Amazing abstracts, fantastic photographs and fun pieces of pop art bursting with color.
It's no surprise you can 'see' these one-of-a-kind works at the Seattle Art Museum. But there's a twist. At SAM Gallery, you can take them home too! It's located inside the SAM Shop on the street level.
"So this is where the Seattle Art Museum supports local art and artists," explains Jody Bento, SAM Gallery Manager. "Everything is both for sale and for rent. If you bring home a piece of rental art after three months you're not in love you can bring it back if you are in love you can convert it to an interest free payment plan."
Art lover Deepti Shankar searched for that 'perfect piece' for her home - without any luck. She wasn't ready to buy something that she wasn't in love with - but 'fell' for the idea of renting it instead.
"I can date the art work and look at it and decide whether I'm in love to make that real commitment," said Shankar. "Which is the most awesome thing!"
It starts when Deepti shows Jody a snap of her space.
"So here's my space this is my living room and I'm looking at some really nice modern piece above the fireplace."
"So it looks like you have really good lighting. It looks like a great layout within the space that really focuses on that piece of art," states the SAM Gallery Manager.
Then it's time to check out some art. Jody shows Deepti around the gallery and gives her the scoop on some of the artists.
First up - some abstracts.
"This artist is Ryan Molenkamp and he was born and raised in the northwest and he's iconic artist working in Seattle right now because of all of the volcanoes. And his story is that his parents took him to see Mt St. Helens when he was a little child and scared him and he's been painting them ever since."
"How much is it to rent a piece like this?" asks Deepti.
"You do need to be a Seattle Art Museum member. Our rentals go in three month increments and it's actually based on the purchase price. So this piece of art is $2,300 to buy which makes it $230 to rent for three months."
"This is looking very very promising," exclaims Deepti. "I love what you have to offer. Can we see some more work?"
Next - some warm hued impressionistic pieces.
The tour continues. "And this is another artist it's actually one of my favorites here at SAM Gallery and Kate Protage is somebody who romantices this city at night," Jody continues. So like a lot of us she's a little stressed out in the city during the day with all the traffic and hubbub but there's a romanticism that comes over at night - kind of takes over her paintings and makes them romantic and moody... and very impressionistic."
"There's so much new interpretation that I can see in this work," says Deepti, smiling.
Finally - quirky pop art fun! Jody pulls out a rack filled with colorful works. "Whoa! Look at that so colorful and amazing. Tell me about it," says Deepti.
"This is Troy Gua, and he's a local artist and we would call this pop art. And he also appropriates these images off the internet. So very cool, very young hip," explains Jody. "And he puts two together hoping to convey a new meaning about the people in the portrait. So example-- the princesses... Princess Grace and Princess Diana overlaid."
"These are actually really affordable," continues Jody. "These are $375 to purchase which makes them $38 to rent for three months."
Then then moment of truth - Deepti makes her decision. She's fallen in love with a painting by Ryan Molencamp.
"So it seems like you like this painting so what do you think?" asks Jody. "Yes I've been drawn to this work since I entered the gallery," Deepri continues. " I can just see myself curled up and having a drink looking at it and discovering new aspects in the painting."
For Jody Bento, there's a lot of joy in helping folks find the right art for them... whether they choose to rent it OR buy it.
"I really love the people who are coming to the gallery to put fine art in their homes... so in other words they're gonna step up from the posters they're gonna step up from framed reproductions and they're finally gonna bring fine art into their lives," she says grinning.
More about SAM Gallery :
"SAM Gallery is the Seattle Art Museum's art sales and rental gallery, offering contemporary original works from Northwest artists. SAM Gallery supports local artists and their careers by increasing their exposure and finding audiences for their work. The gallery has hundreds of works including paintings, drawings, mixed-media works, limited-edition prints, and photographs," states the website.
"SAM Gallery has artwork available in all price ranges for purchase or three-month rentals. This unique "rent-before-you-buy" approach is exclusively for SAM members and allows you to live with a favorite piece before you make a purchase. Half of your rental fee goes toward your purchase if you keep the work; easy 16-month interest-free payment plans are available for SAM members. If you don't have a membership, you can sign up on the spot to enjoy all of these member benefits."