In the current economic climate, owning beautiful, original art can sometimes seem out of reach to many people. It can be difficult to justify spending your hard earned cash on a masterpiece, when you have school uniforms to buy and bills keep rising. However, art can be viewed as an investment, which will only appreciate in value over time, so how do you get a foot on the art collecting ladder when times are tough? One fun, inexpensive, way to begin is the ACEO card.
The idea of miniature art cards is not new. Examples of wallet sized works of art can be traced back to the sixteenth century. The late twentieth century saw the birth of the ATC (artist trading card) movement in Switzerland. Artists began trading baseball card sized art pieces, with the intention that they should never be sold, or exchanged for anything but other artists’ ATCs. However, in recent years, with increasing opportunities for artists and art collectors to trade over the internet, using websites such as eBay, collecting these tiny treasures has become a popular pursuit, no longer restricted to artists. Art cards, which are created to be sold rather than traded are known as ACEOs.
ACEO stands for Art Card Editions and Originals. To qualify as an ACEO, a piece of art must measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches. Other than the size, anything goes! ACEOs can be made from paper, card, canvas, or any other material you can think of. They can be rendered in acrylics, oils, watercolour, pencil, ink, collage, or even embroidered. They may be originals, or limited edition prints. Subjects and styles are as diverse as the materials used to create them. They can be matted and displayed in frames, or organised in albums. However, it seems that one is never enough. As any ACEO collector will tell you, once you start, you just can’t stop!