April 30th, 2018

This is the second installment of Stories from Ten Years: blogs about special paintings, collectors, and unexpected situations.

2009 was a tough year and a triumphant one — in many ways.

 

He generously offered, “why don’t I send you some work?”

 

I was a year into the gallery and was running a profit and had just purchased my first home in Old Town, Park City. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and began treatment. The gallery roster was continuing to expand and for the first time I was receiving regular submissions from artist who wished to join.

An exciting project called for a large-scale commissioned piece of abstract art, and I knew just who to call: Michael Kessler. I knew Kessler’s work through his gallery in Santa Fe, where I had purchased two small works for my own home a few years back. I adored his work and was hoping that he would reply to my email about a commission, thinking that this would be a one-time event. Working with an established artist like Michael Kessler was a dream at the time — I wasn’t sure if he would even reply!

An early painting for us by Michael Kessler, “Dashpot” in acrylic on panel with resin

I got a friendly and accommodating email back and we worked to put together a proposal for the collector. The project did not come to anything, but the relationship did and we have been showing Kessler’s work since then. He generously offered, “why don’t I send you some work?” Little did he know how treasured and impactful that one line would be — for both of us — for many years to come.

Michael Kessler and Maren Mullin, from their first show together

Since 2009, we have sold too many of his gorgeous paintings to count, and I have added another piece to my own collection as well. I love learning from this artist and working together to try out new ideas.

Another early show with Michael Kessler and Shawna Moore, “Tracing Tangents”