Art is the gift that gives forever

The Art of Gift-Giving: Here’s why art makes the perfect gift

We are fast approaching a major gift-giving season—not Christmas—but Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations and wedding season. Money is probably the simplest solution to gift-giving challenges, and as the joke goes, “It always fits and no one ever returns it.” But for lasting meaning, here’s another thought.

When it comes to a meaningful gift that will last a lifetime, it’s tough to beat fine art.

Mother’s Day Gift-Giving

Pastel flower drawing by Carol Corliss
Pastel by Carol Corliss

Take Mother’s Day. America’s second biggest flower-giving day of the year (after Valentine’s Day), mothers seem to universally welcome flowers. The beauty of a floral display just makes a mom smile. But after about seven days, the forlorn passing of the flowers can leave everyone wanting. Enter a painting of flowers. As beautiful if not more-so, yet a painting of a flower will last a lifetime.

When a work of fine art enters a home, a bit of magic happens. It can become a focal point in a room, bringing new life and interest. It can be a colorful trigger to bring in accent pieces like pillows that match the painting’s colors on a couch. Maybe a little sprucing up goes on all around the new treasure. Not quite a shrine, but certainly a bright spot. We are still on Mother’s Day, so picture mom with her new sentimental flower artwork choosing just the right spot to showcase the love she has received. Surely even Emerson would approve—he’s the fellow who warned that we should give fruit or flowers so the gift would not be appreciated more than the giver. Emerson would certainly have frowned upon cash gifts.

Inspiring a graduate

A work of fine art given for graduation might find itself moving from the grad’s dorm to their next pad to their first home and maybe eventually hang in a next-generation child’s room. The lasting impact of a fine art graduation gift can be amazing. In our region, for example, a Mount Monadnock landscape would make a great graduation gift. The peak that “stands alone” and appears as we drive around the area is an inspiration. It’s popularity as a place to hike, ascend and test one’s mettle is legendary. So owning a significant work of art depicting that symbol of achievement is cool. Give a young person a painting of Mount Monadnock and see them welcome art, culture, adventure and exploration into their existence. Broaden their horizon—in a good way. Forever. They will not discard a real work of art. It has lasting value, whether it appreciates monetarily or not. The initial cost commands respect and that is a good thing to develop in any young person.

For the guy who has everything

Mountain view in Pastel by Ruth Sterling
Pastel by Ruth Sterling

Father’s Day is ideal for art if only because dads tend to think that they have everything they need already. For the guy who loves fishing, a painting of his favorite stream or lake can be a memento of life by the water, providing a visual oasis into fishing season year-round. Scenic golf courses in our area—like Bretwood and Shattuck captured in a painting—can give a daydreamer the opportunity to jump into the picture and onto the green. For the baseball fan who collects Red Sox memorabilia, a painting of Fenway Park could provide a backdrop that whispers, “See how much my kid loves me?” It may sound silly, but that is the message inside a gift of fine art. A gift for posterity and legacy.

Wedding bell bliss: the art of gift-giving

Newlyweds embarking on a new life no doubt have their own tastes and preferences but imagine presenting them with a work of art reflecting their style. And if the subject of the art reflects some aspect of their lives—the place they met, their honeymoon destination, their hobbies or interests—well, what could be more thoughtful?

Your gift to the world

We are so fortunate in the Monadnock Region because we are in an area that attracts and sustains many highly celebrated artists. New talent emerges constantly here too—with art education programs and plenty of opportunities for artists to display and sell their work.

If you are already part of the art-buying public, you know the good feeling you get beautifying your space while supporting artists. Together, you are making the world just a little nicer, one piece of art at a time. And helping our region’s talented artists live and self-support.

If you’ve never considered yourself an art connoisseur and haven’t stepped into the fun of it all, there’s no time like the present. (See what we did there…?)

Note: All of the gift suggestions mentioned above are currently available at the Monadnock Area Artists Association ART GALLERY at Syd’s on St. James Street in downtown Keene. Prices range from under $100-up, with some of area’s best talent represented. Images displayed here may be cropped or details of the actual art.