It is increasingly common for art galleries, such as the Meyer Gallery in Santa Fe, to work not only with artists but with interior designers to envision something distinctive for their clients. Original art truly defines and sets apart a space. Having a unique piece of art not only makes for an interesting topic of conversation but also contributes a layer of texture and character to the overall space.
Representing more than 70 artists, the Meyer Gallery promotes an abundance of skills and mediums, with an inventory that is perpetually rotating. Operating for 37 years, the Meyer Gallery has a long, well-cultivated history of showcasing representational work, from realism and landscape to portraiture and even humor, with a good deal of it slanted toward Southwestern and classical genres.
When the opportunity arises, the gallery collaborates with interior designers to determine which pieces of art would best work within the tastes and preferences of the client’s collection.
Galleries and Interior Designers: Natural Partners
Interior designers and art galleries are natural partners, motivated by a mutual understanding that art should be a reflection of the loves, passions, and interests of the collector. Indeed, the most successful interior designers and gallery owners are driven by a need to extend and develop a connection that helps unite the story of the artist and the client.
Brad Sutor of Meyer Gallery said that he appreciates and respects the crucial role of interior designers in the fulfillment of the art market. The connection between gallery owner and interior designer can only serve to enrich the experience of the client, converging the perspectives and passions of both.
Similar to his own goals as a gallerist, he said that interior designers, too, are available to help clients discover their aesthetic penchant and create spaces that are uniquely their own, whether it’s a large wing in a beautiful, newly built home or a busy, chic corporate setting.
“Our relationship with interior designers happens organically,” said Sutor. “We have a lot of visitors who are driving a good distance, commonly Arizona, Utah, Texas, Colorado, and California. They come to Santa Fe and want to take something home that’s thematic of New Mexico and they will call an interior designer to make sure it fits with the whole theme of things. We will work with the client or the interior designer directly. Either way, it’s still an organic process, and we make ourselves available for any which way it comes.”
Sutor said that the openness and malleability of the interior designer are what most smoothly guide the process.
“The first thing I would really want in the interior designer is someone who is willing to try new things,” said Sutor. “It is great to have someone who could really look through the client’s eyes and use the interior designer as the filter, with their vision as an extension of the client’s tastes. It’s great to have someone willing to try things outside of the box, and offer them an expanded art scene for their setting.”
Enhancing the Experience; Managing Expectations
Similar to most gallery owners, Sutor said that the Meyer Gallery loves it when original art feels personal to the client and also enables the story of the artist to be told. In Santa Fe, it’s clear that provoking, striking art can be found anywhere. And that’s why, Sutor said, it’s important to always be prepared for when opportunities arise to team with other entities to enhance the experience.
“Taking home a piece of Santa Fe art seems to be a theme and drive for people,” said Sutor. “But it is also the people who have a new home or a second home, or who are retiring to Santa Fe. We’ve been here a long time, so we want to curate and educate those folks in town. We offer many shows and solo exhibitions, and every couple of weeks we’ve got a new show, with new work. We did 18 shows last year. That helps us keep things fresh for us, as well as for our industry partners, like interior designers, the businesses that are between our clients and our artists.”
Both gallery owners and interior designers appreciate that an original art piece is hard to surpass and is a unique representation of the artist’s character. Indeed, Sutor encourages his clients to collect art that is meaningful and stirs emotion and to travel to a local gallery, where the search can be a thrilling adventure. And, if the relationship feels genuine, he encourages art purchasers to work with an interior designer who is practical, intuitive, caring, and enthusiastic.
“One thing is for certain,” Sutor summed up, “when you have four parties involved – the artist, the gallery, the interior designer, and the client, managing expectations is really important. You want to always make sure one of us doesn’t get turned off to the process.”