For most, when you're on the receiving end, the word "adoption" conjures up thoughts of smiling faces and open arms, along with new responsibilities and lifelong relationships. I experienced all of these recently when my doorbell rang and the postal worker handed me a little bundle of joy a piece of art titled "Whistling."
Having successfully adopted three cats over the years, I was giddy with excitement during my first visit to the Fine Art Adoption Network, or FAAN, located at fineartadoption.net. The site connects contemporary artists from around the world with potential collectors. In my case, in just a few weeks, I not only became the proud mother to a beautiful watercolor, I also made a new friend.
Washington D.C. artist Brece Honeycutt whose primitive watercolors I immediately loved is one of 97 artists currently involved in the program. After completing the basic (and free) registration process, I answered a few questions about myself and why I was interested in "Whistling." FAAN sent my e-mail directly to Brece for consideration.
Because any number of collectors may request the same piece, an adoption is never guaranteed. It is up to the artist to read the requests, continue the correspondence as desired and ultimately choose the best fit.
Who knew you could be nervous about a piece of art? Luckily, Brece responded within days. She and I exchanged numerous e-mails in which we discussed our feline companions, talked frankly about life and death (an emphasis of the adopted piece) and shared a love of words mine through my job, hers as a major component of her drawings.
Brece and I may never meet. In fact, it's likely we won't. But my world has expanded through my connection with her. When friends visit my home, they rarely leave without getting the whole story about my newest addition, as well as a promise to send them the Web site address. In this day of "bowling alone," FAAN uses technology not only to place art with those who may or may not otherwise be able to afford it, but to connect individuals. In some ways, the latter outcome proves more satisfying.
And while FAAN opens doors for collectors, it also benefits artists. The program allows paintings, sculptures, photos and drawings to get out into the world. To date, nearly 200 works of art have been adopted. It's the adopter's responsibility to pay for shipping, and when appropriate, framing, so there is no expense to the artist.
The time invested in communicating with potential collectors broadens the artist's scope, opening her up to new audiences. Individuals like me may adopt for personal pleasure. Larger installations might be picked up by budding museums to boost their collections. One of the most moving stories I read on the site described how an elementary school art teacher adopted a piece for his class and inspired his students to paint their own masterpieces based on the artist's method.
FAAN allows up to three adoptions per collector per month. Right now, there are 91 works waiting for the perfect placement. I've put in two additional requests, and while I'm a little less anxious this time, I'm still awaiting the possibility of fewer blank walls, and more new friendships.
Fine Art Adoption Network fineartadoption.net