- Extensive one-on-one buying, trading and selling art and artifacts with other known dealers from 1976-1986
- SF Arts Catalog/Gallery – sales – 1990-1992
- Windsor-Betts Fine Art – 1992-1993
- Art consulting (independent) – 1993-1998
- Owner, Muse Gallery – 1998-2016
- Art exploration trip to Shanghai and Beijing, China 2014
- Owner, Muse Art Services – 2016-2023
- Owner, (Not) Sheep Gallery – 2019-2021
Based in Columbus, OH, Caren works with clients in Boston, Chicago, Santa Fe, Columbus. Muse Art Services is a consulting firm providing various business services for artists and collectors, and can provide and deliver artwork for most of the U.S.
Get to Know Me
What do you do in the art world?
I currently provide advice on collecting art, art delivery and installation service, work with designers and architects to provide artwork to hotels and restaurants, and continue to represent about 15 artists from around the world. I previously owned galleries in Columbus, OH; Taos, NM; Hilton Head Island, SC and then segued into consulting and art services for collectors across the country.
How did you begin your career in the art world?
I began as a collector. I bought my first piece of American Indian Art, by Antoine Warrior, in 1976 from a small gallery in Columbus, OH. That led to dealing in artifacts and art, traveling to New York and other parts of the country trading, selling art for that gallery and other galleries, and then representing artists directly. In 1994, I was hired by a law firm to consult on their art purchases and from there, secured clients from other companies.
In 1997 I opened the first Muse Gallery in Columbus, OH, representing mid-career contemporary artists. Some of those artists were from Columbus, but as I travelled the country I was always looking for artists and artwork that inspired me. I eventually added artists to my roster from China, Argentina, Canada, France, Italy and the U.S. The gallery eventually represented some of the best emerging and mid-career artists in the world, and a client from China hired me to help him choose artists to represent in China.
In 2007, I opened Muse Gallery Taos, to take advantage of the number of artists and clients I had in New Mexico, but also because my husband and I had purchased land and began work on what I dreamt would be an artist colony someday. 2007 and 2008 were not great years for the U.S. economy, and the gallery business suffered. Multiple galleries in SF and Taos closed in 2008, including mine. I went back to Columbus, where Muse Gallery Columbus was still operating under the tutelage of my daughter, Hali. She eventually moved to Hilton Head Island, and opened Muse Gallery Hilton Head, representing the same artists as in Columbus, working together to build the Muse Gallery name.
Muse Gallery Columbus continued on until I had open-heart surgery in 2016. I was faced with a decision - to keep the gallery open or not. I changed to Muse Art Services, going back to a more personal one-on-one art relationship with clients that had homes in multiple locations that needed art. Not having a gallery space freed me up to travel to clients’ homes to consult, to visit artist studios, etc.
Feeling frustrated, though, that art had become too commercial, not controversial enough, not challenging enough, and the financial implications that came with making art that was difficult to sell, I decided to open a political gallery in 2019 (because of the political upheaval that was taking place in the States). I hosted poetry slams, speakers, presented dynamic and controversial art, and then COVID . . . back to Muse Art Services.
It’s been a long and winding road, but one which has provided a rich and interesting life, filled with art and artists, travel, fascinating stories.
What are the most interesting aspects of your work?