Brent Foley Believes in the Importance of Collecting Art

In preparation for Wild Art Columbus (WAC) this Thursday, April 15, we talked with Brent Foley, local art collector and partner at Triad Architects, about his thoughts regarding the culture of collecting in Columbus.

How did you become an art collector?

Clumsily! I started buying pieces at art festivals. Then I joined the steering committee for the Columbus Arts Festival. And I started buying more pieces. Then I started a gallery (Gallery Denmark — no longer running). And I started buying more pieces and being gifted pieces. Then I started attending Wild Art Columbus. And I started buying more pieces!!! My taste changed over time.

Fred Conlon — Turtle Helmet Sculpture — Foley Collection

Do you remember the first piece you bought?

The first piece I purchased was this clunky turtle made out of an army helmet. I bought it at an artist community in Kentucky. I was 24 years old. I don’t remember much else about the circumstances.

Brian Ewing — Detective Comics #776 — Print — Foley Collection

What do you think about when you are collecting?

Over time, I’ve really become interested in supporting local Columbus artists. More specifically, I like to get to know people in the art community and buy their work. This is isn’t always the case, but I am often more drawn to a piece when I know or have a friendship with the artist. It makes me feel more connected to the work and the context of its creator.

How do you know which artwork to buy?

That’s a tough question. It’s really more of an impulse decision to me. Something just comes over me and I decide to buy it.

What do you think about the art collecting culture in Columbus, Ohio?

We need more collectors and we need more and more non-traditional, accessible ways to connect artists and potential collectors. We also need to be willing to pay more for art.

Anastasia Mak — Chicago Blues — Signed Print of Original Oil Painting

What advice do you have for someone who wants to start collecting art?

Just start doing it and see where it leads you. Try and get to know local artists and local collectors. Go to openings and shows. Look for things off the beaten path. And most of all, don’t be intimidated. Art should be accessible and bring you joy… or sometimes evoke other emotions. Don’t get caught up in what is trendy or cool. And don’t let others tell you your opinion of something is wrong. If you like it, you enjoy, it makes you weep… whatever it is, that’s good enough.

Start or build your art collection at Wild Art Columbus, on April 15, 6–9pm, via this public Facebook group. Over 150 pieces will be for sale for $100. Want to preview the pieces beforehand? Become a member of Wild Goose Creative for as little as $5/month.

This season’s Wild Art Columbus is presented by Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) and supported by Triad Architects, CASTO and Paradise Garage.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Wild Goose Creative

Wild Goose Creative

Wild Goose Creative is an arts organization whose mission is to build a creative community at the intersection of art, risk and meaning.