World Art Day is a day to appreciate the richness that the visual arts add to your life.
It’s also a day to appreciate the artists in your life: the kid who covers your refrigerator with hand-drawn comics; the friend who can’t resist scavenging fallen branches or discarded fabric remnants to make an art piece; the person who’s always sketching or painting in the park; or your partner who’s always covered in ink, clay, or paint spatters from evenings and weekends spent in their studio. Art is ultimately about seeing the world through their eyes, whether you’re browsing in a museum or hanging a painting on your wall.
For World Art Day, we’d like to give you a peek at the 2018 artwork trends and 2018 wall décor trends we’re watching at Ethan Allen. We’d also like to give you the inside scoop on how we choose works to add to our collection and how we connect with great artists.
2018 Artwork Trends
As we wrap up the second decade of the twenty-first century, we’re inhabiting a world of rapid technological change. As the world becomes more digital, we see the art world trending toward the corporeal: the organic things we can touch and feel.
At Ethan Allen, that means working with artists like Dawn Wolfe, who creates gorgeous papercraft artwork. She works with beautiful paper she discovers all over the world, such as handmade gold foil paper from Nepal. She meticulously folds things like vintage-inspired maps into beautiful shapes, from fans to dresses to swimsuits and more. She also adds paper art as a sculptural element to her prints, giving the work a 3D boost.
Another one of our favorite 2018 artwork trends is a renewed exploration of abstraction and distortion. We have an in-depth post coming on decorating with abstract art (stay tuned!) but for now, take a look at this piece we’ve recently added to our collection, Black and Blush by artist Milton Coppo.
In this work, bold black leaps forward while blush, surrounded by negative space, retreats into the background. You can see it as a symbolic work for a boisterous age, where big personalities around the edges tend to dominate the social conversation.
Or you can just like the colors and the bold brushstrokes—art appreciation doesn’t have to be deep.
One of our favorite 2018 wall décor trends involves materials and framing—these details become an extension of the work. We love this work by artist PC Ngo; it’s an abstract that we print on watercolor paper, trim with a fine, hand-drawn blue pen line, and mount in a champagne frame, adding both metallic color contrast and shine.
How Ethan Allen Artwork Comes to Life
When we’re looking for new works and new artists, we look to the art world. We visit shows. We hang out in artists’ studios. We also commission artwork that fits current home décor trends.
Our process often starts with a style book that we create. It’s a collection of images, text, and other things that inspire us. According to Ethan Allen director of wall décor and outdoor living, Margaret Francis, artists who like the style book and who are interested in working with us then generate unique, proprietary designs. We select the works we like and then add them to our collection, using mediums from giclée prints on specially chosen papers to frameless canvases.
When artwork does need framing, it’s done by hand by artisans in our Passaic, New Jersey, workshop. They choose or custom-build a frame that complements and supports the artwork’s look. Then, they might add mats and add hand embellishments, like fillets, pen lines, and more before sending it along to you.
Happy World Art Day!
Today, we encourage you to take a moment to salute the sculpture you pass in the park every day (you know, the one you walk by but barely notice). Spend an hour or even a day at a museum, immersing yourself in a world filled with masterpieces made by hand.
Buy a sketch book and some colored pencils. Doodle something wonderful in your notebook during a meeting. And explore the art of making home with us by subscribing to the blog.