SENLIS Style: Meet Blair Voltz Clarke

Blair Voltz Clarke is a gallery owner and art curator known for her exquisite taste and talent. Blair invited us into her apartment for a glimpse into her beautiful art collection. 

We interviewed Blair about her gallery, her passions, and of course, her style.

How did you get into art advisory? 

After earning degrees in art history and marketing, I pursued gallery positions that nurtured relationships with artists, particularly international artists. Some of those relationships have persisted to this day and have helped form our current roster at Voltz Clarke Gallery. It has been rewarding to grow with these artists and others by putting together exhibitions and placing their pieces in collections around the world.

As a master of curation, where do you draw your inspiration from?

Thank you for the kind ‘master’ adjective! When curating shows in our own gallery, it’s important to note historical movements as well as seasonal contemporary trends. We try and blend both so that our art program is seen as relevant, unique and inspirational!

How does your roots and travel experiences inform the pieces in your gallery and your home?

I’m from Georgia where relationships mean the world-ie who your grandmother knew as well as your grandmother's grandmother! I have found the same value in relationships exists in New York City, especially in the art business (even though us southerners seem to spend more time talking about them!). Our artists are our family and family is e v e r y t h i n g! Loyalty, integrity and perseverance are all words that come to mind for the artists in our program. 
As for travel, it feeds the soul and helps bring a global approach to our gallery. We will be formally announcing two additions to our gallery roster - a young, Spanish painter from Madrid, along with an American, abstract artist from Los Angeles. Both additions required time spent outside NYC to bring them our way!

What is it about Bradley Sabin’s botanical exhibit that inspired you?

Bradley is an artist I met through a close friend almost a decade ago. His work stopped me dead in my tracks because it is unique, textural and installation based. It’s hard to deny nature’s beauty and Bradley Sabin brings this spontaneous element of surprise into a residential space which is quite exciting. Also no two installations are ever the same.

How do you incorporate philanthropy into your work?

I’m thrilled to share our new partnership with the Center for Creative Education in West Palm Beach, Florida. For the third year in a row, Voltz Clarke is partnering with the exquisite Colony Hotel in Palm Beach where we fill a sun filled gallery area called the Solarium with a rotating schedule of solo exhibitions. This Fall, British painter, Lucy Soni’s show, The Quick Slow, opens the Friday before Thanksgiving, November 21st, with a reception joining forces with The Colony and CEE. The artist will be conducting workshops with CEE students on site at their home location.

How do you think fashion, art, and interiors influence each other?

Very strongly! Walking into someone’s home there is untold overlap with these three components. We work on many commission portraits with our clients. When they are struggling with a starting color palette, I always suggest looking in their closet at their favorite dresses or casual outfits. Speaking of, the SENLIS Fall collection is FULL of inspirational tones and colors!! Recently we designed an entire room around the tones in one painting. 

Do you curate your own home differently than your gallery?

We tend to gravitate toward a warm approach in both spaces. We will never be a cold white box, but we do try to use the gallery as a more curated space for solo or two-person shows with dashes of antiques. Our home has the character of collection throughout the years with a more extensive collection of antiques, artwork Alistair and I have acquired over time and a mix of the artists the gallery represents today. Strong coffee machines are found at both locations!

Tell me about your personal style, is it a reflection of your gallery, your home?

Yes indeed! Mix and match high and low at all times. On my desk I have a $30 sculpture from the MoMA gift shop next to a beloved Gail Halaban portrait. I dress the exact same way. 

Does the art you curate correlate to your fashion taste? For example, do you find yourself wearing more florals as a byproduct of the Bradley Sabin gallery?

YES! Florals used to be reserved for summer only. Now I’m thrilled to wear SENLIS all year round as the winter tones bring joy throughout any season!

Who or what is your current muse?

Every artist in our gallery and my dog Olympia who greets me with a grin every morning. 

What are your favorite SENLIS pieces?

I love the two piece separates that are so easily mixed and matchable along with the long chocolate brown dress, which not only feels flirty and fun, but FABULOUS!!

Thank you so much Blair. Visit her beautiful gallery now at 141 E 62nd Street, New York.

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