Art Broker Decks Clients' Halls with Local Artists' Masterpieces

By Skale, Heather | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 5, 1999 | Go to article overview

Art Broker Decks Clients' Halls with Local Artists' Masterpieces


Skale, Heather, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


June Linowitz began her art leasing and sales business in 1996 with the idea of bringing art galleries to people.

"Not very many people walk into art galleries," Mrs. Linowitz said. "Most people think they will feel uncomfortable there."

To make it easy for people to talk about art, the artist and former art gallery director has clients of her business, ArtSeen Inc., organize postcards with pictures of art into piles of what they like, dislike and can live with.

She then brings clients, which are mostly businesses, slides of art she thinks they might like. After that, she brings in pieces of art they may want to buy or lease.

Most businesses have a committee choose the art they plan to buy or lease, Mrs. Linowitz said.

ArtSeen sells and leases art from more than 200 local artists and has an inventory of more than 6,000 pieces of art on slides. The paintings, sculptures and other objects range in price from $100 to $50,000.

Joe Fitzgerald, a fifth-generation Washingtonian and artist, sells his landscape pastels through ArtSeen. Mrs. Linowitz makes people comfortable with art, he said.

"June has the amazing ability to help people see what it is that they like and to have the courage to put that up on the walls," Mr. Fitzgerald said.

Mrs. Linowitz began her business by leasing and selling art to D.C.-area law firms, and later, to technology companies. The latter tend to bypass high-tech in favor of art that is more organic with earthy colors and living forms.

Most often businesses buy the art they choose, but some decide to lease pieces, she said.

Chesapeake Resources Inc., a Rockville self-storage management company, used ArtSeen to fill the walls of its new offices recently. Mrs. Linowitz found art made of corrugated boxes and a photograph of a storage space for the company.

"We were thrilled she took time to find out our business," said Nancy Gunning, senior vice president of Chesapeake Resources. …

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