"We want our clients to see as many artists as possible to help them hone their tastes and feel confident about their choices."
San Francisco art consultants, Stephanie Breitbard and Evie Simon, were glowing on a recent holiday evening. And why not, they had assembled some of the Bay Area's most astute collectors for the opening reception of their new Jackson Square art salon, Simon Breitbard Fine Arts. The firm was originally established in 2007 by Stephanie Breitbard out of her private residence in Marin County. This newfound synergy of "city and suburb" will certainly benefit their clients experience and strengthen their cosmopolitan viewpoint as art consultants and not, simply, gallery owners. CaenLucier recently talked shop with them as they springboard into this exciting time and revitalize the location that once housed the city's famed Ernie's Restaurant.
CaenLucier: Tell us about SBFA and your firm's portfolio of services?Stephanie Breitbard: SBFA blends traditional gallery-artist representation with in-home art consulting. We offer a personalized approach to the acquisition of fine art. By providing visits to clients' homes we are able to offer a holistic and individualized approach to the process of buying art. We offer photoshop mock-ups as a way to visualize artwork in the home environment, allow clients to consider work in their home for a period of time before purchasing, and provide/coordinate delivery and installation.CL: What can guests expect when they visit the gallery?Evie Simon: SBFA’s appointment only gallery space offers an intimate setting in which to explore the gallery’s selection of paintings, sculpture, photography, and mixed media works. We always have a rotating group show so that every time clients come in there is something new to see. We have examples of work from over 100 artists and digital images of available works in artists' studios. We want our clients to see as many artists as possible to help them hone their tastes and feel confident about their choices.CL: Art is such a personal purchase. How do you help your clients feel comfortable in their selection?SB: We pride ourselves on our accessibility and individual approach. We meet our clients wherever they are in their acquisition journey, from the new to more seasoned collectors. Because we offer a rotating group show instead of single artist shows, our clients are able to see work from several artists at once. This helps them make informed decisions based on seeing a diverse array of artwork. We also allow clients to spend time with work in their homes before committing to purchase, and because we have spent time in clients' homes and understand how they live and interact with their environment, we are able to offer sincere and valuable advice about specific works and placement. Acquiring art should be fun and rewarding, not stressful.
CL: The space is beautiful! How did you find it, and how did you know it was right for you?ES: Thank you! It had amazing architectural detail already and that was important to us. Our focus is really on LIVING with art so we needed that to be reflected in our gallery space. Being in the Jackson Square neighborhood with residential and design-focused neighbors really felt like the perfect fit for us. This neighborhood has so much soul and history and is also surrounded by some delicious restaurants - we can even walk to SFMOMA so are excited for that to open back up this spring! We are able to express ourselves authentically in this space and show our unique approach to acquiring artwork.CL: The space is more of a “home” than a gallery. How did you achieve this look?ES: That is exactly what we were going for. This was a collaborative effort between us, Elizabeth Cooper Interior Design and Sutro Architects. Together, we created a unique gallery experience, layering an eclectic mix of vintage and custom furniture, light fixtures, and home accessories sourced from local and international sources to craft a beautiful yet comfortable space to display artwork. We wanted people to feel as comfortable lingering over lunch or a cup of tea in our space as coming to look at art.
CL: The SF art scene is really evolving right now. Why do you love being a part of it?ES: It is an exciting time to be involved in the art world here in the Bay Area with SFMOMA re-opening, the Minnesota Street Project getting off the ground this spring and a vibrant community of artists and collectors in close proximity. We have close relationships with our artists and love to see this kind of momentum in the Arts. All of us at SBFA invest heavily with time and energy at Bay Area arts organizations and find that very gratifying. The Bay Area is full of innovation and pushing boundaries. We feel very at home here with our approach.CL: What’s next for SBFA?SB: The gallery is the new thing this year! Even with new opportunities we really try and stick to our roots of finding new talented and unique artists for our clients. We are constantly in artists studios and attend fairs in order to find new artists to add to our stable. We pride ourselves on having new artists expressing fresh ideas so that anytime a client comes to see us they can see something new and different from their last visit. We plan on attending more international art fairs in the next year so that we can continue to be inspired by new trends in the art world.
Stephanie Breitbard Fine Arts private gallery is located in San Francisco’s historic Jackson Square neighborhood. Located at 843 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94133