Today, we welcome Gregg Irby as our Monday FACE! Gregg’s passion for art led her to open her own galley, Gregg Irby Fine Art, a space she passionately fills with art from emerging artists, making art accessible to all who share her passion
Where did you grow up and what brought you to Atlanta?
Born and raised in Columbia, SC. After college, I moved to Aspen. A crew of us moved from Aspen to Atlanta when it was time to get “real jobs.”
Tell us a little bit about Gregg Irby Fine Art?
The gallery represents about 25 (amazingly talented) artists. I select artists who I feel have a successful art career ahead of them. We try to keep the number of artists to a manageable size so that we can really work with and market each and every one. Our gallery is in a cottage behind Sardis Church in Buckhead. We love our spot. It creates a laid-back atmosphere for art perusers and keeps our overhead down – which keeps our price points down. It’s a combination that works great for artists, clients and the gallery.
What are a few things you look for in a young, emerging artist?
Originality, consistency, and a commitment to hard work. Each artist has to have that one thing in their art that sets them apart from others. I only select artists whose paintings I “have to have” hanging in my own home. I’m not drawn to anything that is dark or makes a statement – just has to give me that art high at first glance.
What was your first job in the art world?
Working at my roommate’s art gallery when I moved to Atlanta. The Chassie Post Gallery. It was a lot of fun. After that, I moved into representing a hand full of painters. I’ve been representing artists for about 17 years.
What is your daily routine at the gallery?
No two days are ever alike, except that they all fly by! We get a lot of traffic, so the majority of my day is working with our customers. I also spend a lot of time working with our artists – offering them feedback, looking at works in progress, and talking with them about what people are looking for. Everyone working at the gallery has to be a jack of all trades. We are constantly marketing the paintings and shows, updating our website, catching up on our favorite blogs, etc.
How do you balance the gallery and your personal life?
I guess I don’t. Both are inspiring in their own ways, so it’s okay if they get intertwined, right? I am grateful everyday that my work is my passion and my family anchors it all.
If you didn’t own your own gallery, what would be your dream profession?
Editor of a shelter magazine with an endless budget. Every issue would cover an amazing art collection–in a different country! And I could take my family and friends with me on the shoots! As my Mom always said, if you’re going to dream, dream big. <smile>
Do you have a favorite painting in your personal collection?
No. I couldn’t choose. I love each for different reasons.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have been given?
Do what you love and the rest will follow.
What is one thing you would change about the art scene in Atlanta?
I don’t know that I’m really in the “art scene.” My passion is connecting people with art that they love. I think traditional galleries serve a great purpose and I love what they do, but it’s not my business model.
What are you most looking forward to in the coming spring?
I’m really looking forward to Sarah Cameli and Erin McIntosh’s show called First Day of Spring. They both are wonderful people and artists, and I’ve loved working with them every day. Their paintings for this show are gorgeous! I’m so excited for them. Also, getting outside again! Spring in Atlanta is my favorite season.
What is your favorite way to begin your day?
Successfully getting the kids out of the house for school without any drama.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
The Maine coastline. Time literally slows down. I love it for its simplicity and beauty – the forest and ocean coming together drastically – which is unique to any other place in America.
What can be found on your bedside table?
Picture of Mike (my husband), stack of old Domino mags, and a parenting book.
Name three things you can’t live without (besides God, Family and Friends):
Art, humor, and sweets!
Thanks so much, Gregg! For more information on Gregg Irby Fine Art-a truly lovely space, visit her website: www.greggirbyfineart.com.
And, thanks to our StyleBlueprint Atlanta photographer, Amy Lesesne!