Saturday, December 18, 2010

What Yoga has taught me in the world of Art

Recently, I was featured in a newsletter created by my Yoga Instructor, Renee Diamond. The focus of her pieces are about how yoga has helped heal, change and transform lives.

Here's my story:

“To me, Art is like Yoga. It takes me on a heart centered journey to find peace, tranquility and the wonder of discovery”

Three years ago, I left my corporate career, after 15+ years at New York advertising and integrated marketing agencies and 6 years managing Interactive and Relationship Marketing Departments at Mercedes-Benz – to become an art dealer and gallery owner.

It started in 2006 with the death of my father, a health scare and management changes at my company.

I realized I needed to do something different…and something that I loved. On a vacation during that time in Hawaii, my husband came up with the idea of starting an art gallery and it lit a spark in me. As the daughter of an artist, I grew up with art in my home and around museums, and I knew the power of art to positively impact all our lives. After a year of exploration and research, I launched Elisa Contemporary Art in November 2007.

My gallery is focused on the healing and transformational power of art. I will only represent artists whose work makes me feel something – whether it’s joy, sorrow, pain or wonder – it has to make me feel. And I donate a portion of every gallery sale to charities helping underserved children heal through art.

Throughout this journey – both in my yoga practice and my business - I have learned so much including to:
  • Be open to the opportunities around me
  • Notice the miracles that happen every day
  • Be grateful for the “angels” who cross my path
  • Know that the strongest support may come from a community of like-minded strangers
  • Ask for help or the occasional “spot” during a difficult moment
  • Accept that there are many things beyond my control -- no matter how hard I try
  • Realize the more you give to others, the more you receive

While I’ve traded in my powerpoint presentations for power tools, my luxury company car for a cargo van, endless hours of “brainstorming meetings” for hours of seeing and feeling into art to find the perfect piece for my clients. I am amazed at the journey.

My Riverdale NY Gallery opened in 2008, I’ve participated in 8 high-end art fairs in New York, The Hamptons, Miami, and Boston; Curated 5 shows in Public Arts spaces in New York and 2 in private Design stores; and built an art consulting business.

I know without my Sunrise Yoga classes, I would not have had the courage and the openness to make this leap and follow my heart and my passion. It is the support and inspiration from those around me, and those who lead, that has helped keep me optimistic and motivated even during challenging times. It’s the belief – though silent in the yoga studio - that I am strong, whole and capable, even when I may experience doubt.

It continues to be a beautiful and graceful adventure.


Photo Credit: Robin G. London

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Just Back from a Whirlwind 3 Days in Miami

From Wednesday morning through Friday afternoon, I covered 8 Satellite Art Fairs and the convention center. It was an incredible immersion in art, art lovers and in certain areas, attitude!

Before I get to the art, which will be in tomorrow's posting, I wanted to share some of the inspiring people that I met along the journey.

On December 1st, as I searched for the art shuttle to the Wynwood area, I met a couple who now live in Michigan. While their art collection is extension, over 100 pieces I was told, I was most moved by their passion for art. For them, it was about meeting the artists, learning about the work, being a part of some incredible art related experiences. They have created a building to house and show their work, and the joy they receive from collecting and curating the work was palpable.

On December 3rd, I met a young collector who left friends behind to enjoy several days on his own surrounded by his pace! He didn't want to be rushed by others, he only wanted to experience it on his terms. He was on his way back to a Japanese Gallery for a second look at an artist he really liked. He told me about an upcoming move from the east coast to Atlanta, where he hopes with more space, he'll be able to showcase much of his work (which has been in storage and "under appreciated" or "under visited" for far too long).

While the art fairs and Art Basel Miami is about always about the art, it was refreshing and reassuring to meet those who truly exude a heartfelt passion about feeling and experiencing art at a very pure level. Not for investment, not for status, but for pure love of the experience!