Humans are natural collectors. Some like stamps, others gather and sort bottle caps. But art collectors have always held a special place in society. And we all have walls, don’t we? We have to fill them don’t we? Shouldn’t we all be art collectors? Or at least think like one?
Sacred Heart University’s Gallery of Contemporary Art is hosting a panel of four noted art collectors. “The Passionate Collectors: For Love or Money” begins tonight at 7 and is moderated by Ann Chernow. The event is free and open to the public.
The conversation coincides with Ben Ortiz’s “Juxtapositions” show, and Ben is one of the panelists and he will be joined by James Hedges IV, Hugh Bareiss and Mitche Kunzman.
They will examine why people collect art and how those collections connect to audiences everywhere.
“The idea for the panel discussion on collecting art naturally came out of our current exhibit,” said Sophia Gevas, director of the Gallery of Contemporary Art.
While organizing the exhibition, Gevas did research into what motivates individual collectors and discovered that the reasons behind acquiring art were as varied as the collectors themselves. The common thread that seems to be shared by all collectors is passion.
Chernow is a renowned artist herself and widow of Burt Chernow whose significant private collection graces Housatonic Community College and the Chernow Galleries.
Hedges has been named by Arts and Antiques magazine as one of “The Top 100 Collectors in America.” An early leader in the hedge fund and alternative investments industry, he is the President of The Hedges Family Charitable Foundation. Kunzma is co-founder and director of the Artifacts Lanier Gallery in Darien. And Bareiss, who has been collecting art “since birth,” according to the press release, is the son of Walter Bareiss, who is also a collector. The elder Bareiss bought his first Picasso at age 14 and parts of his collection reside in such august locations as The Getty Museum, The Toledo Museum of Art and the Yale University Art Museum. The younger Bareiss is managing director of Art Management International LLC, an art appraisal and art estate planning company.
Ortiz, whose collection is currently in the gallery and throughout the county as part of Hispanic Heritage Month, began collecting art as an adolescent growing up in Bridgeport. In nearly four decades, he has amassed a collection of over 1,500 pieces of art that largely focus on figurative works from the Caribbean, Latin American and Latino artists.