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No one will argue the last 20 months haven’t been difficult and often bleak. However, within these times of uncertainty and continual challenge, innovation and finding silver linings have buoyed industries and society to not only survive but thrive.
Even before the shutdown, Danielle Glosser was a natural problem solver and constantly innovating. She is the founder of Client Raiser, which helps advise artists with the business side and helps them connect with grants, exhibitions and collectors. Glosser began her company due to her seeing a gap between artists and accessing the opportunities for them to make money.
“I think it’s essential to look at artists as entrepreneurs,” Glosser says. “No one cares as much about their art practice as they do, so artists have to maintain the marketing and sales aspects as well as bookkeeping and parts of the job that are not sexy in order to be successful.”
So, when quarantine began and galleries and exhibits closed — which is one of the main sources of income for artists beyond commissions — Glosser went to work thinking of how artists could still promote and sell their art while networking with buyers.
“I have a few friends that have notable art collections in D.C.” Glosser says. “And they have huge networks because they’re in different industries. I thought of this idea to see if my friends would be interested in curating a show of my clients and sharing it with their networks.”
From this idea, the Curated by the Collectors series was born, which were three online galleries curated by Glosser’s network of collectors. All of Glosser’s client artists could apply and then the collector would have full autonomy on selecting which of the artists to feature in the gallery.
“I think 90 artists signed up,” Glosser recalls, which is roughly two-thirds of her clients. “They were so hungry to show their worth off of social media. From there, each curator selected five artists [per series].”
After the first three galleries, 15 pieces were sold. In addition, Glosser used the series as an opportunity to give back.
“I also thought ‘let’s make this even more beautiful experience for everyone and loop in a nonprofit to donate part of my proceeds to as well.’ So each curator picked a nonprofit to donate to.”
Coming Full-Circle with “Epiphanies”
Now, to wrap up the series, Glosser decided to do one last Curated by the Collectors gallery, but this time in-person at the HOMME Gallery and online, from now through January 9. It was important for Glosser to make the last one in-person as well as online to get people out to see art again.
“You can’t replace seeing art in person with any other experience,” Glosser says. “Having an audience that can actually take their time to view the works, ask questions of the artists and the gallerist at the opening just gives everyone an opportunity to come together. And after Covid, it really is exciting for the artist to be able to show some of their new work to a fresh audience.”
Titled “Epiphanies,” the last Curated by the Collectors gallery is curated by husband and wife duo Jackie Dobranski and Anthony Dobranski. Jackie is a veterinarian and Anthony is a writer who previously worked at AOL opening offices in Europe and Asia Pacific. Both are deeply passionate about modern abstract art and collect together. For this show, they selected the Humane Rescue Alliance as the non-profit and wanted to highlight artists inspired by nature.
“I’m a veterinarian and very nature-loving person,” Jackie says. “It’s important to have nature and breathing space in our lives. And as I went through [selecting], there were clearly several artists that seem to have a philosophy of bringing nature into their work.”
The artists showing at the gallery include Stephen Estrada, Heather Lynn, Betsy Stewart, Emons Surakitkoson and Dagmara Weinberg. Each one is heavily influenced by nature, but with different aesthetics ranging from abstract to realism. Lynn even sources natural materials like crystals and sand to create her pieces.
Anthony explains they looked for artists that not only were inspired by nature but viewed it at different perspectives, saying “When you get to the microscopic level of natural items, you can see there are whole levels of combinations, complexities, ways of interrelationship that are similar to when you zoom out to galactical scale. When you get down to certain levels, they start to kind of become one. We were influenced by that when selecting artists as well.”
This can be seen in all the featured works, whether Stewart’s abstract pieces that depict the molecular and cellular level origins of life, to Weinberg’s kaleidoscope style work depicting manipulated photographs of nature.
As for the artists, they are also looking forward to showcasing their work in this unique gallery.
“I like the concept of the Collectors series because I think people who collect art have a different way of looking and thinking about art than we do as artists,” Estrada says. “They are folks that are committed to supporting the arts, so it’s cool to see them kind of create a public collection for other people to respond to.”
Allowing the artists and collectors to work closer together is another one of Glosser’s main goals in the series, which featured a total of 19 different artists.
“I want my clients to get to know the collectors,” Glosser says. “When these artists sold work [in the previous series], some of them had the opportunity to drop it off at the collector’s home. And that created a new relationship for them and hopefully a new network.”
And the opportunity for artists, curators, gallerist and patrons all to come together in-person will be the perfect way for the artists to continue to meet and promote their work as well as their peers.
“I’m really excited to get to know the other artists and see their work,” Lynn says ahead of the opening. “One of my favorite things is to connect with new artists, view their work in person, and try to tag and share on my social platform. When I meet new artists, I try to help raise them up because people did that for me when I was starting, and I feel like at whatever point in your career, artists should help each other along. I love that part of curated shows.”
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