Why invest in art?

Chuck Vella knows a winning strategy when he sees one. As the Principal of vellaINC, consulting organizations on public relations and marketing, it’s Chuck’s keen observation skills and eye for detail that help his clients strengthen their businesses. We sat down with him to talk about his recent DVAC CSA(rt) purchase, and one thing he said resonated with us that speaks volumes about this program: “The investment in a DVAC CSA supports local artists. A robust art scene improves quality of life. In addition, the CSA helps DVAC raise the bar for the community which, in turn, raises the bar for us. It’s a good thing.”
It’s a good thing this community has art lovers like Chuck who see the value in supporting programming like this. Here’s more on why Chuck decided this was a worthy investment.
Q: You recently purchased a DVAC CSA(rt) share — explain why you wanted to be a part of this program in its first year?

First, as a DVAC Board member, I believe I have a clear responsibility to support DVAC, the work it does, and the artists DVAC represents. Just as importantly, I believe DVAC, under Eva Buttacavoli’s leadership, has the capacity to make an even greater contribution to the arts and to our understanding of arts. The investment can support that capacity.

Q: How would you describe your art collection?

It’s funny to think of the works on the walls of my office and our home as a collection but I guess when you run out of wall-space the term is appropriate. It’s fairly diverse but I think I can say that two types of art are dominant. The first group is comprised of a number of large, abstract paintings and the second group represents a large number of prints. So, there’s a certain balance to it: abstraction and narrative.

Q: What was the first piece of art that you purchased?

The first piece is a set of 12 lithographs by the artist Jim Ridlon, a former collegiate and professional athlete, art instructor, and artist, who played football and taught at Syracuse University from which I am an alumnus. The prints represent 11 characters from Shakespeare’s plays and one is of Shakespeare, himself. I studied Shakespeare at Oxford University (England) so this collection is particularly meaningful. The prints are delicate and evocative of the plays.

Q: Have you purchased art from DVAC before and how do you feel about it looking back today?

Yes, I’ve made a number of purchases from DVAC and I’m very happy with those purchases. Eva and, before Eva, Marianne Lorenz, both of whom are art historians, educators, and curators, and both helped me sharpen my eye.

Q: What’s your advice for a first-time art buyer?

Avoid impulse purchases and find an expert to help guide you. You do not have to spend a huge amount to have some really nice art, but you need to spend enough to respect the artist.

Q: What would you say is your philosophy on buying art?

Dona (Vella) and I have just that: a philosophy. We strive to have comfortable and interesting surroundings. Sometimes “comfortable” fights with “interesting” therefore beauty and edginess often compete with each other. It’s a good thing. And, trying to avoid impulse purchases.

Q: What’s your art collection like and how do you think your six DVAC CSA(rt) pieces will fit in?

The art we have ranges from beautiful representational work to vivid abstracts to a bit of crazy. We have a large painting that Dona bought that depicts a sort of mad dog lying on its back on turtle and the dog’s feet are little rabbits. Whoa! I have no idea how the DVAC CSA(rt) pieces will fit in. That will be a surprise and part of the fun of the investment.

Q: What are your tips to offer someone wanting to learn more about art collecting?

Find an advisor like Eva Buttacavoli or a gallery owner, curator, art instructor.

UPDATE: Nina Chanel Abney's Artist Talk will be livestreamed instead of in-person on Saturday, September 18 at 6 p.m.