Why support local artists?

Ashley Bethard and Matthew Sliver believe DVAC has set the precedent for curating and spotlighting great work. Those are their words, not ours. And they would know. Bethard monitors social media trends for COX Media Groups online products and Sliver is the Principal for Catapult Creative. There’s no arguing the recently engaged couple is in the know when it comes to just about everything. They recently purchased a DVAC CSA(rt) share. We sat down with them to find out more about what sealed the deal on their purchase.
Q: You recently purchased a DVAC CSA(rt) share — explain why you wanted to be a part of this program in its first year?
AB: This program is a great introduction to collecting art — more specifically, local art. One of Dayton’s greatest assets is its art community. I think this concept makes a lot of people nervous — you’re paying for something you haven’t seen. But in my few years in Dayton, DVAC has set the precedent for curating and spotlighting great work. I trust them. It’s a chance I was willing to take.
MS: A: I see it as a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor of some amazing emerging artists. It seems like a perfect transition into starting our collection with some amazing original pieces.
Q: How would you describe your art collection?

AB: Small. A lot of art I have bought in the last eight years has been for gifts rather than for myself. But the few pieces I’ve accumulated are intensely personal to me.

Q: What was the first piece of art that you purchased?
AB: I purchased a gift for an old friend. I came across an article about an artist named Sophie Blackall, who does these lovely prints inspired by Craigslist Missed Connections, and fell in love with her work. When browsing her store, I saw a print of a girl with her head in a book. The book was Catch-22, my friend’s favorite. It felt too perfect — serendipitous, even — and I couldn’t pass it up.
MS: I commissioned a local artist to do a large mixed medium portrait, inspired by me.
Q: What’s your advice for a first-time art buyer?
AB: Buy something you’re absolutely in love with.
MS: Just do it. It’s something that you will always cherish and something that you will always be able to enjoy and talk about.
Q: What would you say is your philosophy on buying art?

MS: If it constantly draws me back in, makes me think about the texture or color, then I know it’s something that will always make me look forward to that feeling it gives me.

Q: What’s your art collection like and how do you think your six DVAC CSA(rt) pieces will fit in?

AB: It’s small, but growing. I’m excited to see how the DVAC CSA(rt) pieces will fit in, especially since I have no idea what we’ll get.

Q: What are your tips to offer someone wanting to learn more about art collecting?

AB: Take the time to visit galleries and museums. The more you see, the better sense you’ll have of your personal style and taste. Also, don’t worry too much about what everyone else says is “good art.” You’re the one who will be looking at it every day.

Q: What’s your favorite quote or story about art?

AB: “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” — Joan Didion 

I’m a writer, so while this quote is about writing, I think it naturally lends itself to art. Artists use their work as a lens, offering perspective, and that’s what I tend to think about when I experience art.

Q: Why do you think an investment of a DVAC CSA(rt) share is one worth making?

AB: I truly believe in community, and Dayton is my home. This is a worthy investment on all fronts. I’m offering support to local artists and investing in my community, and in return, I get some amazing art to show for it.

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