Thank you for the advice to budding collectors! The first step into the art world has always been scary for some of my friends and micro-guides like yours make the process much more accessible.
What are you thoughts on art book fairs for early collection building? My personal experience has been that, generally, the prices are lower and this is a good way to talk to artists and publishers directly.
Also, having graduated from a top MFA program :), one quick advice to your readers. The kidos in the open studio situations are still trying to impress the world with art-speak. Don’t let this intimidate you or irritate you too much when you reach out to talk to them. It’s a part of normal growth and they will internalize theory and learn a little more history over the next couple of years after school i.e. will start speaking like normal humans. Look for growth potential and follow them for the 2–3 years after graduation to see what trajectory their work takes.