We had the good fortune of connecting with Margaret Danielak and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Margaret, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
I enjoy bearing witness to that moment when someone falls in love with a work of art. It is very satisfying to be able to do that and it makes me happy.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I grew up in the 1960’s and 1970’s in Berkeley, California in an artistic home and progressive community. My father, the landscape painter and illustrator, Robert G. Stevens (1926 – 2004) and mother, Wilkie, who was a fan of Louise Nevelson, believed that I should have an education in the arts and not just the sciences. They frequently took me to museums when they were not otherwise entertaining, or being entertained by, the many now famous painters then living in the Bay Area.
After graduating from U.C. Berkeley, I moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles to accept a Fellowship in Producing at The American Film Institute in Hollywood. I worked in the film business for ten years, then did a career about face in 2000 and decided to help my father, who then lived in Santa Fe, to promote and sell his paintings in Southern California. I did not have a gallery, so I improvised producing events like “Art Tea Networking Events for Women” which I conducted out of my home. I also started to write about curating exhibitions in alternative venues – now called “pop up” galleries.
Over the past twenty years, I’ve worked with many local artists exhibiting fine art in alternative venues I still do not own a formal gallery. After a time, I became curator of the Women’s City Club of Pasadena. Their home, the Blinn House, was an historic property which had limited lighting; lighting that was not always optimal for showing artwork. Despite this challenge, I was able to sell dozens of paintings by telling prospective clients that “If it looks this great here in this light, imagine what the painting will look like in your home!” Having a sense of humor, and an ability to do endless follow-up, has generated many sales over the years and much happiness on the part of my artists and clients.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love the Norton Simon Museum and have conducted many successful Feminist Museum Tours there, so if I had a friend visiting, I would take them there. Then I would take them to lunch at either the Otis Bar at LGO Restaurant or Gus’s Barbeque in South Pasadena. The next day, I would take them to The Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino, because it is always lovely there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My late mother, Wilkie, was unafraid to talk to people about art and was an inspiration when it came to marketing art and for me, in creating my alternative gallery.
Julie Snyder, Photographer