Buying art can feel like a very adult thing to do.
There's the commitment for one and then the cost. Many artists are willing to give you pieces for less when they see that you are drawn to their work; and yet haggling with a creative on something they've poured his or herself into feels iniquitous. You're buying the piece to support the artist after all; and they're making a living off of their craft. With gift-giving season in full swing—and now that we've moved beyond Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday—here are some of the best low-key showrooms where you can pick up original art from local artists at prices that will feel like a steal.
3 Fish Studios
Husband and wife owners Eric Rewitzer and Annie Galvin. (Courtesy of Fish Studios)
On your next trip to the beach, check out this independent shop absolutely dripping with California pride. Inside, you'll find everything from posters, magnets, bags, and even furniture—most from the owners themselves (pictured above). If you have a favorite neighborhood or SF icon in mind, chances are you'll find it lovingly recreated here. If you're looking for a date idea, 3 Fish Studios offers printmaking classes where you can take your creations home with you. // $5 to $200, 10am - 6pm, 4541 Irving St. (Outer Sunset), 3fishstudios.com
Secession Art and Design
Look for this sign on your way down Mission St. (Courtesy of Secession Art and Design)
Located in Mission La Lengua, Secession is a small gallery situated in between taquerias and dive bars. Inside you'll find charming knick-knacks and quintessential SF clothing nestled between large-scale wall pieces. The store strikes a great balance of being a serious gallery and offering any neighborhood passerby a piece of art. // $30+, 2pm - 7pm (closed Mondays), 3235 Mission St. (Bernal Heights), secessionsf.com
Creativity Explored's studio space. (Courtesy of Creativity Explored)
Featuring art created exclusively by artists with developmental disabilities, Creativity Explored is a gallery with a mission. Founded in 1983, this Mission gallery and studio space has long been a home to artists with extra hurdles to overcome. Creativity Explored is interested in helping these artists create profitable businesses and helps them sell their art. If you can't make it in, you can also snag something from their online shop. // $20+, 10am - 5pm Monday to Saturday, 3245 16th St. (Upper Market), creativityexplored.org
East Bay Print Sale
Will you head over to Berkeley? (Courtesy of the East Bay Print Sale)
Why not make your art buying experience an event? For the fifth year in a row, Max's Garage Press is hosting its famous East Bay Print Sale in Berkeley. It's free to get into and includes a huge selection of affordable prints, woodcuts, screen prints, and more. Complete with live music, this is one art sale you don't want to miss. // RSVPon Facebook, $10+, 10am - 4pm Dec 8th to Dec10th, 1006 Pardee St. (Berkeley)
Lost Art Salon
Positively stacked with framed art.(Courtesy of Lost Art Salon)
If you're looking for some vintage flair, there's probably no place better than the Lost Art Salon. Featuring authentic, vintage artworks from the modern era (1900's to 1960's) and several countries, this gallery is filled wall-to-wall with rare, one-of-a-kind finds. While the prices may be a little higher than the other shops on this list, you know you're getting something special. Even if you're not looking to drop some cash, it's still fun to go take a peek. // $50 - $500, 10am - 5:30pm Monday to Saturday, 245 South Van Ness Ave. Suite #303 (Mission), lostartsalon.com