There’s No Place Like Home, Especially if it’s an Art Museum
Writer / Neal G. Moore
As local art shows go, this one is a bit unusual. However, Dr. Frank Emmert says opening a person’s home to the public for the purpose of sharing a personal art collection is a common practice in his native Germany. “Instead of sitting at home, get out and enjoy some art,” the professor of international law at the McKinney School of Law at IUPUI says. “You don’t have to buy. Come and look and leave.”
Emmert and his wife, Salma Taman, are artists (painters), art collectors and art sellers. Together they own about 150 pieces. The couple will host IMAC’s (International Marketplace for Artists & Collectors) third annual Arts Show & Fundraiser. More than 100 pieces of art representing various mediums from artists around the world will be tagged for public sale.
“We wanted a charity to receive some of the proceeds from the art sales,” Emmert explains. “The law school is trying to get funding—money for student scholarships and programs.” Last year, the McKinney school agreed to become the recipient. The Emmerts will donate half of all proceeds to help educate students and defer tuition costs. Last year three pieces sold for $1,640 with more than $800 designated for donation.
While some art pieces are likely to be sold, the larger point, says Emmert, is exposing the public to entrancing beauty. “We want more people looking at the arts. We have paintings and mixed media pieces from Europe, Africa, Asia and the U.S., rather colorful pieces—impressionist, expressionist—not traditional. Relatively modern 20th and 21st century.”
Art show visitors can enjoy a glass of wine and the likelihood of live music while browsing the Emmert/Taman collection with prices ranging from $250 to several thousand dollars. “We want to sell because we keep on buying. It is a way to even out the collection. We’ve had a few pieces for several years. This creates turnover,” Emmert says, adding that the couple frequently redecorates their home. “We are at a stage with a room that is stacked [with art] that we want to sell.”
Emmert emphasizes, however, that visitors are free to come for the art tour and leave with their wallets intact. “That’s perfectly fine with me. We won’t be resentful if visitors don’t buy anything. It’s almost like a small museum—we have interesting works. Spend an hour or two here.” Emmert says just selling isn’t all that much fun. The couple have donated a number of art pieces, and they see the upcoming art show as a great way to combine turnover of their collection with doing something good and useful for the community.