Jan 30

Four Insider Tips for Shopping an Art Market

outdoor art market with lots of people shopping

Huntsville is fortunate to have several Art Markets throughout the year. Arts Huntsville itself presents Panoply in April, Monte Sano Art Festival in September, and Christkindlmarket in December.

No matter which market you attend, the amount of art can sometimes be overwhelming or intimidating. With varying styles and price tags, purchasing art can be a tough decision. Our goal is for you to walk away with art you love! To accomplish that, here are our own insider tips for shopping at an art market.

1. Know Your Budget

A good rule of thumb heading into an art market is to go with an overall budget in mind. This could be a sum per piece of art or an overall total shopping budget. Either way, this is smart art shopping.

If there is an artist that you are looking forward to, do some research ahead of time to get a feel for their retail prices. If there is no particular artist you are looking forward to, check out the market’s website for artist information.

Remember, there is always a range of art prices at an art market. Don’t let an assumption of price keep you away. There are always affordable options. Go inside the artist’s booth and take the time to look at their full range of offerings.


If you are building an art collection, start a savings plan dedicated to art purchases. That way, you can tap into these savings if you fall in love with a piece of art that you can’t leave behind but is out of budget.

2. Art Size Matters

Going into an art market, it’s so helpful to know what space(s) you have available to fill with art. Sometimes it might be an entire empty wall, other times, it might be a few inches of space. You may only have shelf space or maybe a couple of different spaces throughout the home.

Knowing what you have space for helps narrow down your options and makes for more efficient shopping.


Don’t be afraid of small art in unusual spaces. Most of our homes are full of little bits of wall or shelf space that we don’t consider for traditional art. Change that. Put art in the weird spaces!

3. Color Schemes Inform

If you have an existing color scheme, you’ll want to look for art that complements, accents, or contrasts your space. You may need to shop for that perfect pop of color or a major show-stopper piece to build an entire room around. It’s also worth the time to shop at an art market to find those lovely accent pieces that can complement existing art and color palettes.

Artist selling colorful paintings at an art market


Give yourself permission to buy art you love. Maybe it doesn’t “match” in the traditional sense, but color preference can be highly personal. At the end of the day, make sure it’s a piece you enjoy having around.

4. Style Your Space

As with color schemes, knowing what style of art to shop for helps narrow down your options. Keep in mind your style may also evoke mood and emotion. Bold dark art pieces give off an entirely different vibe from soft airy pastels. The material also factors into style. From wood to metal, from acrylic to watercolor, the artist’s medium is important in blending new art into your existing collection and overall style.


Art can be a great way to express your personal style if you are limited in what you can do with your space (renting, living with family, etc.). When restricted in how you can decorate, investing in art can give you a portable way to carry your style with you wherever you go.



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