Introducing the Leon Frazer Client Art Gallery

Tess Karahotzitis - May 14, 2014

When Leon Frazer recently made the move to a new office space just blocks away from their previous address, somewhere along the way, a creative concept was born. Why not take advantage of the blank walls in the new space for the clients of the firm to showcase their artistic talents? Thus, the Leon Frazer Client Art Gallery was launched.

Of course, the project wasn’t as simply conceived as that. Leon Frazer Portfolio Manager, Nancy Sampson, an art lover and collector, had often lamented how difficult it is for artists to publicly display their works. Many artists, new or experienced, don’t have the money or the time to open their own galleries. They are often looking for new ways to showcase their works, but are sometimes hesitant about working with art dealers.

ART DEALER VS GALLERIST

While art dealers provide a valuable service in allowing artists to show their works in a favourable venue, they also take a significant portion of the proceeds of each sale. Since art dealers make their money from a commission on sales, the quick turnover of art objects is a priority. Often, artists prefer to partner with gallerists. A gallerist, like an art dealer, runs or owns a gallery, but instead of being more transaction-focused, is directly involved with the nurturing of the artist. He or she still profits from a commission on art sales, but takes a more active interest in the artist and their collection of works.

A UNIQUE ALTERNATIVE

Feeling another option should be available, Nancy and Dona Eull-Schultz, President of Leon Frazer, came up with a unique alternative. They would invite the artistic clients of the firm to display their creative talents in the corridors of Leon Frazer’s new office space. These pieces would be offered for sale, without an intermediary art dealer or gallerist, and with no commission charged. All proceeds would go directly to the artist. Ironically, as innovative as the concept is, it wasn’t the first time the firm had reached out to their artistic community. For years, a large cityscape painting created and gifted to the firm from client Ethel Dunkley had adorned the walls at the King Street office. The move offered the perfect opportunity to expand on this long-time, unrecognized tradition.

TRUE PARTNERSHIP OF PROFESSIONALS

The project became a true partnership in the making. Select clients were invited to contribute up to six unique works of art for Leon Frazer’s employees, clients, business partners and visitors to enjoy and purchase. Renowned painter, curator and Vice President of OCAD University Alumni Association, Virginia Trieloff, agreed to curate the pieces for display. Virginia worked closely with the artists to catalogue and display the exhibits. She compiled information on each of the artists profiled, as well as descriptions of the chosen art selections, working with her experienced team of art installers to properly display the works.

Currently, the Art Gallery showcases the works of six artists, with three more to join the display in the upcoming month. Virginia has set up protocols for future exhibits, which will draw on more of the company’s gifted clients, and include still more artwork and sculptures. The art will be displayed for approximately six months, before it is rotated to include new pieces. All Leon Frazer clients who are interested in displaying works are encouraged to call or email Dona Eull-Schultz at 416 933-5758 or dschultz@leonfrazer.com.

Says artist Andrew Ross, who currently has six pieces on display, “I am thrilled to be involved in this unique endeavor which merges the corporate and artistic communities.”

A WIN/WIN SITUATION

The Leon Frazer Client Art Gallery provides a win/win solution to all involved. Says Virginia, “In all my years of experience, I’ve never seen anything like it.  Often, there is suspicion directed at the financial community, yet here is an amazing opportunity where artists are encouraged to display their works, with absolutely no strings attached. It’s incredible.”

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