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Gallery Wall #goals

Art by Jorge Colombo, Sarah McKenzie, Jeremy Kohm, Austin Kleon, Mike Sinclair, Jacob Escobedo, James Rajotte, Clifton Burt, Joseph O. HolmesJason Polan, and Hollis Brown Thornton

Happy weekend, arty friends! We’ve got something extra special in store for you this fine Saturday. A few weeks back, we put out a call out to our collectors to share how they live with art for a chance to be featured on the blog. We asked, and you sure did deliver. We received some incredible images and testimonials from 20x200 collectors all over, and we’re excited to share our first (of many!) collector features. Meet Jim Arsenault, an interior designer from St. Louis and head of Mr. Jim Design.

 Beginning with a single Jorge Colombo print in 2009(!), Jim's eclectic array of 20x200 editions now numbers in the dozens! We love seeing our art in the wild, and Jim’s office salon wall is truly wild. With seventeen selections from artists like Joseph O. Holmes, Jacob Escobedo, Sarah McKenzie, and more, how could you not be inspired amongst company like that?? 

 We asked Jim how he started his collection, what he loves best about 20x200, and how he comes up with his brilliant and unexpected pairings. Read on for his answers and a virtual tour of his 20x200 collection.

Left: Art by Carlo Van De Roer. Right: Art by Joe Holmes

1.    Where are you from, and what do you do for a living? I am from St. Louis, MO, and among other jobs am an interior designer through my eponymous design firm Mr. Jim Design.   

2.    How did you start collecting art? I had long been interested in art, but it took me a while to begin collecting. My very first pieces were various paintings and drawings my friends did in college, but I feel the first pieces I collected in earnest were Jorge Colombo’s first iSketch pieces through 20x200 back in 2009.      

3.    What's your favorite 20x200 piece you've collected and why? Hands down it is Plattsmouth, Nebraska Carts #1 by Kate Bingaman-Burt. By the time I discovered 20x200, there was only one 40”x30” left in the entire print run. Early on I could only afford smaller prints, so I stalked that final print for a long time and was finally able to purchase it 7 years later!   

4.    Do you prefer single statement pieces or salon walls? I love them both and think they each have their time and place, but if forced to choose I would say single statement pieces. There is an immersive quality to large pieces of art that I have always been drawn to.     

5.    What's your personal style? What types of art do you gravitate towards?  My personal style is fairly eclectic—I love mixing vintage and contemporary pieces to create a layered, collected look. With art I tend to be drawn to large pieces with strong color, but I like to collect across several different mediums, from painting and drawing to photography and fiber art. 

Left: Art by Jason Polan. Right: Art by Alex McLean

6.    Your office salon wall is mighty impressive. What types of things do you take into consideration when pairing images together? For a large gallery wall, I try to vary the size and orientation of the pieces and keep the spacing as consistent as possible while limiting blank space. As for the pieces themselves, if they are all pieces you love, it is hard to go wrong- I even have a postcard and a needlepoint amongst everything on this wall. Good framing also does a lot to elevate what could otherwise be everyday objects.      

7.    You're a longtime, loyal 20x200 collector. What drew you to 20x200 and what do you love most about it? I was drawn to the fact that it was quality art that was signed in limited editions, but at the same time was still affordable. Like a lot of young collectors, I was afraid of making a mistake, but how big of a mistake can you make when a piece is 20 dollars? What I love most and what still sticks with me is the artists and their stories. When you buy a piece of art by someone, you feel bonded to them in a way, and watching Jorge Colombo get the New Yorker cover or Keith Shore design Mikkeller beer labels felt as exciting to me as some of my own accomplishments.    

8. What advice would you give others looking to start their own art collection? Go see as much art as you can- the more art you take in, the more you begin to understand what you are drawn to, and that familiarity helps you build confidence. Also, collect for you, not to impress someone else or attempt to make a profit 10 years down the line. The best collections are ones that truly reflect the person collecting them and help tell their story. 

Are you a 20x200 collector? We’d love to see what you’ve done with your art! Post a pic on IG or Twitter, and if you tag us +/or use the hashtag #20x200 for a chance at your own collector feature! And if you wanna see more 20x200 art in the wild, follow us on Pinterest and peep this board.