Shades of Blue for a Beacon Hill Brownstone

THE STORY - These past 6 months we have had the pleasure of working on a commission with a couple located in Beacon Hill. They came into the gallery during our Collected Stories exhibition and by chance had the opportunity to meet Holly Harrison, one of our represented artists who was on view.

THE ARTIST - Holly Harrison’s latest work, Color Fields, relates sections of color with elements of mixed media. In this new series, the bands of color serve as the subject, contrasting with her previous work that was mostly image-based. A crucial element to Harrison’s work is the mixed media component, giving each artwork texture, depth and most importantly: an imbedded story. Often the layers include old shopping lists, vintage comics, book and magazine pages, printed papers, junk mail, her daughter’s early doodles, and pieces of her husband’s works on paper. These components are covered with a wash of paint, joining the disparate pieces together while also obscuring their content. After discussing their shared love for comic books and New York City, the couple decided to commission two artworks by Holly for their dual fire places.  

COMMISSION PROCESS –  For this project, Harrison wanted to ensure the work was a perfect balance of her artistic expression and a representation of the clients’ lives and family. She spent time getting to know them, looking at selections from their vintage comic book collection as well as drawings and homework samples by their children that the couple had assembled for her to use. She also searched online and in vintage shops for antique prescription bottle labels and old medical illustrations of the brain as an ode to the clients’ careers in medicine. In additional to the personalized collage elements, the clients also hoped the finished works would aesthetically match their home in shades of blue.  

For every commission there is a conversation between the artist and clients where the artist gets a sense of the client’s preferred style, size, and scope of the project. Once the artist is about 75% complete with the artwork, they share progress photos with the clients which allows one or two rounds of feedback (or they say they love the progress and have no changes!). From there, the artist finishes the work and we set up delivery and installation. 

OUR ADVICE - Commissions are a wonderful way to acquire an artwork specifically customized for your space. If you love a certain piece, but it isn’t quite the right size for your home - always ask the gallery if there is the option to create a new work in the size you need. 

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AFTER:

Opinion: Top 3 Art Podcasts

A few weeks ago, local art advisor Hadley Powell posed the question on her Instagram, “what podcasts are you listening to?” Incidentally, she had also recently told me about the podcast Collect Wisely which has quickly become my favorite podcast about art. Hadley’s question made me think further about the arts focused podcasts I am listening to right now and why, so I thought I’d share:

1.     Collect Wisely

Host: Gallerist Sean Kelly
Who should listen: Anyone interested in the arts (so, essentially everyone!)

Image courtesy of @seankellyny Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BihpqlTny6n/

The podcast’s mission says it all: “in which we sit down with people who care deeply about art and discuss their passion for collecting. This is an initiative we’ve wanted to do for quite some time. In which we question the nature of collecting and connoisseurship in the 21st Century, and through doing so hope to inspire a new generation of collectors and individuals committed to making a vital and meaningful investment in our common cultural future.”

Each episode features an interview with a different art collector, with the featured guests ranging in age, heritage, gender, sometimes couple, Sean Kelly does a wonderful job of welcoming all to the art word. It is a refreshing reminder that some of today’s top art collectors started out buying $500 prints through multiple payments in their younger years. The Podcast serves as a unique opportunity to hear the stories of these art supporters directly, and that building an art collection can happen in many different ways that are only specific to each person. Thank you Hadley for the great recommendation! 

My favorite episode to date: Episode 8 with Jill and Peter Kraus

2.     Armchair Expert

Hosts: Actor Dax Shepard and his friend Monica Padman
Who should listen: This podcast is for everyone, but I would especially recommend listening if you are early in your career in the arts (artists, gallerists, consultants, etc!)

Each episode is an interview with a different celebrity in the entertainment industry. Dax and Monica navigate a casual conversation with their guest, ranging from starting their career, family life, mental health awareness, current projects, personal relationships…to many other topics I can’t mention here because our blog is G rated! The most important takeaway from each episode: being in an arts related field takes hard work, a lot of perseverance, and it will likely be a very long road to success – and that’s okay. I also quickly noticed a pattern in the success stories: those who kept an open mind and were willing to trying new opportunities outside of their comfort zone are most likely to succeed. It’s also a great reminder that many big name celebrities had very un-glamorous beginnings (think: unpaid extra in a scene where it is pouring rain, in Maine, in the winter). You will walk away from each episode most likely laughing hysterically, and also remembering that you never know where an opportunity will lead.

 My favorite episode to date: Episode 29 with Mila Kunis

Image courtesy of @armchairexppod Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvt1ZwRFOX8/

3.     I Like Your Work: Conversations with Artists, Curators & Collectors

Host: Artist Erika B Hess
Who should listen: Artists, curators, gallerists, art consultants, and anyone who supports the arts

Image courtesy of @ilikeyourworkpodcast Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BvEhL9ZDUKa/

This podcast is dedicated to interviewing creative people who are both involved in a creative lifestyle and also in building community. Erika has a way with making her guests at ease and in their element, which makes the podcasts fun, interesting, and a great way to learn more about the behind the scenes that happens in the art world. If you go to her website, she does online features of artists in her Studio Visit section of her blog. This October I am looking forward to exhibiting the work of an artist at Abigail Ogilvy Gallery who I discovered on her website (so again, you never know what opportunity leads to something else!)

One spoiler: I was featured on episode 28, but I was listening to this podcast even before Erika asked me to be on it and already loved it!

Favorite episode to date: Episode 27 with artist Amy Lincoln


There are dozens of other amazing podcasts related to the arts, this list is just the top three I am listening to right now. Enjoy!

- Abigail Ogilvy

Minimalist Design for a Boston Loft

THE STORY: Our client, who lives just blocks from the gallery in South Boston, visited our annual Salon Show in early 2018. This exhibition is a collection of the newest artworks by our represented artists, as well as a few new artists we are featuring for the first time. I love this show because it is incredibly eclectic, it is a wonderful show to visit if you are a new or established collector, there are so many interesting artworks and styles on view, the exhibition helps guide our collectors in developing their tastes.

After viewing Nicole's available work in December, the client left to consider whether the work was the right fit for his space. He spent a few months thinking about the piece, and then contacted us this summer to move forward with installing the work.

THE ARTWORK: Nicole Patel's artwork represents all things minimal. Her graph series, created with a single thread across a muslin surface, explore elements of drawing and design through textile. Patel's artwork pairs beautifully with the sleek and sophisticated style of the minimalist home. We felt the combination of the geometric grid and the natural aspects of Nicole’s materials were a perfect fit for this sleek modern apartment perfectly.

BeforeAndAfter.jpg

OUR ADVICE: We encourage collectors to go at their own pace when deciding on artwork. Buying a new piece for your home is an important decision, for some - they are quick to choose and fill their walls with art, others like spending more time carefully considering the options. Although, if you spend too much time thinking about a piece it may be sold by the time you contact the gallery! 

We were thrilled with how perfectly the artwork fit into his space. Our installer, Jonathan Stangroom, and the Abigail Ogilvy team goes to the client's home when installing to give advice on where the work should hang, how high, and if objects or other artwork should be moved around to make room for the new piece. Patel’s work fills the room with a presence. It acts as an anchor for the viewer, like the steady breaths of meditation, allowing us to gain a new vantage point for observation and acceptance.

As a new art collector, this is the first piece the client has ever acquired for his space. We are always excited to help build a new collection, and we are so grateful for our client's thoughtfulness when choosing Nicole Patel's artwork.

Nicole Patel, "Aqua Graph," Cotton Thread on Natural Muslin with Red Oak Frame, 40 x 32 in.

Close up: Black Graph, image courtesy of Sweetu Patel

Art Fair Guide: NYC March 2018

As winter is leaving and spring is around the corner, New York City is getting ready to host their annual art fairs spanning from March 7 - March 11, 2018. Here are just a few you should be sure to check out:

The Armory Show 2018:
The Armory Show is a four day long event that will be featuring 193 galleries from 31 countries. This is the biggest art show in New York; with artwork that ranges from historical masterpieces to the latest 20th-and 21st-century contemporary art. Boston's very own Jen Mergel is one of the curators this year, along with Gabriel Ritter (Minneapolis Institute of Art) and Naomi Beckwith (MCA Chicago). Make sure to arrive early in the day and wear your comfortable shoes, the line to get into this fair is known to be two hours or longer as the day progresses! 

Location: Piers 92 & 94, 711 12th Avenue at 55th Street, NY
Website: https://www.thearmoryshow.com/

NADA NYC 2017

NADA NYC 2017

NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance):
The New Art Dealers Alliances’ 2018 show is another fantastic annual fair that focuses on supporting and advancing new voices in contemporary art. The fair is known for the wide variety of artwork, from emerging to more established galleries. We always enjoy the NADA Projects section of the fair, where you can discover and support new galleries - most have been operating for less than five years. The diversity of the artwork in this fair lends itself to the snap-happy social mediites looking for notable finds.

Location: Skylight Clarkson Sq, at 550 Washington St, NY
Website: https://www.newartdealers.org/fairs/2018/new-york

Volta 2017: Alex Gardner paintings at  Taubert Contemporary

Volta 2017: Alex Gardner paintings at Taubert Contemporary

VOLTA NY:
VOLTA NY will showcases solo exhibitions by established and emerging international artists. This is one of our favorite fairs to attend because each booth offers a cohesive body of work by a single artist, allowing the gallery to showcase a thematic booth - unlike the more chaotic spread of artworks you might find at the other fairs. Their goal is to attract both new and seasoned collectors alike through this more approachable format of solo booths.

Location: Pier 90, 711 12th Avenue at West 50th Street, NY
Website: http://ny.voltashow.com/about/

Spring/Break Art Show:
Spring/Break Art Show will be presenting their 2018 show titled “Stranger Comes to Town” with artwork that showcases foreignness, migration, assimilation, and the articulation of Them or Us incorporated into their artwork. Andrew Gori and Ambre Kelly founded the art fair in 2009, and since then it has become one of the top fairs to attend during art fair week. Known for the well-curated, thought-provoking rooms that tell a story beyond the artworks that surround you. By including new and established curators, the fair lends itself to a unique and interesting experience each year.

Website: http://www.springbreakartshow.com/