After being open for only a few short months, the fine art gallery Curated is enjoying a warm reception in Mystic.
Owned by Pamela Stone-Duggan and her husband Peter Duggan, the gallery opened on April 1. Curated features unique pieces of art from around the world, including contemporary and abstract paintings, sculpture, jewelry, and leather bags.
“Everyone has been gracious and welcoming and incredibly complimentary,” says Pamela.
The name of the gallery alludes to the careful process of choosing pieces to put on display. Pamela says many visitors have said the selection of curated goods has helped fill the void left when Whyevernot closed in 2013 after nearly three decades of selling artisan products in downtown Mystic.
For its first months in business, Curated’s featured artist has been Samuel Austin of Boulder, Colo. A respected architect and fine artist, Austin crafts his abstract portraits and nature scenes using watercolors and ballpoint pen.
“He’s well-known in Colorado and several other states, and I suspect will be well-known both nationally and internationally in the near future,” says Pamela.
Curated features works from a number of up-and-coming artists, along with world-renowned artists like German artist Frauke Klatte, who creates vivid sailing scenes by incorporating tangible items such as sand and sailcloth into her paintings. Andre Kohn, a Russian impressionist artist who resides in Scottsdale, Ariz., has some of his figurative paintings on display. Nicola Godden, a British sculptor whose work was featured in London’s Olympic Village in 2012, has contributed bronze pieces such as “Icarus Rising,” which portrays the mythological feature soaring with melting wings.
Pamela’s background in interior design, arts marketing, and branding is evidenced throughout the gallery and in the warm, inviting, visually striking window display. The extensive large Edison bulbs illuminate an array of ceramic and bronze sculptures in the front window.
“It’s like this steampunk French industrial look,” says Pamela.
Several customers have asked whether the light fixtures or display cases are for sale. They currently can’t be purchased, but furniture may be incorporated into the gallery offerings in the future.
Pamela says she seeks to offer items in high demand from visitors while retaining the mission of providing beautifully crafted, high quality unique items.
“I’m constantly on the hunt for cool new amazing things,” says Pamela. “I seek out the best shows nationally and internationally and travel with Peter throughout Europe for six weeks or so in the winter to uncover the coolest, most unique items we can find.”
On the first Friday of every month, Curated holds an opening reception where guests can enjoy champagne, occasional live music, The Real McCoy Rum tastings, and the artwork. The regular event varies from visiting guest artists to jewelry trunk shows. June Turnball, a Colorado artist, recently led a class on a process called Zentangle.
“It’s a form of doodling that’s somewhat structured, incredibly relaxing, and fun,” says Pamela. “And the end result is always striking and beautiful.”
The First Friday event on Nov. 3 will be a trunk show featuring clothing designer Maria Barraza of Stonington and New York City, with sophisticated and uniquely designed styles. Barraza is also the executive director of the Brooklyn Fashion Incubator, a nonprofit focused on mentoring emerging fashion entrepreneurs and contributing to the ongoing leadership of the New York fashion industry.
Although several customers have asked if Curated will expand to other cities, the Mystic location is currently the only one. Pamela says she is focusing on expanding the current website to include artist bios and online shopping; the new site is slated to launch in September 2017. Another main area of focus is translating the overall brand of the gallery through the shopping experience.
In November and December, Pamela is looking to collaborate with art teachers in the region to do a juried competition for students.
“I’d like to put them through the experience of what it’s like to be a professional artist, right down to selling their work,” she says.
Curated is located at 29 West Main Street in Mystic. For more information, call 1-800-249-0129 or visit curated.world.