Art Fair Suomi Guide for purchasing art

Are you interested in buying art? Has it sometimes crossed your mind, but maybe you have thought that purchasing art is not for you? Maybe you have thought that it’s too expensive? You have come to the right place! Buying art is for everyone and it doesn’t even have to be expensive. Check out our guide for purchasing art from the link below, and do not hesitate to be in touch if you are left with any questions.

Art for the home from Art Fair Suomi

What to do when feeling tempted to buy art?

Would you like to fall in love with an artwork? Does investing in art feel like a worthwhile and intriguing idea? This little guide will tell you how to get started. Buying art is not difficult, and it does not have to be expensive. You can pay for the artwork at once, but it is often also possible to pay in smaller instalments. In this concise guide, we will lead you through the process of choosing and buying art.

Buying art is for everyone, and there are numerous art forms and price ranges from which to choose. Galleries are low-threshold and – believe it or not – relaxed places for exploring various art forms. No prior knowledge or purchasing intentions are needed. You are welcome as you are!

Art can be bought directly from galleries or online shops maintained by galleries and art organisations. Some galleries have back rooms worth visiting, offering a chance to explore a full selection of artworks in peace. You can always ask for help and advice from the gallery staff, and sometimes you may even get tips directly from the artist.

The many forms of art

Art is very diverse. Before buying, it might be a good idea to get to know the different options available to see what interests you the most. Besides the traditional forms of visual arts—such as painting, printmaking, sculpture—plenty of newer art forms are available, such as performance, and photographic and media art. Among the rich and plentiful selection of art forms and techniques, there is certainly something to please the senses of each and everyone. Below, we will give a brief introduction to the different types of artworks.


Printmaking is a general term for techniques where the picture is produced by pressing or printing from the matrix where it was drawn, engraved, etched, painted, or exposed. Methods are traditionally divided into four groups, based on the part of the matrix on which the printing ink remains and on the component that transfers the colour onto the paper when printing. The use of matrices allows printing editions, sets of identical prints from one matrix. The artist verifies all individual prints by numbering and signing them. The numbering shows how many prints have been made from an edition. In Finland, editions are generally small.

Taru Kallio: Lilithin jälkeläinen (yksityiskohta)/ Descendant of Lilith (detail) 2021, öljyväri kankaalle / oil on canvas, 200 cm x 170 cm. Kuva / photo by Icaro Zorbar


Painting is a visual art form whose techniques and materials vary widely. Painting includes using such mediums as watercolour, gouache, oil, acrylic, and pastel. Painting is one of the most popular art forms, also in terms of art sales. In recent years practices around painting have increasingly extended to include the use of textiles, plastics, found or bought objects, sound or light elements, and other kinds of non-traditional materials, to name a few!

Performance art

Space and time are central elements for performance art—making each experience one of a kind. A performance situation creates a unique contact between artist and audience. Performances may be planned and scripted beforehand, but they can also be an improvisation born in the very moment of action. Sometimes, a performance is a combination of planned and improvised parts.

Performance art can be bought as a unique performance for a special occasion or as an already performed repetition. A performance is a refreshing opportunity for a company party or a customer event; it is a unique alternative for traditional theatre shows or concerts. You can also book a performance for family parties, weddings, anniversaries, funerals or as a surprise for other gatherings and special days.

A performance can also be documented, allowing the client to have a permanent document of the artwork.

Photographic art

Photographic art is a general term for artworks in which photosensitive materials are in other ways exposed to light, or when a camera is used to create a negative or positive image. Photographs are taken with both analogue and digital cameras. In recent years the use of analogue photography, i.e., film cameras, has risen again in popularity among both artists and buyers. Photographic prints can be created with various methods on photosensitive papers or produced with printers on a wide array of materials. Sometimes also printmaking techniques are employed. The themes present in photographic art are as broad as those within the visual arts in general, but documentary elements persist among them due to the medium and its history.

Photographic works are usually sold in editions, where each print is produced within a pre-announced limit, e.g., five copies. Thus, when a photograph is marked with ‘edition 1/5’, this particular print is the first one of the available five. The artist may also choose not to limit the number of prints, and some artists feel that unlimited reproducibility is an essential quality of the medium. In addition to prints, the photobook, with its diverse attributes, is an important form of expression for photographic artists.

Inka Bell: Shift (2023). Kuva: Paavo Lehtonen.


A sculpture is a three-dimensional work—today, the spectrum of materials used in sculpting varies widely. In addition to traditional materials (wood, bronze, stone), paper, plastics, ceramics, and textiles are commonly used. Sculptures come in different sizes and price ranges, and they are also available as custom works.

Video and Sound art

A video artwork is a work of art produced digitally, on video, film, or cine film. Video artworks are usually short, from around 1–30 minute long. There are numerous forms that a video artwork may take. They may or may not have a storyline, and they may be abstract, documentary, picturesque, animated, or something else.

Sound art is made of sounds, whereas music consists of notes. A sound artwork can be a digitally produced piece, or it can stem from a recording. Some sound artists work live, making each performance unique.

When you purchase a piece of video or sound art, you get both a copy of the performance and a master file signed by the artist. If needed, the master file can be further copied. You get the rights to publicly present the work and written instructions on how to install it.

Video and sound art function well on company premises. They give a modern feel at entrances, workspaces and customer events. Within office interiors or placed in outdoor public spaces, video and sound artworks draw attention. At home, video and sound artworks bring a special touch to parties and gatherings, and you can present them through your sound system, TV, or laptop.

The process of acquiring art

The process of purchasing art begins with a spark of interest. When you encounter an intriguing artwork at a gallery or an online shop and find yourself thinking about how amazing it would be to have it all for yourself, a wise next step is to determine whether the work is for purchase and still available. At each gallery, a red sticker next to the artwork means it is already sold. A sticker of another colour indicates that it is reserved for someone. With graphic artworks, there might be more prints available than what is on display.

If you are lucky, the artwork of your dreams is available. Congratulations! But you might still have some questions in mind. After all, one does not buy art every day! Remember that the gallery staff is there to help. Do not hesitate to ask for further information and advice.

So, here we are. You have found the artwork for yourself and gotten answers to your questions and doubts. What happens next?

Purchase agreement and payment methods

In the beginning, we pointed out that buying art does not have to be expensive. And that’s true. But sometimes it is, and, in any case, it probably costs more than your everyday groceries. But no worries, there are several payment methods available!

In addition to cash and card payments, galleries can usually send you an invoice for your purchase and often paying in smaller instalments is also possible. When in doubt, you can always ask about available payment methods directly from the gallery staff. You are free to choose the option that suits you best.

When and how do I get it home?

Transportation of an artwork might require some thinking beforehand – especially if the work is big or fragile. If the gallery doesn’t offer delivery and you do not have a transportation opportunity yourself, the gallery staff can help with finding other options. Sometimes, insurance might be a good idea for the duration of the shipment. If you buy artwork from an exhibition, you can pick it up after the show ends. If you buy online, make sure to read the delivery information on the website. If you need some advice on placing or hanging the artwork or on how to take care of it, you can ask the gallery staff or the artist.

Seinäjoen Taiteilijaseuran taidelainaamo Parsi / Seinäjoki Artists Associations’s Art Rental Shop Parsi. Photo: Katri Yli-Erkkilä.

What if I just cannot choose?

We feel you! But there’s a solution to this dilemma. Art galleries do not usually lend art, but there are special art lending services usually run by local art associations. You can explore the artworks available to rent both in physical or on online lending services. When you find something that sparks your interest, you can decide how long you would like to have it. An agreement is then made with the lender. After the time is concluded, you might notice that the art piece has grown to be an essential part of your home. No worries – you have the option to reclaim it for yourself! But sometimes that doesn’t happen, and in that case, you can return the work to the lending service when the time is up – after all, that’s what lending means, right? Art lending is a great opportunity, especially for those of us who need a bit of a change now and then. Want to have a different piece of art every month? Go for it!

Art Fair Suomi Guide for purchasing art