"I don't know art, but I know what I like."
And in this case, I like free or cheap art. It's more than enticing- it's brilliant.
The Fine Art Adoption Network is exactly that- a site that matches artworks up for adoption with potential new owners. For free, really. (Ok, if shipping is involved, it's only right that the adopter pays for that, but seriously, FREE.) I acquired a lovely black-and-white abstract piece on vellum a few years ago, and all one has to do to adopt the art is to apply and wait to be approved by the artist. I love the idea of FAAN using a "gift economy" to get works of art out to a new audience and expand their exposure, and I really love the idea of being able to collect new original works without having to 1) pay, or 2) worry about the whole "how do I buy art?" code of transactions.
(I am kind of in love with this Teseo Fournier West piece at the moment.)
The forever-cool Laia tipped me off to 20x200. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, a new piece is introduced in limited print runs, and in various sizes. Prices start at $20 and go up to $2000, depending on the size of the piece and the number of pieces produced, and oh my god I'm going to end up with a kick-ass art collection thanks to this site. Maybe starting with this print by Carlo Van de Roer. Or Tema Stauffer's ode to Minnesota.
Oh, and if you're in the Twin Cities, you probably already know about the Minneapolis College of Art and Design's annual student art sale and have November 20-21, 2009 marked on your calendar. Race you to Azia afterwards!