We're turning 15 years old at Huff Harrington Fine Art! We can hardly believe it's so long since we opened the doors at our little gallery. What a joy it has been - and an experience we wouldn't have traded for anything.
Along the way, we've met the most wonderful clients, developed deep friendships with our artists and grown into a warm and caring family of like-minded people who are passionate about art.
Debbie, Linda, Ann, Meg, Mac and Mimi
You probably know the story by now: Ann and I met when I rented her beautiful home, Les Murets, in Provence. We were both selling art out of our homes (out of our kitchens, really) and we quickly bonded over the ups and downs of running a home-based business. One day, we ended up having lunch at the cute little Anis restaurant in Buckhead. Several hours and a bottle of red wine later, we were shaking hands and were officially business partners. Did we ever mention that our dear husbands thought we were absolutely out of our minds?
We found a sweet little ranch house-turned-commercial-space and wasted no time gussy-ing it up with paint, new floors and lighting. We decided to keep the original kitchen oven which is a true relic from the 1970s - so many of you love that oven and always comment on it!
Our little gallery, ready for its grand opening back in 2006.
Between the two of us, we already had a budding roster of artists and we immediately went to work building our gallery family. We're beyond proud to say that, 15 years later, many of these wonderful painters are still with us and we are lucky to count them as dear friends and colleagues. (Nancy Franke, Pascal Bouterin, Bethanne Cople: here's a shout-out to you!)
Although we really had no idea how busy we might be, we optimistically put the word out that we were looking for help at the gallery. The answer to our prayers showed up in a white patent raincoat and the sassiest haircut we had ever seen. This was Linda Mohan, soon to be the face of the gallery. With her infectious giggle, warm smile and can-do-absolutely-anything attitude, Linda won our hearts in about one second flat. To this day, we still hear how much you love working with Linda and boy, are we glad she believed in us.
Opening night! Linda, Meg and Ann
15 years and so many hairdos later...
We quickly revved up into art gallery mode and the months and years were filled with lively art shows, the daily comings-and-goings of our artists (all popping in and out with trunkfuls of paintings and/or daily visits from UPS and FedEx); and the mundane - and not so mundane - tasks of running a business. The days sped by as we tackled everything from marketing to manhandling the financials, running a website and jumping feet-first into social media.
Our Bastille Day shows at the gallery are a blast. This was the year we all wore our French espadrilles.
Nancy Franke and la Leeenda.
The gallery. (Blayne Beauchamp Macauley photo)
Along the way, we began offering trips to France (the first one came on the heels of the 2008 crash, how crazy were we?!) that have morphed into eight trips a year: touring trips to Paris and Provence, painting trips to Provence and buying trips to Paris and Provence. To say these trips are a perk is the understatement of the year - we are all desperate to get back to our beloved France.
We can't wait to get back to France and our wonderful trips that are food for the soul and a feast for all the senses. (Fingers crossed for later this year and 2022.)
And then in 2009, we opened Huff Harrington Home, a 5,000-square-foot home furnishings store that turned out to be an additional space to show and sell our art. Thanks to the gallery, the walls at Huff Harrington Home change on a weekly basis and, we're proud to say, one is more lovely than the next.
So, fast-forward to 2021 and Ann and I have a long list of things to be grateful and thankful for. Let's begin with you, our dear and loyal clients - we've gotten to know so many of you so well and we treasure our friendships with you. Second, of course, our family of artists, who never fail to surprise, delight and inspire us with their creativity, talent and hard work.
Finally, where would we be without the wonderful, smart and gracious professionals who keep our little business chugging along smoothly day in and day out? There's La Leeenda, whose completely contagious laugh and welcoming "hello's!" have us grinning every day.
Mackenzie, spreading artful cheer.
Then there's Mackenzie who has never, not once, ever turned down a project and tackles her job energetically, with grace, goodwill and a laser sharp eye. Mackenzie handles so many aspects of the gallery's business, from inventory management to marketing and we'd be lost without her. We're also lucky to have Mimi, an art-loving recent addition to the family, and Debbie, who's got more creativity in her little finger than most of us have in our entire bodies. Together, with these ladies, the little-gallery-that-could just keeps going and going - we hope for another 15 years.
Linda and Mac.
To celebrate this milestone, we're delighted to announce a little gift: we're doing a fun giveaway on Instagram. You could end up winning this beautiful piece from our dear ami - and artist extraordinaire - Pascal Bouterin:
You can win En Blanc, 12 x 12, oil on board, and framed in lucite.
Pascal Bouterin, in Provence.
You can check out the details on our Insta (@huffharrington) - all you have to do is like our giveaway post, follow us and tag a pal or two. Bonne chance!
As we head into our 15th year, we're full of appreciation and gratitude to all of you who have made this art journey possible, and memorable, for us. Here's to the power and passion of beautiful original art - and the next 15 years!
Meg and Ann