I Believe in Art Saints by Ana Flores - I know people who�ll make courageous innovative efforts to have art in their lives. They�ll eat peanut butter for a year in order to pay off an artist month by month for a piece they�ve bought. They believe art is necessary food for their soul. As an artist, I love these kind of people, I call them art saints and this year I�ve been lucky enough to have a few in my life. Andrew, a new friend, called last summer six weeks before his second marriage to speak to my husband and me. �Friends keep asking us about a wedding registry and Megan and I�ve decided we don�t need another blender so we�d like to list your web sites as our registry. With the funds collected we�ll commission a work by each of you. What do you think?� I paused, stunned. �We�d love to create pieces for your new home and what a great idea- registering with artists instead of pottery barn!� Over the next three months fourteen friends registered and a �village� of patrons blossomed ea- ger to see the work we�d make for the unique spaces that he and Megan had designed together.
Luli is another saint. �I�d rather invest in something I love rather than the stock market,�she told me as we sat in her terraced garden. She�d spent a decade transforming this overgrown hillside along the Hudson River. �I want to see one of your pieces there�. She pointed to a space be- tween two trees. �The cost of bronze is like gold these days.� I warned. She was unfazed, excited instead by the prospect of watching the sculpture grow. Unfortunately there�s not enough saints to go around for so many artists, but an art collecting idea I learned about when we lived in New Zealand might offer a template for collecting on tight budgets. While there I met the Stitchbury club, fifteen women from Auckland whose focus was contemporary three dimensional work ranging from jewelry to outdoor sculpture. Each contributed a set amount annually to their art bank. Every month - like a book group�they ga