5 Tips for Selecting Wall Art from Newport Gallerist Kristen Coates

Ideas to keep handy before heading to this summer’s art festivals


While you can purchase art any season, summer is filled with outdoor shows replete with original paintings by regional artists ready to outfit our spaces. Bringing artwork into our homes adds personality and can act as a tangible memory, while also creating an opportunity to layer in elements of design. There’s no one way to approach selecting art for your walls, but there are a few things to keep in mind when putting pieces together, whether you want to make a bold statement or keep it subtle. It may be a little intimidating to get started, but once you have a few pieces you love and enjoy seeing every day, you won’t turn back.

Buy Art You Love

Is there a pattern in the colors, shapes, or artists you return to again and again? Follow that instinct. The Swiss-French architect, designer, painter, urban planner, and writer Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, said “The home should be a treasure chest of living.”


Keep a Casual Plan

Keep images of spaces in your home that need art – plus measurements and photos of color swatches – on your phone, so that you’re ready when that painting, print, or photograph catches your eye.


Shake Things Up

Art collectors move pieces around when they acquire something new or just need a change. Try reframing pieces from time to time for an update, especially if you introduce a new paint color in your home. Art is meant to be lived with, so don’t hesitate to try new arrangements. 


Have Fun

If you live in a traditional home, add some modern photographs. All neutral? Be bold with your art and bring in pops of color with abstract paintings. Other contrasts include infusing warmth with rich landscapes, or whimsy with framed prints.


Go Pro

If you’re really not sure about how to make a selection, work with someone with an eye for design. This might be a stylish friend, but don’t shy away from talking to an art advisor or your local gallery. Curators have a wealth of knowledge and love talking about all the possibilities of art collecting and installation. Kristen Coates: 152 Bellevue Avenue, Newport; KristenCoates.net



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