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"I'm not an art collector."

I've been organizing a community art show this week and have heard something interesting from people as I talked to them about the paintings and objects they have collected over decades. "I'm not an art collector. These are just things I love to look at." There seems to be a question as to whether their art is valid or "real." Why would other want to look upon the stuff that THEY love to have as part of their everyday experience, that they perceive as beautiful?

Yeah. I get it. I'm pretty sure that if I had my favorite Chagall over my couch I would not cherish it any more than the beat up map of Paris that my son found at a thrift shop for me. Art that I would save from a fire? The cowbell that hung outside our Vermont house, a little tarnished cafetière I found at a Paris flea market, a couple of cheap, out-of-proportion paintings from places I love.

And then there are things that I love to look at for their shape, color, texture, funkiness, pattern. Things I instantly recognize and buy for a few dollars and add to the jumble of fun that I call home.

You don't have to be a collector of "real" art to be a real art collector. IT IS ART IF IT'S BEAUTIFUL TO YOU!

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