I think buying art from living artists is essential because they are more likely to be open to new ideas and have an evolving body of work.
In addition, buying art is a way of supporting contemporary artists who are doing work that means something to them.
The artwork you purchase will often be the artist's first solo show in a particular city or country, thus giving them an opportunity for increased visibility on an international level.
Art galleries are also the best places to find the work you want. It's also a way of supporting local businesses,
so if you're already shopping at your favorite store, why not buy something from the art gallery?
Art galleries often have events, like art openings and talks. You can also volunteer at the gallery by handing out brochures,
helping people find their way around, or just running your mouth to get people interested in every new piece of art you see.