January 27th, 2010

Life In Living Color

Two great websites let anyone become an expert art collector

It used to be that the art world was just for those with private jets and Swiss bank accounts. Luckily, thanks to the magical powers of the internet, it’s easy to get a crash course in art collecting.

But wait, why art? Well, besides being nicer to look at than peeling wallpaper, it produces all sorts of benefits: art boosts kids’ imagination, improves their sense of craftsmanship, and even helps with problem-solving. And one of the easiest ways to inspire an early love of art in your kids is by surrounding them with colorful and vivid imagery.

Created by New York gallery owner Jen Bekman, 20×200’s stated mission is to make art available for everyone. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, they announce a new “edition” on their site, featuring works by both well-known and up-and-coming artists.

For a mere $20, you can pick up one of their 8″ x 10″ prints. The catch is that there’s only 200 of each for sale (hence the site’s name), so once they’re gone, they’re gone for good. Too small for you? Bigger sizes are available—11″ x 14″ and 16″ x 20″—for bigger prices. Art featured at 20×200 covers a wide range of styles, from travel photography to quirky sketches.

Similarly, Thumbtack Press has affordable prints by dozens of artists and illustrators, who tend to lean towards the comical and whimsical side of things. If the idea of picking out art is overwhelming, Thumbtack conveniently offers a few curated collections (“Kids’ Prints,” “Tony’s Favorites”) to get you started.

So come on, give your kids something new to look at. And no, your old concert posters don’t count.