This is my first interview in an ongoing series on art collecting.
After the work leaves my studio I have often wondered about the relationship that develops between the artwork and owner; how their perception of the painting or drawing may evolve over time, what compels them to collect and how the piece informs and fits into their daily lives.
Lucy Thompson-Urban Planner in the City of St. Paul. Art Collector.
“I think a large part of the way I look and participate with art has to do with my interest in urban design and architecture.”
TC: Have you an overarching aesthetic for your home and life?
LT: Simplicity. Solid colors, no patterns or prints. I like clean lines and visually accessible elements. For me that means calming. Home is my place to restore and re-energize and so simplicity is part of that-I don’t fuss with things. I really don’t think about my design aesthetic-people will tell me when they visit that my house is very readable but I don’t think that I need to get this piece or that thing, I just buy things that I like and put them together so I am not thinking about the whole necessarily. Yet, when I walk into this house there is a whole here that works for me.
TC: That always seems like the best place to be-you have a clear sense of what’s important and so if you trust that, whatever you bring home will marry to your other things. I always try to encourage people to not focus too much on a certain spot for an artwork because it may live there for a while and then it may move.
LT: Yes-I would think that it should move-that spatial understanding is always changing.
TC: When did you begin collecting art?
LT: I started really collecting when I bought my first house-maybe 25 years ago. I’ve been more deliberate about it since then. My ceramics obsession has been deeper and with me for a long time. I really collect what I like and don’t over think it. I trust my own aesthetic and taste
TC: What do you collect?
LT: Ceramics, original works on paper-watercolors, landscapes and small paintings, limited edition prints, and jewelry
TC: What motivates you to collect?