Fourteen years ago, after running an art gallery in Soho, NY, Amy Wessan joined Bruce McGaw Graphics, a company she was familiar with through her work as an art consultant. She started as an account executive, moved on to product development, and then to creative director. She now serves as the vice president of sales and design.
Decor: How did you get into the art and framing industry?
Wessan: Viewing artwork and collecting art has been a passion of mine since I was a child. I feel as though I grew up in galleries and museums. Living in New York, my family never missed an important exhibition. My mother taught at Pratt Institute, and her sister loved to paint and collect art, so there was always conversation in my house about artwork.
In college, I was an art history major, studying in Paris for a bit, and then I went on to graduate school pursuing a masters degree in arts administration at New York University. By the time I finished school, I had worked at the Whitney Museum, and several major New York galleries. I also had begun a career as an art advisor to corporations in the tri-state area, for a New York City art consulting firm.
D: Where do you think the art and framing industry is headed over the next five or ten years?
W: I think this is a very exciting time we are in. Technology is changing the way art is created, how it is reproduced and how it is sold. The Internet has opened up a global art market and the possibilities are endless. The art-buying public is much more sophisticated so I foresee new types of alternative artwork emerging and being presented in innovative ways. You will see finished products being sold with a variety of materials being tested. Retro and nostalgic items are the rage as well. But when you look closely at the images you see in many retailers you see that they are retro themes done in a contemporary style with an updated look.
D: What trends have you noticed these days?
W: I see a huge move towards contemporary looks whether it is abstracts, florals or black and white photography. Contemporary museum masters like Warhol, Haring and Rothko are very hot right now.
D: If you could have free front row tickets to any concert, whom would you see and why?
W: That's a hard question because I do go to rock concerts when I can. I'd have to say U2, Bono is the ultimate.
D: If you could relive any moment in your life, what would it be?
W: I would never want to relive any moment; it's all about being in the here and now.
D: How do you spend your free time?
W: I'm a nature girl and a city girl. So a typical weekend consists of meeting friends for brunch and strolling around Chelsea visiting galleries with my husband and daughter or hiking a trail in the woods outside of the city.
D: What's your favorite quote?
W: Work hard, play hard.
Just for Fun
D: What do you have hanging on your walls at home?
W: Contemporary artwork by artists I've worked with over the years and bought along the way in my travels
D: What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
W: An art dealer
Q & A with Amy Wessan
Reprinted with permission from Decor Magazine, May 2005 issue