Manley Art Center presents the collections from artists in the community starting Tuesday, Nov. 6.

The idea for the show was to bring art work from members’ and nonmembers’ private collections to encourage collecting art. Unfortunately, shipping issues, insurance and having available the private collectors themselves proved to be problematic, according to Sharon Guy, gallery coordinator. But fortunately, the discussion of collecting went in a totally different direction.

Many local collectors offered their art work to be exhibited, as well as other items they have collected.

“The more I visited homes, these questions keep buzzing in my head, ‘Why Do We Collect?’ and ‘Why Do You Collect That?’” Guy said.

Everyone collects something regardless of age starting young collecting baseball cards, teddy bears, dolls, or hundreds of other items that bring meaning into their lives, Guy said. This need continues to the ‘elder years’ for most people.

During the 1700s and 1800s, there were aristocratic collectors, the landed gentry, who roamed the world in search of fossils, shells, zoological specimens, works of art, maps and books, Guy said. The collected artifacts were then kept in special rooms or “cabinets of curiosities,” which became symbolic displays of power and wealth.

These collections established the foundation of the first museums in Europe and eventually, America. Today, there is not a country that does not have a collection representing their country’s history, power, wealth, culture and customs.

“We know we collect, but why? Psychologists have a Freudian perspective to this question,” Guy said. “It starts as an infant with the emotional and physical comfort of the breast, the blanket, and the stuffed animal. It fosters a sense of ownership and control when faced with traumatic experiences, such as toilet training, hunger and trauma.

“Eventually, as we grow older and we experience life stresses and emotional events, we recognize our desires that help us to cope and bring emotional control over our lives.’

Some scientists believe that humans are akin to pack rats and have the same brain functions as other animals that collect. Crows are masters of collecting items that stimulate their need to improve their lives, both physically and emotionally.

“Whatever the reason, we are collectors in all its extremes from hoarding to profit,” Guy said.

The Collectors Show offers a look at other’s desires and obsessions through their collections of fine art, primitive art and all things in between.

“The items chosen for this show not only are interesting, they are pleasing to the eye, as pleasing as knitting needles can be given the right presentation in the right venue,” Guy said.

The gallery is at 433 Oak St. in Brookings. It is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The collection will be displayed through Dec. 1

A talk about the collection and why people collect things will be at 4 p.m. during the Nov. 10 Second Saturday Art Walk.

For more information, call 541-469-1807 or visit www.pelicanbayartsassociation.org.

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