Longtime readers may remember me talking about a woman who has helped my career, particularly in it’s beginning. I consider Randie Reilly (and her family!) my first collector. She is the mastermind behind the Jack’s Brat holiday home shows that I participated in when I lived in Maryland. My aunt Margy introduced us, and I’m forever grateful for the opportunities I had through the home shows. I recently interviewed Randie to give you an inside look into the life of an art collector.
1)What was the first piece of art that you bought? A raku vase Do you still have it? Yes. In my Living room. However I received a small original painting from a friend that was an artist in college and my parents gave me a painting from their collection as a graduation gift from college.
2) What advice would you give a collector who is just beginning their collection? If you see a pattern of things you like go with it. I fell in love with the Raku vase, found out what it was and began looking for Raku after that. Also, I am drawn to colors and shape. When I see something that speaks to me I go with that. My pieces and paintings are mostly abstract but very different styles.
3) Your house was not custom built, yet you’ve managed to turn your living space into something beautiful and uniquely yours. What are some ways that a collector can integrate art into their home to showcase their style? Well, always display your pieces as a collection, whether it’s teapots, pottery, figuring or whatever. When you display the items together you create a story. Also have a method of display that compliments the art. I used display cubes for my pottery in a prominent place in my living room. That way there is not doubt that this is a collection that is dear to me and tells about what I love.
4) a. What inspired you to throw Jack’s Brat holiday art parties? My love of art and the desire to help out local artists inspired me. On night after receiving an invitation to a Southern Living party I said I wished I could go to a party where they sold art and art pieces by the artist. I was tired of Pampered Chef and the like. I wanted something more art focused and decided to do it myself. b. How did you go about organizing them initially? I just started telling people that this was my idea and then they started telling me about people who were artists that might be interested. I contacted the artist, told them of my intentions and asked if they wanted to participate. Then I organized the event. Then I met with the artist to preview their work and select items for the show. All paintings and sculptures were listed on a price list and I gave out a bio sheet on all of the participating artists.
5) What is your favorite piece of art/fine craft that you own and why? My favorite is probably the painting I received as a graduation present from my parents. It was painted the year I was born and hung in our house all of my childhood. Then my parents changed styles and it went to the basement as as a teen. When they asked what I wanted for graduation I knew immediately that I wanted that painting. Not only is it beautiful but it holds so many memories for me. I really enjoy that it is now a part of my children’s childhood.