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While buttery leather bags, luxe facial serums, and glitzy baubles are certainly splurge-worthy, we're making the case that original artwork is the ultimate grown-up indulgence. Once you're out of the paycheck-to-paycheck phase of life, setting aside funds to invest in works that delight and inspire you is a truly adult pastime — but you don't have to be a certified high roller to feather your nest with fine art.
Case in point: Washington D.C. is a hotbed for emerging artistic talent. With several top-notch art schools in the area, countless galleries and fellowships that support up-and-comers, and a creative scene that’s bursting at the seams, the DMV offers a host of opportunities to start collecting real-deal original art. Where to start? Take time to tour studios, peruse artists' websites, pop into gallery openings, and browse the slideshow ahead.
There are scores of artists with mad talent among us, presenting affordable work everywhere you look — online, at art auctions, and in alternative art spaces all over town. To get you started, we’ve scouted a handful of D.C. artists whose work is accessible even on a modest budget. Our only advice: Run — don’t walk — to scope these impressive portfolios.
Photographed by Emma McAlary.