If you listened to the fall 2008 panic from New York and Los Angeles, the art market should have imploded by now, taking galleries and artists down with it. Even though that it hasn't happened, the fiscal nosedive of the past year has dramatically affected artists' lives. But there is something that you can do about it: Buy local art. And since many--perhaps even most--artists don't have local gallery representation, buy directly from the artists themselves. They're just as equipped to sell you their work, and it's one of the ways in which you can guarantee that what you're paying goes directly into the artists' pocket.