original fine arts gallery


 The traditional path to art world notoriety has usually included art school followed by showings in galleries, and being noticed and collected by well-known art patrons and eventually museums, with the accompanying media attention to keep it all going. Urban art has by all accounts turned this system on its head and instead of artists praying to start out in galleries they are finding their audience first, literally, out in the open, on the street.  From there, with the masses telegraphing their preferences via the internet, the attention-getting artwork then moves into the galleries. 


Artists’ long-held frustration at often not being able to have their work seen in galleries has, in the case of Urban Art, found an outlet in having unlimited audiences able to view their art, thus propelling it into the galleries.  In February, 2008 when Bono’s Red auction was held in New York it was Banksy’s work that set new price records even in the rarified company of work from some of the art world’s most lauded producers.  The Tate Modern in London, the world’s most visited Modern Art Museum,  in May hosted ‘Street Art,’ an exhibition during which an entire side of its building was utilized by Urban artists.  


As accessibility has driven the meteoric rise of Urban Art sales worldwide, the availability of emerging artists’ work on facilitating mechanism that is the internet will eventually yield the same trajectory. 


We felt art before we intellectualized it. Just as the internet has facilitated heretofore unseen levels of political participation and contribution, the increasing amounts of artwork online is raising the public’s comfort with and confidence and trust in their own artistic gut reactions and taste.  Trust in one’s own evaluative ability is rising alongside a very quiet decline in the experts’ ability to dictate worth and value.  Formerly geographically isolated artistic fiefdoms are falling and being replaced as the internet facilitates new levels of artistic exchange and collaboration.

Those with an interest in art do not need Charles Saatchi or any other art dealer telegraphing taste. It’s no coincidence that just as an increasing number of people are turning toward a spirituality which is personally meaningful and away from traditional organized religious structures, blind faith in the opinions handed down by the arbiters of taste in the art world are gradually being replaced by an overarching supreme, personal aesthetic.

Before co-founding CapucinesBoulevard.com, I spent my career investing in small and micro cap value stocks which basically means the smallest and least expensive 5% of all public companies – and despite the fact that these were all well-run enterprises, most investors didn’t pay much attention to them — so, when I went to visit companies to learn more about their operations, many were pleased that someone was actually interested.

Most importantly, by spending the time to get information that other investors were ignoring, I was able to find opportunities that others missed. I believe that like small and micro cap value stocks, Emerging Artists are the greatest investment opportunities that no one has ever heard of.


Many people make the mistake of looking at art as something that’s nice to have, but that simply doesn’t meet the qualifications of a necessity. How wrong they are. 

Art happens to be the biggest unregulated, legal economy in the world to the tune of $64B worldwide, in fact, it grew 95% between 2002 and 2006 and, the truth is, as Robert Redford has said, “culture is a solid investment”


Make no mistake, art isn’ fluff. We live in an abundant country, and have pretty much taken care of all of our basic needs, and our culture places increasing value on creativity and innovation: the ideas that catch on today are those that represent conceptual leaps – they give us things that we didn’t know we were missing, not things we necessarily needed, but ideas that appeal to our creative natures.


Artists begin with an innate advantage in this new economy by their very ability to see and to think differently. And Art is becoming more and more intertwined with our daily lives: we can see it in the examples of corporations buying Contemporary art in order to attract and inspire their employees, and to highlight their brands to the world while giving something back to society — and these companies aren’t cutting back on their art buying despite what’s going on in the economy, because they’ve come to recognize how much the visual really drives our culture, and keeps them top of mind.


The other side of this new economy other than the art itself centers around the value of it — art should always be purchased for the joy it brings, but art is also an asset and if it’s bought for pleasure and gives the investment returns for free, what more could anyone ask?

However, when it comes to art, it’s contemporary art that’s in demand because even though people admire the Old Masters, what they want to own are representations of their own culture and time. Contemporary art is more topical and often more interesting and now, it’s becoming more valuable.


Art isn’t usually an asset that springs to mind when thinking of investment alternatives, but its long-term performance record argues that it should be.

For the last 50 years, contemporary art has outperformed the S&P 500, which means that someone who bought a portfolio of art would have done better than someone who invested in the stock market over the same time period. The same holds true during every major war of the twentieth century and through the twenty seven recessionary periods since 1875.


From an investment standpoint, and most important for Emerging Artists, is the fact that there is no greater advantage to buying more expensive works of art, buyers get the same returns buying artwork that’s never been exhibited or received any citations, as they would buying the work of artists with more notoriety. 


There’s truly never been a better time to be an emerging artist. With their power to inspire, and yes, to prosper, the record is quite clear: the VALUE is in work of the emerging artist.

We have the pleasure of introducing our newest blog Original Fine Arts Gallery http://www.originalfineartgalleryonline.com/.  It is already filled with exciting stories and photos about art and artists.The intent of this blog is to introduce you to talented emerging artists from around the world, and their artwork. You’ll discover a depth of information about them and their creative achievements, as well as relevant and timely stories about art and its impact.  We also plan to show you the wonders of the world of art beyond the “walls” of our gallery: for instance, you can already browse posts with photos of architectural masterpieces. Take time to discover the value of art!


The arts are a workplace and living hub. The presence of art and cultural events is naturally attractive, particularly to a younger demographic, and often deterministic when it comes to choices about where to live and work. The true value of art derives from this innate understanding of art’s key, but often unspoken, role in many of the most important choices that we make, i.e. where to live, work and congregate. Those choices in turn propel economic activity. 


In his groundbreaking book, “The Rise of The Creative Class,” Richard Florida employs exhaustive research to determine that “places with a flourishing artistic and cultural environment are the ones that generate creative economic outcomes and overall economic growth.”  That in fact it is easy to extrapolate an area’s degree of innovation and the penetration of high technology industries, as well as its employment and population growth, based upon the resident number of artists (painters, sculptors, photographers, dancers, actors, writers, ect.).


Of the 350 public art programs across the U.S., the average size is just under 800K. In total, the programs fund $150M annually in public art with a decidedly upward trend. The genesis of these municipal programs is traceable to the National Endowment for the Arts’ decision to establish its program, Art in Public Places with the belief that art in highly-trafficked locations can serve as a balm to the spirit, while encouraging camaraderie and group gatherings.


There’s an understanding that attracting a younger, educated workforce requires that an area possess a certain creative ‘buzz’.  Supporting the arts therefore is crucial, hence the types of programs that exist in Lucas County, OH, or Manchester, England, or Columbia, MO.  These types of programs foster the flourishing of the arts and cultural opportunities, and ultimately result in an enhanced quality of life. 


In Lucas County, OH, the new Art Assist program provides 1% loans to residents to purchase art from area galleries with price tags between $500 to $2,500. The program’s ultimate aim is improvement of the county’s quality-of-life by enhancing its art scene and thus attracting highly sought after younger, educated workers. The program was modeled on that put in place in Manchester, England, a once vibrant factory city in need of redirection in the technology age.  There, civic leaders also came to view a thriving arts scene as vital to its rebirth. 


In Atlanta, GA, a new condo tower called Gallery is being developed complete with a 1,200 square foot art gallery featuring rotating exhibits anchoring the ground floor. The tower is expected to attract residents interested in creative clustering, not to mention the fact that each unit includes original contemporary art loaned to residents. 


In Columbia, MO, a unique arts program encourages businesses to purchase new artwork from area artists every year.  Organizers believe that original art has a strong impact on businesses’ ability to attract and retain employees. The feedback is that these businesses are perceived as offering a more cutting-edge, innovative atmosphere. 


When an area requires revitalization, the first tool in the governing body’s arsenal should be art.  In recognition of this reality, the state of Maryland in 2002 established the nation’s first Arts and Entertainment Districts designed to bring together artists and arts-related venues in order to spur development.


The data are clear that in terms of job creation, household income and governmental revenue, the arts are an invaluable industry. Therefore, the primary decision for cities and states must center around anchoring the arts.


Capucine Price


Email: Support@CapucinesBoulevard.com

January 23, 2008





“Man will begin to recover the moment he takes art as seriously as physics, chemistry or money”   Ernst Levy


What’s the best capital gains tax rate for the sale of artwork? There are currently  several arguments being made against reducing the capital gains tax rate on the sale of artwork from the current level of 28% to the 15% rate enjoyed by sellers of real estate, securities and other assets.  Arguments against the reduction center around the view that art is not an asset which plays any real role in economic activity, particularly job creation, and revenue generation.  Nothing could be further from the truth.   


When the forces against tax reduction argue that to do so might shift money into art at the expense of more productive activities they fail to appreciate the significant and documented economic impact that art has made and continues to make on everything from job creation, to neighborhood redevelopment to tourism. 


Uneven tax policy has also played a role in reducing museum offerings, and hence the public’s access to art as a result of the tax treatment of artists.  Since they are only allowed to write off the cost of materials for donated works instead of the fair market value of the artwork, artists are less inclined to make donations. The negative impact on museums is compounded by the strength of the art market of late, particularly for Contemporary art, all of which reduces museums’ ability to acquire work.


Nevertheless, the value of innovation to our society is becoming more and more clear. Businesses that own and display art are perceived as being more innovative, interesting and desirable places to work.  Real estate developers are incorporating art galleries into new condominium towers to entice buyers seeking differentiable living experiences.  In connection with its recent renovation, the Aventura Mall in South Florida now includes a twelve-piece, museum-quality art collection designed to be a destination in a clear indication that creativity is valued and valuable.


In the third study conducted by the group Americans for the Arts titled Arts and Economic Prosperity III, data was collected from 116 cities and counties, 35 multi-county regions, and five states. The areas stretched from Walnut Creek, California to Anchorage, Alaska. They found that nationally, the arts generate $166.2 billion in annual economic activity, up 24% over the past five years. That’s greater than the 2006 GDP of either Malaysia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Columbia, Singapore, and the list goes on!  Furthermore, the arts provide 5.7 million jobs and contribute $104.2 billion to household income,and, they produce $30 billion in annual local, state, and federal revenue. 


Two specific examples:  In Baltimore City, Maryland, the arts are responsible for $270 million annually, provide 6,500 jobs, and generate $12.6 million in local government revenue.  In a study released in June, 2007, Rochester, New York (Monroe County) calculated that the attendance and sales revenues generated by its arts and cultural organizations were responsible for a total $199 million annual infusion into its economy. 


Far from playing a neutral role in this country’s economy, art continues to demonstrate its uniquely productive role as a strong generator of jobs and tax revenue, just as any other important industry. Therefore there really isn’t any defensible rationale for penalizing art investors with an incremental 40% tax bill.



Capucine Price


Email: Support@CapucinesBoulevard.com

January 15, 2008

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is currently quite a frenzy in the U.S. credit markets. Coincidentally, a frenzy of a different sort has overtaken worldwide art markets. The hubbub In the credit market resulted from staggeringly bad decisions to underwrite loans of questionable quality. Demand from investors for these loans was equally detrimental as it was based upon shoddy analysis and a devil-may-care attitude toward risk. Therefore no one should be genuinely surprised by the continuing unfolding of this market’s demise.  And, unfortunately, the damage isn’t confined to that single market; the economics underlying the credit market flows inevitably into the equity market as the narrowing of the loan spigot trickles inexorably down to infect the broader economy. 


There is very little reason to expect the stock market to prosper when consumers, who have for many years provided the fuel to our economy, can no longer rely upon refinancings to fund their spending, and are in fact declaring bankruptcy at almost unprecedented rates.  In addition to the pinched consumer, U.S. corporations are also feeling the effects of reduced credit availability, hence the Fed’s recent decision to provide liquidity via the discount window. The fallout is becoming clear in the already apparent slowdown in job growth, and the cycle feeds upon itself. 


Only rarely in history has art received the degree of attention that it is currently enjoying. In the contemporary art market, demand has been on a tear with values quadrupling over the past eleven years. Sotheby’s sales of Contemporary art increased from 98 million pounds in 2002 to 343 million just in the first six months of 2007. Annualizing the 2007 figure yields a compound annual growth rate of 47.5% over the five year period. Christie’s has enjoyed similar results with sales in the first half of 2007 up 45% over 2006. Driven by demand from newly created wealth from around the world, buyers continue to turn their eyes toward art as not only an aesthetic pleasure, but a defensible investment as well.  Interest in reliable alternative investments is always heightened when the foundations of the bellwethers become rocky. And if history is a reliable guide, art values will continue to be favorably impacted as credit and equity markets lose some of their luster. 


In contrast to those advising adherence to more conventional, widely accepted assets in the face of art’s  seemingly inexorable run and the aforementioned economic tsunami, I would argue that now is the time to go for the non-traditional investments and to look to instruments that over time will, and have, served as true stores of value, i.e. art.



Capucine Price


Email: Support@CapucinesBoulevard.com

January 7, 2008

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