As a part of the mission of the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF), a symposium on collecting African American Art was held at a the Mercedes Benz Buckhead hosted by Juanita and Gregory Baranco on November 11th.

With a panel made up of the current NBAF president Dr. Michael Simanga, collector John Palmer, curator Karen Comer, collector Amika Dawkin, and artist Ratcliff Bailey, several pointers were given.

One was to buy what you like.  NBAF board member Heather Holly compared it to dating.  For Holly, you see that cute guy you like across the room and you have to decide if your relationship with him will be a fling or a long term thing. But the ultimate goal is to have fulfilling long term relationship which is an investment, as she did with her husband.  Don’t be afraid to start learning and looking and discover what you like.

The good thing about art is that there are price points for all collectors. Some of John Palmer’s favorite pieces cost as little as $100.  He looks to support up and coming artist.  He did note that you will not find collectable pieces of art at Target or Pier One. Take the first step and visit local galleries and become informed.

Investing in art is not only a long term commitment, but also helps current artists as they develop their craft.

Arnica Dawkins’ Gallery specializes in photographs; Dawkins acknowledges that the prices for her works are set in New York and different markets. But she believes art enriches our lives and she strives to connect people to pieces they may like.

Radcliffe Bailey spoke about his artwork; his pieces serve as deep conversation he has between himself and the world around him.  His recent show at the High Museum was one of the most attended and Bailey is a world renowned figure in the art community.

The prevalent theme to that afternoon discussion was to have fun and bring home something that will add a little joy to your life.

For details on upcoming programs at NBAF visit:

Follow Dr. Wilson Trivino [email protected]