Here at Create! Magazine, we love shining the spotlight on women entrepreneurs in the art world. For the next installment of our ongoing series Women Working in the Arts, we meet curator and gallery owner Liza Pruitt. In her words:
“I believe that the magic behind any beautiful space is the unique language the walls are speaking. I’ve made my passion my work by connecting people with the art that speaks their language. I have an insatiable appetite for experiencing what the world has waiting for me and getting in front of its beauty as often as possible.
As a sociology major from The University of Georgia, understanding the development of a culture is fascinating to me. No matter where I travel, I discover that the love of beauty is universal. This endeavor is a peek into my world and an opportunity to share the beauty I am constantly discovering.”
We had the opportunity to chat with Liza for an exclusive interview about her work and business. Read on to learn more!
What is your background in the arts?
I grew up in Savannah, Georgia in a family of strong women. My mother and grandmother were great patrons of the arts and regularly took me to art museums and galleries from an early age. They fostered an appreciation for the beauty of art in all its forms. I think that early schooling in the arts led me to choose sociology as a major at The University of Georgia. Understanding the development of a culture is fascinating to me. To this day, no matter where I travel, I discover that the love of beauty is universal.
When did you launch your gallery and what is the mission behind your business?
I launched Liza Pruitt in 2017. It began as a passion project, while I was still working full-time in medical sales. I had a small side business selling a curated collection of jewelry. In my travels, I would find art that I loved and wanted to share with others, so I started adding art to the mix, and before long I had abandoned jewelry and focused solely on the art. The mission behind the business was - and is - to make art accessible to everyone regardless of budget, location, or experience level. By making original art available online, clients are able to find art that speaks to them from the comfort of their own homes. I’ve made my passion my work by connecting people with the art that speaks their language.
What type of artwork and artists do you represent?
We have a thoughtfully curated selection of landscapes, abstracts, fine art photography, ceramics and have recently launched a line of home accessories and digital/NFT art. We represent a mix of emerging and established artists from all around the country.
Who are a few we might not have heard of yet that we should know about?
There are so many! But if I have to name a few, I would say Christie Younger, Erin Tice, Hillary Howorth, Anna Vaughn Kincheloe, Carson Overstreet, Mary Craven Dawkins, Margaret Crosby, Rachel Walter, and Ryan Cannon.
Besides selling directly to private clients, what other types of projects do you handle?
We work very closely with interior designers on both residential and commercial projects including medical offices, hotels, restaurants, etc.
What do you look for when reviewing work by new artists?
I look for a shared aesthetic. If you look at our collection of art, you will see that it runs the gamut from bold, contemporary abstracts to bright, vibrant florals to muted, pastel landscapes, but there is a common sensibility about them all that is hard to define. In short, I have to love it!
What trends have you noticed in the current art market?
There is an exciting trend towards digital art. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) allow collectors to acquire original art in the form of digital tokens that can be enjoyed anywhere.
Thanks to the blockchain technology behind NFTs, the provenance and exclusive ownership rights of a work of art can be easily authenticated, which is a win for the collector as well as the artist.
How do you think it will change in the next five or ten years?
I think we will continue to see growth in consumers buying art online. As we have all spent more time at home over the past two years, people are becoming more invested in their homes as an expression of themselves. You can tell a lot about a person by what they choose to display on their walls. Being surrounded by beautiful art that we love brings joy and meaning into our homes.
I also think social media will continue to drive online art sales. People can scroll through their feeds at midnight, find art that they love, and order it right then and there. There is definitely a growing comfort level with buying art online.
Are there any current exhibitions or collaborations you're working on that you'd like to share?
We are really excited about a recent collaboration with Serena & Lily. We are also working on a group show for Mother’s Day starting on April 13th that will feature some of our all-time favorite artists as well as a few new ones!
What is your vision for the future of your business?
We want to keep evolving while staying true to our mission of making art accessible. We have recently expanded into home accessories and are working on a collection of pillows and other textiles featuring artists that we represent. We are also working on developing a resource for people to resell art in an online marketplace. There is currently not a good place for people to sell original art that may not work for them anymore because of a move or evolving tastes. We hate to think of this gorgeous art ending up in yard sales or even landfills when there is certainly a demand for quality art. The collection will stay curated and will essentially connect buyers and sellers in an anonymous online marketplace. Stay tuned!