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More People Turning to Original Art to Brighten Their Spaces – and Moods
2021 “Minnesota’s Best Art Gallery” owner weighs in on post-quarantine lifestyle trend
MINNEAPOLIS – August 2, 2021 – If you’re like many Americans who were on lockdown during the pandemic and feeling uninspired by their blank walls, you probably bought some artwork. Or at least searched for it.
According to online arts marketplace Etsy, online searches for wall art shot up 95 percent when comparing March-December 2020 to the same period in 2019. Minneapolis art curator Suzie Marty, owner of Everett & Charlie, recently voted Minnesota’s best art gallery in 2021 by readers of Star Tribune, confirms the trend. “People are walking in off the street and buying art on the spot, because they see something in the window that speaks to them,” she says. “I’m constantly switching up our art display because there is such demand.”
She’s not complaining. A year ago, Marty and other gallery owners felt they were facing certain doom. When forced to close in the early days of the pandemic, she put a tongue-in-cheek sign on the door: “Contact me if you have an art emergency.
And they did. Finishing with a strong fourth quarter, 2020 was Everett & Charlie’s strongest year since opening in 2018, and 2021 is looking even brighter. “People are re-evaluating their lives and deciding there is no ‘someday’ when it comes to buying original art. It’s a joyful experience to see people connecting with original art.”
The power of an original
“I love coming in here; it makes me feel so much better,” is something Marty hears regularly from visitors. “Art plays a significant role not only brightening our spaces but also our moods.”
Art is having its moment, but it’s up to curators like Marty to ensure people continue to appreciate the benefits of original art, including healing from various traumas, pandemic related or otherwise, she says.
Research, in fact, has shown that viewing beautiful artwork triggers the release of dopamine into the brain, causing feelings of love and pleasure.*
Marty is quick to differentiate the healing energy of original objects versus generic pieces that are mass produced.
“Energy is what makes original art special,” she explains. “Art has been touched by human hands and is meant to be enjoyed. It’s my absolute calling to connect people with original art that speaks to them, and to the Minnesota artists whose stories resonate.”
Getting closer to art
Marty’s philosophy as curator and consultant is characterized by three focal points: energy, color and connections – evident in the spaces of clients she serves, as well as her gallery.
Tucked under the signature purple awning next to Wild Rumpus bookstore in Linden Hills, Everett & Charlie features a wraparound, floor-to-ceiling sampling of original art from more than 60 local artists, each of whom Marty knows personally. Once inside, visitors are enveloped in color and texture.
Jill Van Sickle, whose works are a mainstay in the gallery, is driven by color and its ability to evoke emotional reactions. Her original work is in the permanent collection of more than 30 hospitals, emergency rooms, clinic office and healing centers.
Edward Bock, another prominently featured local artist, combines his love of biology and art to reframe chaotic patterns, colors and textures around us in new, surprising ways. “His work is very intentional,” Suzie comments.
Ann Pryor creates her elucidating “soul paintings” with a unique technique that combines ink, essential oils and breath. Pryor has studied the effect of negative thought energy and aims to spread positivity through her striking paintings.
“Minnesota is cultural explosion of music, theater and art,” she says. “I’m honored to be in a position to support and champion our artists and bring them into the arms of my customers.”
Art: it’s personal
Marty has been known to proudly display a “sold to a forever home” sign on spoken-for pieces, demonstrating her thoughtful approach and pride in finding a good home for her “art babies.”
She says her intuition makes her a strong matchmaker. “I can oftentimes predict which colors and forms people will be drawn to. I look for signals that connect people to their colors.”
She’s also skilled at art placement and staging. “It’s very easy for me and one of my favorite things to do. I love to help people transform their spaces. I’m intuitive, quick and opinionated.”
If they’ll let her, customers may even find Suzie moving their furniture. “Moving things changes the energy. Even moving an existing piece of art can completely transform a space, or make you fall in love with it all over again.”
Starting your art journey
Like wine, art is meant to be approachable, not intimidating, says Marty. “But to get to a comfort level, you have to start sampling and experimenting.”
True to her tagline that promises “a gallery where art meets experience” – coined by one of her sons – Marty uses her brick-and-mortar location as an anchor for unique, high-touch experiences that allow the community to get closer with Minnesota artists and their work.
From the live sidewalk music series she created in partnership with neighboring restaurant Harriet Brassiere, to featured artist demonstrations and pop-up art fairs, Marty is creatively expanding the footprint of her gallery to connect more in the community with Minnesota art.
“I consider Minnesota my community,” she adds. “I appreciate each and every customer.”
About Everett & Charlie
Everett & Charlie, a Linden Hills art gallery where art meets experience, features original art from more than 60 Minnesota artists. Founded by Minneapolis art curator Suzie Marty, Everett & Charlie is named for her grandsons, who were two and four the year she opened in 2018. In 2021, Everett & Charlie was voted “Minnesota’s Best Art Gallery” by readers of Star Tribune. The gallery includes paintings, screen-printing, photography, pottery, glass, jewelry, textiles and leather, sculpture and woodwork, and it offers a calendar of openings, trunk shows, artists’ talks and workshops, demonstrations and live music. The gallery is available for private events, dinner parties and corporate gatherings in partnership with restaurant neighbor Harriet Brasserie. For more information, visit the gallery at 2720 W. 43rd Street or www.everettandcharlie.com.
What a wonderful and refreshing article on Art and its true effect on the world. In Europe, you can feel original Art’s natural energy in every space I’ve had the pleasure of visiting so far. Art is as natural as breathing to Europeans. Art bridges time and location. As an artist and art gallery owner (21 years), this perspective on a resurgence of private collectors makes me smile. I’ve noticed the trend and have added corporations to my buyer list recently as well.