Let me start by saying that art galleries are places of wonder, discovery and delight.
Not every gallery will appeal to every person.
At times, I myself have walked into a gallery and wished I’d brought a night mask as I can’t unsee things I vehemently am not enjoying seeing. But that’s just part of the journey.
However, most galleries carry art work that is so strong that the experience of being inside is pure joy. Or even a positive shock, as some art is meant to be.
In other galleries, the art is stunning, and the prices are also really stunning.
When I go into an unfamiliar gallery, I simply don’t know what I’ll find. But as anyone with a passion for anything understands, I can’t resist going inside and finding out which reaction I’ll have!
I’ve spent hours locating galleries in small, crooked streets only to walk in and find a few tiny drab pieces.
This has happened multiple times, particularly in foreign countries in which we are trying to find the local art of the people who live there.
Not every community has an art-centered area. Not every community has an art gallery at all.
In many cities, we’ve found truly tantalizing art placed within a store selling something else entirely.
We’ve even come upon some unique and compelling pieces in areas that are predominantly selling t-shirts and tote bags imported for the tourists.
We’re walking from store to store and street to street seeing mostly the same cheap offerings. And then suddenly, there’s a fantastic shop that has imaginative and unique objects from a local artist who paints broken pottery pieces or carves animals from driftwood.
We recently found a shop in such an area in which the artist, Eduart Gjopolaj, builds up individual pieces of hardwood into squares or rectangles of various hard woods. He then joins the wood sections into an uninterrupted canvas of sorts, and carves into the wood to create exquisite bas-relief faces and animals.
We couldn’t leave without one, but you are warned that hard wood is heavy and it was a bit of a chore to walk around the rest of the day with that in our bags.
In Croatia, I bought a necklace I love from a woman who lived inside the wall surrounding Dubrovnik’s Old Town. She had her window open with her handmade necklaces displayed.
They were lovely, and the rest of the “real” stores in the little town were selling mundane tourist memorabilia. I was thrilled to find her and she was thrilled I was a paying customer. A good day for everyone.
We then pretty quickly took a cab away from the Old Town in order to find the true artisans who live in Croatia so we could enjoy what they were offering instead.
Alternately, I’ve been headed to a restaurant or another location, and discovered a gallery that is worth returning to multiple times over a period of years! Galleries bring in new art from the artists they represent, and also drop and add artists to their roster, making return trips worthwhile.
But I digress. Art galleries are available in most cities in the world. (That speaks well for the world, as far as I’m concerned.)
Gallerists are fiercely important in the world of art discovery. It is the job of a gallery to find artists that they believe will resonate with people. After all, they want to find art of general appeal in order to make sales. And art galleries need to have a point of view to be distinct and to attract a like-minded audience who will hopefully become loyal buyers.
Galleries also hope to find artists who are lesser known and be the gallery that has brought this artist to the attention of the world. Many galleries focus on introducing previously unknown artists. This is what makes their gallery unique.
When an artist is taken into a gallery, the gallery becomes the artist’s representative. This can dramatically change the arc for the artist.
No longer does the artist work in relative anonymity, selling to friends or other artists. Neither do they have to spend their days marketing their own work.
Not surprisingly, most artists are intent on their craft and while they want to be known, they are truly not interested in spending their days on self-promotion. I also believe that many artists feel it’s crass to have to promote their work. Instead, when represented by a gallery, the artist can focus their passion and their time directly on creating art.
Gallerists who are talented enough to find emerging artists who are well received by art collectors themselves become much more well known.
However, the gallerists will always show clients and prospective clients works from artists they currently represent. That is their job.
And galleries do tend to focus on something…either a style of art, a period of art, a geographical collection of local artists, perhaps only sculpture or only oil paintings or only etchings. Each gallery has a niche and an aesthetic that the gallerist enjoys.
Alternately, I do not sell any art that I own.
At Brower, Miller & Cole, I made a very conscious decision that I’m not (even unconsciously) pushing art that I own on a Client that would find more joy and exhilaration if they could have something completely different.
Instead, I research and present art to each Client based on their aesthetic and their needs and their wants. It is only acquired when a Client is confident that they have found a piece they wish to own.
And frankly, it needn’t be art that I believe is something that “just everyone would love”.
I have been exposed to a wide variety of art, and have learned about its creators and their intent. I have clients who seek art that is very specific to them.
However, I can appreciate the intent behind the art, the quality of the piece, and understand why it does resonate with a particular Client and become “the one” they very much want to see in their home or their office.
In addition, the art that resonates most strongly with my Clients may be in a gallery in Los Angeles, a studio in Copenhagen, an artist’s loft, at a local art fair, or a hole in the wall of an old city.
And not every Italian artist creates art inspired by Italy. Some have moved to Italy, yet bring a sensibility from somewhere else that they have lived, or that is part of their heritage, or is sourced from their own travels.
The same is of course true of artists in Los Angeles and New York and Paris. Artists are often purposely living in an arts-focused community, yet working on their own art based on their personal story and passion.
Cleary, the art isn’t always representative of a specific geographic location. It may be inspired by their childhood, by their gender, by their economic background, by their politics, or by their own deep love for certain colors or animals or emotion.
So why work with an art consultant?
People come to an art consultant for the luxury of being presented with a curated number of options that are appealing specifically to them.
Rather than travel the country, or the world – or dear lord the entire internet – for unmerciful hours, months or years, the Client can turn to a consultant for help.
The Client can then be shown a collection of art that is the right style, period, subject, colors, size and budget range that will work for them.
In my case, I’m able to combine my art history education, the breadth of options of which I’m aware, and my certification in interior design to ensure that the art will be an addition to its surroundings.
For art in offices, multifamily common areas, or public art, I also bring my decades of marketing expertise to bear on the target audience to which the art is meant to appeal.
Many people who are quite experienced in acquiring art and who are very confident in their style and taste, do not have time to do the research themselves.
Not everyone wants to visit a ton of galleries in a new city, or traipse around an array of art fairs hoping to happen upon an emerging artist whose work appeals to them.
The thing is, I do want to spend my time looking at all the art I can!
Having launched this firm as my passion career, I am truly committed to helping others find the joy and exhilaration that good art can bring to their home, their family, their guests, their employees, their clients and the public.
I am working to improve my Clients’ lives, and I love it!