Part 3: Connection

"Why Buy Original Artwork" series, by Dawn Rossbach

Thanks to meheret.xs from CA for letting me capture and share this enchanting moment. Meheret was visiting PR and loves art and when I saw her sitting on the floor, looking up at my painting the Spirit Tree, I couldn't help but try and snag that moment. And this captures exactly what this post is about.

Last week, we introduced to you the idea of looking for “quality” artwork in the actual physical characteristics of the materials being used to create the art; the archival papers, the pigmentation of paints/pastels, glues, etc.

But how does an original artwork improve the “quality” of our lives? Simply stated, art can improve our lives by the emotional connection to it and often through the connection to the artist themselves! Turns out, there are physical attributes when we experience looking at art that actually create the same emotions as when we fall in love!

When we connect with a specific artwork it introduces us to new experiences, presents a deeper understanding of our emotions, and brings forth questions we never knew we even had.

While creating art can be a very therapeutic process, an artwork you’ve fallen in love with because of its look is equally powerful. Appreciating an artwork can give you an emotional connection to a visual representation of a memory, feeling, or experience. Often we see an artwork that evokes an immediate response where we let out a little gasp or a “wow”!  Think back to a time where you experienced that.  While the artwork you own may not produce that initial “wow factor” you experienced the first time, it will continue to draw you in and bring you back that emotional connection. It is affirmed that if we look at artwork we perceive as beautiful, our brain is stimulated as when we fall in love.  Nice!

There’s a famous photograph titled “Grace” that was taken by Eric Enstrom, in Bovey MN that eventually became the state photograph for Minnesota.  I’ll let you look it up, but most of you will immediately recognize it and some of you that do not may find it interesting (especially if you go down the rabbit hole with the provided links). It was an image that graced (pun intended) many a Minnesota home and then some going well beyond the borders of the State. The photograph was popular enough to be reproduced on materials that didn’t last but the draw and pull of the emotion of that image connected many viewers to the perceived piety that was sold as part of the bill of goods. Check the link below, related to “Grace,” for behind the scenes and interesting tidbits. I’ll let you judge.

There’s also the fact that it turns out there are some physical benefits from appreciating art too!  According to, “The team found that stroke patients interested in art enjoyed better general health, found it easier to walk, and had more energy. They were also happier, less anxious or depressed, and felt calmer.” Who knew‽  Bring on the art!

Regardless if you are looking to buy a sculpture, a painting, a limited edition photograph, or hand-pulled print, you will have a connection to the piece that you will also be able to share with others when they see it.  Art is always a great conversation starter!  You’ll be able to share what you know about the image, the artist, the process and even the manner in which you acquired the work. For each original artwork, there is a story or a life experience, a meaning or an intention that inspired that artist to create that work. When you collect art, those ideas begin to complement your emotional state as well as bringing those stories and experiences into your space.

Or you could just keep it all to yourself. 

Fun Fact:  Don Boese who is mentioned in the Grand Forks Herald article below, was one of Dawn’s professors!