Many Thanks and Art Show

Dear Everyone,

Thank you for all the lovely responses to my blogs. I really appreciate it, and the chance to share my thoughts with you, and hear yours about them. I was particularly touched by the many people in their 20’s who responded to what I had to say about those years. I really respect the challenges you face, and I know that it’s not an easy time. Everyone thinks it’s ‘so cool’ and ‘easy breezy’ to be young, but I know just how challenging, hard, and even scary it can be!!! Thank you for writing to me!!!

I wanted to tell you about an art show I did in San Francisco in August. As many of you may remember, I had a contemporary art gallery for four years, which I absolutely loved. I focused mainly on emerging and mid-career artists, and it was an enormous blessing in my life. I said it then, and not just now, I did not have a single day while I had the gallery that I regretted doing it, felt like it was a headache, or was sorry that I had done it. It was pure joy every single day. I represented 22 artists and had two people working there with me, in a beautiful space in a lovely residential neighbourhood, and it broke my heart when we closed our doors. Very sadly, the gallery was a casualty to the embezzlement I experienced, and the embezzler convinced me to close my doors. It was a tremendous lesson, retrospectively, not to follow someone else’s advice, who in this case did not have good intentions toward me. I should have trusted myself and my own instincts and stayed open, but I trusted that person implicitly and followed her advice. I still miss the gallery every day, but am grateful for those wonderful four years and the terrific people I met and worked with, and the opportunity to represent 22 very talented artists!!! What an honor and a joy that was!!!

Tank staring at John Kuzich's "Escape"

When I closed the gallery, I didn’t want to leave my artists in the lurch, so I tried to find other galleries for as many of them as I could. And one gallery which took on several of my artists was the Andrea Schwartz Gallery in San Francisco, run by a woman of the same name. She has a beautiful gallery and is an absolutely wonderful person, represents some terrific artists and runs the business with her husband Steve. Under the close supervision of an adorable golden retriever named Tank!!!

We had lunch together one day, several months after I closed, and I was mourning about how much I missed the gallery and the art business, and she made me the irresistible offer of curating one or two art shows for her per year. I couldn’t believe my good luck when she asked me to do it. Curating means that you select the artists to be in a show, pick the work to be shown, and then hang it in the gallery for the show. Curating is something I thoroughly enjoy, and she offered to give me carte blanche, let me select the artists and the work, and hang them however I liked. I leapt at the offer, and I have done three shows for her so far. And I hope to do many more, if she’ll let me!!! We have had an absolute ball working together, and have produced some very good looking shows that people liked.

"Love Denim" by Gordon Smedt

And I just did a show for her in August. There were 9 artists in the show, 3 of my old artists whom I represented at my gallery (2 of whom Andrea now represents), 3 of the artists she currently represents that I never did, and 3 artists we borrowed from other galleries. And we showed 20 paintings in the show. And they were just terrific, I absolutely loved them, and the pieces worked well together. I selected the artists in January, and the work in May, and we hung the show the day before the show opened.

And it is soooooooo exciting to be part of the artistic process. (And I will confess that I liked the work so much that I bought three of the pieces myself.) One of my goals at my gallery (it was called steel gallery) was to show work at reasonable prices, so that people could buy art at accessible prices. The work Andrea shows is also in a very reasonable range, and we showed paintings in this recent show from $1,500 to $15,000. And we chose work that would be fun and appealing that people would enjoy owning. I love ‘happy’ art, and lean to bright colors and subjects.

"Super" by Gordon Smedt

It’s really fun for me to keep my hand in, and participate in a field I love so much. It’s a happy business filled with fresh ideas and inspiration, and a wonderful balance to my writing. Writing is a very solitary process, you spend weeks and months alone in a room, working on the story, and the art business gets me out in the world, meeting people, exchanging ideas, and watching how other people express the artistic process. It is sooooooooo much fun for me. And I hope to do another show, or maybe even two, next year!!!! I just love it!!!!!  Love, Danielle

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6 Comments so far
  1. September September 8, 2010 9:58 am

    Thank you for sharing those beautiful pieces with us!

    And thank you for being so compassionate about hardships of us young people. Most just wave our worries off, saying that life is tough (“and then you die,” as one of my friends is joking 🙂 ) and we should not complain. But we are not complaining, just seeking support from those who have been through their young years. I often ask my mother, what she wished she had known when she was my age. Her thoughts give me new perspective and ironically, she often says that she wouldn’t change anything in her past, except she wished she didn’t worry so much. “It will all work out eventually!” she says and I believe her.

    Thanks again, Ms.Steel!

  2. Sue September 8, 2010 2:25 pm

    I can see why you would enjoy curating. It does sound like fun to choose artists and to display their work. There are so many creative people in the world. Wish I was one of them!
    BTW, I love Tank in the painting above. I have a small terrier mix who is my therapist. I am sitting in my bed as I write this and he is under the cover. I refer to him also as my bunkmate because he sleeps with me. (My husband is in a hospital bed.)
    I was glad that you showed pictures of your dogs on this website. Dogs are so loyal and such good friends. My dog helps me through some hard times.

  3. simone Rael September 9, 2010 4:31 am

    Hey Danielle,

    It turns out we have a lot in common I am also an only child and I also have a great love of art. It’s one of my passions. My favorite artists are Frida Kahlo, Tamara de Lempicka, Jack Vettriano and more…I love African American art and Haitian art like most west indian art is very bright and colorful a great reflection of the Caribbean. I love French and Italian art too.
    You should perhaps have kept your gallery open. And I agree sometimes you should follow your own instincts.

  4. Angela September 10, 2010 10:40 am

    Thank you for your pieces of art.

    By Italy. 🙂

  5. Nicole Theron September 14, 2010 2:02 am

    I think it is wonderful that you have so much passion for art, you sound so enthusiastic in this entry that it actually makes me want to go visit the local gallery. The vibe you send out is gloriously infectious! We all need to get out there and support our local artists in the community. All I can say is that San Francisco artists are very lucky to have you as both a curator and patron.

  6. john kuzich March 22, 2014 4:24 am

    HELLO DANIELLE — just to let you know… the images from your
    blog – “Many Thanks & Art Show” are missing.

    I still want that beautiful 48 Chevy.

    Bee well – J