Art Consultants To Open Jackson Square Gallery For Personalized Collecting

A new gallery opening this fall in Jackson Square aims to help fledgling art collectors find works by emerging and mid-career artists that reflect their tastes and fit well in their homes.

Stephanie Breitbard Fine Arts plans to open an innovative, by-appointment-only gallery in October at 843 Montgomery St., which housed designer apparel shop Carrots until last April. Evie Simon, a partner in the business with Breitbard and Svea Lin Sol, said being central to clients throughout the Bay Area was a factor in choosing the location, but the team also liked sharing a neighborhood with other galleries and high-profile boutiques like Isabel Marant. 

"We were looking for a space with a heart and a lot of like-minded businesses," Simon said. "It's a neighborhood with a lot of soul, I think, which is a neat thing to try to be a part of."

Breitbard founded the company in 2007 in Mill Valley, and its art consultants primarily work in clients' homes. But having a gallery decked out with home furnishings will provide a cozy setting and help collectors train themselves to see what they like, Simon said. "We're trying to create an amazing space to view art, that feels like a home environment that has a lot of eclectic furnishings. We always have a hanging group show, so people can see as much art as possible."

Evie Simon, Stephanie Breitbard and Svea Lin Sol. (Photo: Mark Breitbard)

Sutro Architects, a neighborhood firm that also designed Carrots, is overseeing the revamp of the space, while Elizabeth Cooper is designing the interior. Though the gallery will typically only be open by appointment, Simon said it hopes to host some public events. An annual three-day trunk show in November features thousands of small works, most for $500 or less.

The partners scour SF Open Studios for local artists, and also find them internationally. They offer a broad range of media and genres, but all featured artists are contemporary and the works are constantly fresh. They feature artists with whom they have a personal relationship, rather than just buying by the piece. "We study their body of work," Simon said. They don't focus on buying solely for investments or finding "trophy" pieces, as some advisers do. The business operates as a gallery with retail prices; there's no additional fee for consulting. 

"Some people are intimidated by the whole process of buying art," Simon said. "We want to make sure our clients have a collection that reflects them."

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