Every year, rather than waiting until just before Christmas, the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll bumps the December event up to the first Friday of the month. Often you're looking at the same show you saw the previous month, as there's little turnaround for many galleries to change their works in two weeks' time, or you're getting holiday boutiques where multiple artists sell their goods very quickly. So rather than rehash something from last month, we're gonna introduce you to someplace new! Arte Haus Collectif just took up residence at 352 East 900 South, turning an average home into a multi-artist showroom and business selling various goods and artworks. Today we chat with founder and artist Holly Addi about her career and opening the new location, complete with photos from this past Friday night.
Gavin: Hey Holly, first off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Since childhood, I have had an affinity for all things creative. I am an abstract painter with a philosophy that art cannot be defined, but rather "felt." I grew up with a mother who was an interior designer and a father who was a creative entrepreneur. I received my degree from the University of Utah, and spent the early years of my career mastering floral artistry and as a creative director for lifestyle brands, but my true passion has always come back to my art. I have created my art style based on life’s continuous imperfections but how possibly it could all relate back to beauty.
Gavin: What first got you interested in art and what was the biggest influence on you growing up?
I was interested in art from a very young age, however, it manifested in many different forms. I was the one who would spend hours rearranging my bedroom and creating a new scene before I could study. Art became my outlet, my happy place, where I created a harmonic place of beauty.
Gavin: What made you choose the University of Utah for your education, and what was your time like there?
I am from Utah originally and chose the U of U because it was my home. I loved the U of U, established many friends and had a great college experience.
Gavin: What would you say pushed you more toward mixed media and painting?
I love imperfection as a whole, it makes art more real. Life is all about imperfection. I feel with mixed media you get a true representation of abstract art, and it's many facets, just as with life itself.
Gavin: How was it for you at that time getting into the local art scene and getting your work out there for people to see?
I have been very fortunate with my art,
and putting myself out there for others to critique has never been an issue for me. I know how subjective art can be, and my philosophy is that not everyone is going to like the same art, and that is okay. The real goal is simply to believe in yourself and the pieces you are creating.
Gavin: On your own website you say that your style doesn't match any recognizable form. What was it like for you developing your own style and pushing it to levels where you stood alone?
It took many years to develop my style. I can even go back and recognize the time period of older works. I think once you have identified your style as an artist, you just know. It's the same as when you hit the ball in a good game of baseball, and you know exactly when you hit it if it's going to be where you intended for it to go. For me, it just happened.
Gavin: When did you start feeling motivated to taking on more of a creative director role with galleries and exhibitions?
My experience being a creative director for lifestyle brands made it very easy for me to further the role with galleries and exhibitions. It's all about a vision, and being able to manifest that into something of a reality.
Gavin: You've been involved with projects such as Artichokes & Co and Olive & Cocoa. What was it like for you being involved with each of those?
I founded Artichokes & Co. when I was 22, fresh out of college, and it was a Salt Lake City staple for 15 years. The concept was magical. Beautiful gifts and lovely designed flowers with a Euro flair, all with great taste and authentic quality. I transitioned Artichokes & Co. after a long partnership ended but with great vision turned the concept into solely a catalog/online company, re-branding and renaming it Olive & Cocoa. I stayed there for the first five critical years. After the company started to lose the vision and brand I had created, I decided I needed to be true to who I was, and follow what I believed in. I left Olive & Cocoa in 2014 to continue to foster my career path.
Gavin: How did the idea come about to start up your own gallery/collective, and where did the name come from?
Life is funny; I have come full circle since I started my first store at 22. Artichokes & Co. was a small shop of "artfully curated objects presented in a unique way." After I took my concept national I realized it became solely about how many packages we could get out per day and how much money could be made. Talk about the word "enterprise." This was never my mission or goal, my mission was to create a collection of amazing, beautiful designs from an organic standpoint. I now find myself back at the root of what I consider "organic," after I experienced "small success" vs. "big business." At the root of it, I like to compare it to tomatoes—tomatoes from the root, meaning organically created from the garden, are an edible phenomenon. But let corporate America get hold of a tomato and hydroponically grow them with margins and profits being their number one goal, and the tomatoes just don't taste the same. It is this that I experienced from my own personal story, and why I opened Arte Haus Collectif. I teamed up with Heidi Bischoff Jube, who is originally from southern California and has a candle collection "Monokle." Together we decided to create a dwell shop inside the art gallery curated with artful finds for the home. Monokle is sold exclusively in Salt Lake at the Collectif and exemplifies Heidi's great taste. Heidi and I both see the dwell shop becoming a little gem in SLC that you will remember and will come back to collect things such as beautiful coffee table books, jewelry, and unique finds. Heidi has a real sense for design and substance, she was the only one in Salt Lake I would have even considered opening the dwell shop with! We just had our grand opening and had a great turnout, from young to old.
Gavin: When did you come across the location on 900 South and what was it like for you turning it into an art space?
My longtime friend, real estate investor Kristy Blair of Sotheby's, had just founded and acquired this property. We teamed up in April of 2015 to create the space—it took six months.
Gavin: How did you go about choosing the other artists who are on display?
I have always been a lover of the European culture since my first travel to Paris, actually even before! I wanted to have European artists featured to share the love of what I experience. If one cannot make the trek to Paris, they can come and experience a little tiny morsel at Arte Haus Collectif. We also don't forget about local and domestic artists that meet the criteria we have of being habitable, intriguing, beautiful and authentic.
Gavin: What was it like for you first opening the place, and what was the public reception like?
It took Heidi and me six months of planning and laboring, as we like to refer to it. We did a lot of it by hand, even from landscaping and making table fixtures from raw materials and found objects. We didn't want the space to feel like it was brand new or "bought." Rather, we wanted it to feel "curated" and like something out of Soho, London or Paris.
Gavin: For you, both as an artist and a gallery owner, what's your goal with this new space?
As an artist, my goal is to show new works on a consistent basis as well as Internationally. As far as the gallery and dwell shop, we will be bringing in found objects and brands that Salt Lake doesn't currently have access to, and continuously fostering that desire for great design and authenticity.
Gavin: Who do you currently have on display for people to come check out? And for those who wish to have their art displayed here, how can they get in touch with you?
We currently have Odile Escolier
(Paris, France), Nathalie Leverger (Jolie, France), Tanja Eijgendaal (Denmark), Emily Barletta (Brooklyn, New York) Havoc Hendricks (SLC) and myself. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
, in the subject line put "Submission."
Gavin: What can we expect from yourself and the gallery going into 2016?
2016 we will be bringing in amazing
art, and adding more selections to our dwell shop! We will be doing some cool pop-up shops and pop-up dinners as well.