Locke & Associates: Adding to Local Art Scene

Friday, October 3, 2014

Just north of the California College of the Arts (CCA), on College Avenue near its intersection with Broadway, lies the office of art advisory firm Suzy R. Locke & Associates. While CCA's focus is on helping students "make art that matters," Locke & Associates is involved in much of what happens in the life of an artwork after its creation. Between educating collectors about art, helping to build art collections, and appraising artwork, Locke & Associates' practice is centered on interpreting, selecting, and setting the appropriate monetary value of art.

The most typical way in which a Rockridge resident would work with Locke & Associates would be when an art appraisal is required. Appraisals are important for estate planning and inheritances, donations to museums and taxes, and are essential for insurance policies. In the aftermath of the 1991 Oakland Hills Firestorm, for example, when many art collections and important works of art were lost, appraisals were a critical part of helping affected residents move forward with resolving their losses and claims.

A longtime area resident, Suzy Locke has worked with clients such as Dreyer's and Kaiser Permanente to develop their corporate art collections, was a devoted supporter of the Magnes Museum, and has participated in panel discussions on art collecting at JFK University and the Oakland Museum of California.

Her advice for potential art collectors? "The most important things about buying art are to buy what you love and never be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand a work. An artist or advisor will be happy to talk with you."

Frequently called away from her Rockridge office for projects like working with collectors in Chicago or attending art fairs such as Art Basel, Locke still feels deeply connected to the neighborhood: "Rockridge is diverse, vibrant, and one of the most sophisticated communities in Oakland, providing shoppers and visitors with a feast for the eye and the palate through its shops, restaurants, and great public library."

by Carl Schmitz

Carl Schmitz is Art Research Librarian at the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, spending the last decade working, shopping, dining, and running to the train on College Avenue. He can be reached at cschmitz@diebenkorn.org.