As is our practice with new members, we asked Anne to share some of her background and a bit about her business with us.
What is the name of your business and where are you located? when did you start?
My business name is Smith Galeria; we are based in Auckland (New Zealand). We opened our doors in September 2011 in São Paulo (Brazil).
What is your professional background?
I have a degree in Law, but I’ve always been interested in art. Right after my first child was born, I decided it was time to become a professional in what I liked the most – drawing and painting. From 1992 I attended many painting courses. I started selling as an artist in significant art galleries in the city of São Paulo in 1998 and become very interested in contemporary art because it also carries the responsibility of questioning actions and demanding changes in attitudes and behaviours that are harmful to the construction of a fairer society.
What inspired you to take the leap and start your own business?
In 2011, I was already a little upset by some gallery owners’ lack of respect for the artist’s work; there wasn’t even a contract protecting the artist’s work from damages, for example. So I decided to open an art gallery to exhibit other artists, and at the same time, have the protection of a fair contract for both sides – the gallery and the artists. Smith Galeria was born because of that. At that point I felt the necessity to know more about art curatorship and all its aspects. In the following years, I noticed I was on the right pathway when we start to receive more and more good artists interested in making their exhibitions with us.
What does your business offer, in terms of goods and services?
Today we are working virtual, no longer brick and mortar, although we want to open the doors again in the future. However, we must continue to offer customers the guarantee that they will be well taken care of despite the lack of physical space. When a client comes to us, I explain in detail how the gallery works and all the aspects involved in a sale; I offer guidance for starting an art collection within the client’s budget and respecting their tastes, and I also encourage the client to talk directly with the artist, asking all their doubts. So, the gallery must trust the artists’ work and vice versa because we are a team. On the other hand, the artists have a massive promotion on social media and feel welcome when they need to talk to me, knowing they will find a gallery owner who understands their side very well. Many of them need guidance and support on some career topics and realise they can count on me. This unique way of working brought respect and collaboration and some good friends into my life – a real treasure.
What excites you about having joined the Association of Women Art Dealers?
It is stimulating the possibility of exchanging experiences and information for the common good, of raising new ideas for the growth of all those involved and strengthening an area that is still very poorly regulated. All of us who work with art know that there is a lot of room for improvement!
What brings you joy in your work?
I like to receive recognition for a job well done, but most of all, I love telling an artist that I’ve sold their work and celebrating the good news!
If you were a work of art, what piece would you be and why?
I would be the “Hen with Chicks” etching by Pablo Picasso … simple, direct, speak to the heart.
For more information on the gallery please visit – www.smithgaleria.com