our wedding anniversary.  It started when I commissioned a painting as a wedding gift for Michael and after that we thought we would enjoy collecting each year as we celebrated our anniversary.  We have been able to collect from some of our favorite local artists and it has been a lot of fun to see the collection grow as the years pass.   We have a diverse and fun collection that includes mixed media, sculpture, and ceramics, but the majority is painting, and even includes portraits of our dogs.  We collect throughout the year, but we take time to enjoy the process of choosing something special together for our anniversary piece.

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