“People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt
I am beyond thrilled to celebrate the 20th year of HLK Art Group this year! It is not only a professional milestone for providing dedicated service to my loyal clientele all these years but a personal one that marks the year I finally found the courage to do what I love most–helping people find joy through art!
At the start of my art career, I somehow thought it would be a good idea to curate small exhibitions out of my almost empty uptown apartment. No furniture, just a bed and lots of art—the bigger the better. I hosted vernissages each month and had friends come from all over to see the latest young artists on the scene. One friend asked, where do you live? I replied ‘right here!’
I started with a seemingly random array of artists but ended up focusing on women artists and new media—generally under recognized and undervalued art (soon after I started a small digital/video art collection of my own foreshadowing my current interest in NFTs). Emerging artists at the time included Amy Sillman, Odili Donald Odita, James Sienna, Ellen Harvey, Jennifer Coates, Marcia Lyons, Siebren Versteeg, Angelo Filomeno, and Terry Haggerty, just to name a few.
Many were still just emerging but I received positive feedback so I kept at it. I soon realized I was bringing downtown artists to uptown collectors helping build awareness around young artists.
I always knew art was my escape and happy place but I never took it seriously enough to pursue as a viable career. It wasn’t until 9/11 hit NY when I finally had my ah-ha moment. My elementary school teacher was the first adult that praised my artwork but I didn’t think much about it then–my how hindsight is 20/20!
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