Interview with Danielle Molinski of Room Art Gallery
29 Nov, 2012
Room Interior Art Gallery is located at: 86 Throckmorton Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941
Present Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 12pm to 6pm
Room provides art consulting, art leasing, custom art creation with your preferred artist, interior designer and hosts special events in their unique 2,000 sq ft building with a spacious parking lot.
Room Interior Art Gallery held its monthly Art Walk on January 14, 2011 in San Rafael,CA. Dig In Magazine stopped in to see the art, listen to some music, have a glass of wine and say ‘hello’ to Danielle Molinski. There was a mixture of art spanning from abstract and figurative to pop culture and photography. The atmosphere was bubbling with excitement as new work covered the walls and art lovers from all over the Bay Area stopped in to admire the gallery and its artwork. Dig In Mag had the chance to talk to Danielle about her new role at Room Interior Art Gallery.
Dig In Magazine: Hi Danielle! You’ve done an amazing job here at Room Interior Art Gallery. What is it that you do for the gallery?
Danielle Molinski: Hi Cindy, it’s been a team effort! Agne [Correll] and I have known each other for many years and we work really well together. We always talk about what we want to accomplish at Room, she is an artist and I’m not, which makes for a good partnership because we look at everything from different perspectives. We have learned a lot from each other so far. Since I started, I have been focused on creating more sales for the gallery, building a clientele, bringing new artists and promoting the gallery through a bigger marketing presence. Besides being an art lover myself, I have many years of both sales experience and marketing skills that can help Room grow and become a great place to find art or host an event in Marin.
DIM: How have you changed the gallery since you began in November?
DM: Agne and I have very different backgrounds and we talked a lot about defining Room’s identity as a gallery. An art gallery is a retail space so it is important to look at it as a business and make the right decisions. We have been working towards finding Room’s voice by asking ourselves what art style best represents Room. I think that it is always going to be an ongoing process because we need to follow what works and what feedback we are getting from our clients. It is important to us that we are offering our public something different from what they are seeing in the other galleries around us. We want our clients to look at art that they can picture in their homes. We also want Room to be an art gallery space where people are not intimidated to come in, a place that they want to check out when they walk by. We are currently showing an array of artworks that range from $275 to under $10K hoping to offer something for everyone. After I started working with Agne, I was able to bring works of a few of the artists that I have worked with before such as the Internationally acclaimed Wosene Kosrof, Samuel Takembaiyee and Lisa Rasmussen. I’m working on a new redesigned website, a bigger Internet and email newsletter presence plus we have various projects using direct mail.
DIM: What is your background in terms of the art world? How long have you worked in the art
DM: I have been working in art sales, events, management and marketing since 2001. Since I started, I have always been very involved and curious to learn more about the business of selling art and I have applied myself to study and work in all different areas of running a gallery. Through a lot of hard work and guidance I was fortunate to have the opportunity of being advanced into marketing, management, and to create and help organize several art events. I continue to learn a lot from my mentors and friends that have been in the business of selling art for several decades, they have guided me through where I am today.
DIM: How did you get into selling art?
DM: I have worked with high-end merchandise since I was fourteen. When an opportunity arose I took a chance on it; it was very natural for me to work with art because I’m a big art lover myself and I was extremely excited and ready to go to work. Previous to getting a job in the art world I have never worked with it before, but I applied myself so I wouldn’t become just a salesperson selling art but someone that was truly involved in the process.
DIM: What galleries have you worked for?
DM: I have worked for a company that at one point owned nine gallery locations. It specialized in high-end art from Africa and later on American Art in some of its locations. I worked directly in four locations and indirectly on the other five. I started working in sales part time and rapidly got promoted throughout the years. Since last year, I’m also working with my good friend Horacio Gomes building his art gallery area at Horatius in the Potrero Hill in San Francisco.
DIM: What is your strategy for selling art?
DM: I believe that having a good personality and putting your client at ease, good product knowledge and getting to know your client’s needs are very important points when selling anything. I try to get to know my customer and listen to what they’re telling me. I always make notes so I can always remember what they have told me, who they are, etc. I find it very important to follow up with a client before and after a sale. I let the person connect with the artwork and try not to get too technical about a piece. I feel that it’s important to let the person connect with the art instead of explaining it too much, only the artist himself can do that successfully because he is the one that created the work, it’s best to let the person be “with it” for a moment. When I’m buying art for myself, I usually buy it because I fell in love with it, so I try to let people buy it for the same reason. Most times purchasing art is an emotional decision. I like to focus on the feeling that the artwork evokes, but also read the client for what they need to hear to make a good decision on an artwork. I try not to assume if the person can buy the artwork or not and I’m comfortable about asking for the sale.
DIM: Are there certain types of artwork that you specialize in?
DM: I’m best at selling contemporary art. I’m most excited about abstract, vibrant art although I also personally love works by old Masters. I find contemporary abstract artworks selling more frequently and because I’m sales minded, I tend to continue to learn and exceed at that instead of trying to work with several styles and have mediocre results. At the moment we are also looking for great sculpture art, which is something I really love. If you are excited about something you tend to sell well.
DIM: What do you like about art and working in the art industry?
DM: I love art and most of the time my travels are based around visiting museums and ancient art sites. I’m always looking at art everywhere I go, it’s one of those things that really inspires me. I travel to Europe and Americas every year and I’ll never get tired of looking at all kinds of art, even if it’s a piece of hand-woven upholstery, a clay pot or a centuries old painting. Art is attractive to me because it allows my mind to wonder. I have picked out a few pieces at home that will calm or excited me. I love looking at them. I find it so important to surround yourself with art objects that you love. Looking at your favorite piece of art can make you smile, can take you away to a distant land, tap into memories. Art is very personal and just for looking at someone’s walls you can learn a little more
DIM: What is your outlook on the art industry in this present day?
DM: Honestly, it takes a lot of courage to make your living out of making, promoting or selling art. It is a really attractive occupation because of the social part of it and because you can make money by working with beautiful artworks, but the other side of it is that it is not easy. It takes a lot of work, discipline, confidence and persistence. I have a tremendous respect for anyone that believes in art as a profession and sticks with it. I
DIM: What is your vision for Room Interior Art Gallery in the future?
DM: Agne and I have great plans for Room, we are bringing in exciting new art from all over the country besides working with great local Bay Area artists, we are also looking into finding more three-dimensional art, we are organizing special installations and making Room a place where people want to come in and see what’s new or use the space for special events. We would like to help promote Fourth Street in San Rafael as an art hub in Marin and work more with the non-profits as a way of giving back to the community. We want to work more closely with interior designers and also find art to place in offices and restaurants. We are working on a bigger presence online so we are able to expand and offer art to collectors all over the country. We also have art classes and poetry nights coming up, our goal is to keep the gallery busy all year around and take every opportunity to promote the artists we are representing. We try to think outside of the box to keep Room a lively and interesting space to visit and shop.