A Conversation with Jeannie Denholm

Art advisor Jeannie Denholm is the astute insider savvy collectors rely on. In her 25-year career in the arts, Denholm has gained expertise assisting private collectors and corporations with art acquisition, collection management and preservation, as well as placement. Through her work experience of managing the corporate collections associated with The Broad Art Foundation, Denholm became particularly knowledgeable about Southern California artists. As the founder of Southern California Arts Projects and Exhibitions (SCAPE) Working with artists, collectors, and galleries gives Denholm a unique perspective. Denholm says one of her long-time clients summarized it best, “Once you’ve lived with good art, you’ll never want to live without it.”

Q. Tell us about SCAPE.

A. SCAPE was established in Orange County in 2003 and is a hybrid business that delivers art exhibitions as well as art advising services to the community.  The business differs from a traditional gallery because I do not represent a specific stable of artists. This allows me to have more freedom in recommending artists to my clients as well as exhibit artworks in a variety of contexts.

Q. Are art advisor services mostly for established collectors?

A. Art Advisors help clients make intelligent decisions about what to buy, where to place the art, as well as how to care for their pieces so they can maintain their value. Clients can start buying art at different levels and stages. Beginning collectors often tell me they know what they like, but I find that the subtext is that they like what they know.  One of my goals is to always broaden a client’s perspective about art.  For the established art collector we offer client confidentiality and can conduct business anonymously through our firm, utilizing our market intelligence gained from extensive networking, travel to important art fairs, auctions and exhibitions.

Q. What is involved in collection management?

A. Collection management involves providing the layout, placement, framing and long-term care, as well as moving and storing pieces. Researching, cataloguing, and recording each piece in the collection is part of what we help with, as well as maintaining information about the artists, including reviews, books, and more. We also perform annual inspections to assess the condition of the art, and conduct market research that determines the current market value of the collection. We also arrange packing and shipping, framing and photography.

Q. What’s your advice on buying art as an investment?

A. Looking at art as an investment is a bit like stocks – there are different levels. If you’re really out to make an investment, you have to come in at a certain level. Younger artists with less of a selling history often require less of an investment up front, but there are no guarantees.  I always recommend that the focus of any art acquisition is based on purchasing art that one loves within their desired budget.  I try to help clients find work that is timeless, rather than trendy.  Only time will tell the true investment nature of any art purchase.

To learn more, contact Jeannie Denholm

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