Winning Instagram submission for #CurateWithCE

Meet Debra Jack, Winner of #CurateWithCE

Posted on September 15, 2015

And the winner of #CurateWithCE Instagram photo contest is...Debra Jack! 

Over the past few months, fans have posted photographs of CE artwork in their homes, offices, gardens, garage, treehouses, etc. on Instagram using the hashtag #CurateWithCE. 

Congratulations to Debra Jack, whose Creativity Explored gallery wall submission received the overall most "likes." 

Get to know Debra Jack in the following Q&A. 

1. When did you first discover Creativity Explored?

When I moved to San Francisco in 1997 I stumbled upon Friday the 13th, an awesome little art gallery that used to be in Potrero Hill. I was in my late 20s and didn’t have much money, but every so often I’d save up to buy a piece of art at the gallery. One day I walked in and fell in love with the entire exhibit – and surprisingly, it was all affordable! That’s when I learned about CE. The gallery owner, Suzanne Mailloux, had offered her space to CE. I’ll never forget my first piece by Raymond Tingley. Flash forward all these years later, and it’s amazing to see Suzanne still so actively involved in CE.

2. What stood out about CE to you?

Too many things to list! I love that half of the proceeds go to the artists. I love that the artists are at the exhibits and get to show off their work and interact with everyone. I love that the CE organization is smart, savvy and (as far as I can tell) well run – I think the partnerships with companies like CB2 and Recchuti are brilliant.

3. When did you start collecting?

That first CE piece from Friday the 13th led to avid collecting. I now have 14 pieces in our San Francisco apartment. My husband and I recently bought a house in Sonoma County and we already have about ten pieces there. And that’s not including tote bags and pillows from early CB2 collaborations. I found CE when I was single. I introduced my now husband to it when we started dating and now he, too, is a huge fan. We have a standing date to go to CE on opening nights and then Mozzeria afterward.

4. What do you look for when selecting work?

I don’t know much about art, so for me it’s not complicated. Usually it’s a piece that draws in one of us or both of us.  

5. What are the works that have special meaning?

Too many to list, but here are a few.

No More Creeps by Hope Goodall. It’s a story and artwork about Hope’s relationship with her boyfriend Michael (my husband’s name).  The minute I saw it I had to have it. A few years later Hope passed away and we found out about it at a CE opening. There was a note on the wall from Michael to Hope talking about how much he missed her. It was heartbreaking. The piece hangs in our dining room. I love having a tribute to Hope and Michael front and center in our place.

Streets of San Francisco by John Patrick McKenzie. This is one of the earliest pieces that I purchased.  I love everything he does, but I was particularly attracted to this piece because I’ve lived on five of the streets he includes on it!

A review of Sammy’s on Second by Whitman Donaldson. It turned out to be a real review of a sandwich shop near my husband’s office. He had never heard of it before he saw the positive “review.” He stopped in one day and agreed – it’s a good spot for a sandwich, and he goes there regularly now. That story still makes me chuckle.

6. How do you decide and hang the artwork?

Lots of trial and error! For the living room gallery wall (a picture of the living room wall is what won the contest), I laid out the pieces on the floor and moved them around until I thought I got it right. I’m a big fan of picture hanging molding and fishing wire. It makes moving things around a lot easier.

7. What is your most treasured artwork?

It’s way too hard for me to say one is more treasured than the rest!

8. What advice would you give to young collectors?

1.       Buy what makes you smile. Don’t over think it.

2.       Provide extra support through commissions. I have two – a painting of Bruce Springsteen (too long of a story to explain, but it’s a pretty funny one) along with one of artichokes on hotdogs (see photo) with wheels.  

3.       Spread the word. I’ve introduced so many people to CE and every single person loves the organization and the art and is thrilled to support it.

4.       If cost is a factor, start with works that don’t need to be framed because it will save you a bundle.

5.       Go to the exhibits regularly and meet the artists. You won’t be disappointed.

Detail of No More Creeps by Hope Goodall
Artwork by Raymond Tingley
Streets of San Francisco by John Patrick McKenzie, marker on paper
Artwork by Yolanda Ramirez

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