Ask the ARTSPERTS by Kristine Meek and Juliana Meek

Kristine Meek and Juliana Meek

Dear Artsperts,

How do you plan your shows for Season? Where do you get the art and how do you pick what to include in the exhibitions each month?
Sincerely,
Seasoned

Dear Seasoned,
In downtown Naples, we still experience a distinct Season. When our gallery opened in 1964, Season was only January to March; today Season is longer than ever before and lingering well into Summer. However, for the months of August and September pace slows to the point where we can take a break to prepare for a new Season. November 2021 marks the start of our 59th Season in Naples.

Juliana Meek selecting sculpture from Carol Griffin in her studio in New York City.

Annual road trips north to visit our artists in their studios has been a part of our DNA since our founding by Foster Harmon in 1964. 2020 was the first year we were unable to travel due to COVID closures and restrictions. In lieu of our trip we selected works solely by the photos our artists would share with us. It was something of a test to see if our annual trip to visit artists in-person was necessary with today’s technology. We decided email, photos, and text messaging just cannot substitute for the benefits of an in-person visit with our artists.

We were pleased that restrictions lifted enough for us to make our trip this past September. On our drive up, we often thought about how much faster it is today compared to the roads Foster Harmon would have had to drive in the 60s. It took us eight days, albeit hard days driving to Portland, Maine and back, with stops up and back in Manhattan. We visited artists and clients almost daily and a new hotel every night. We were able to stop in 10 of our artist studios, three of which are now managed as estates.

Bill Meek and Joan Konkel with a filled van after our last stop at her studio in Washington D.C.

When visiting an artist’s studio, we have the opportunity for better conversation and continue building our relationships with each of our artists. We represent artists over many years, having a good working
relationship and developing close friendships in the process. By being in the studios, we also gain better understanding of new directions artists may be taking in their work along with insights into their perspectives as conversation unfolds. Artists may even be working while we visit, giving us a glimpse into their techniques.

During these studio visits, we select works for the Season. The advantage to being in a studio in person versus relying on photos artists share, is that sometimes we spot works that artists would be unsure of sending to us. We often go through paintings tucked away to the side or in closets and find many treasures the artists would not even have considered sending to us.

We filled our cargo van to its ceiling with works for our 59th Season and can’t wait to share with you all
the exciting new works.
Sincerely,
The Artsperts

FEATURED photo:  Juliana Meek watches Hunt Slonem at work in his New York studio while discussing the upcoming season.

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