Back to Archives

Gallery with a heart

Still life with gallery director Kelly Joseph

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

The tattoo on Kelly Joseph’s wrist tells the story behind the story of how it was she came to the Pacific Northwest.

Inspired by her favorite book by Tom Robbins, “Still Life with Woodpecker,” the tattoo indelibly confirms her love of the author from the area where she knew she wanted to eventually live.

As a manager for Dillon Gallery in Chelsea, “I was in the heart of the art scene in one of the hottest markets in the world,” says Joseph.  And then she says, “But something was missing.”

She says, “NYC was amazing for my career but I wanted a different life, I wanted to live in a place I could see myself staying for a while.”

She speculates, “One reason I wasn’t happy was that I wasn’t involved in the community.”

When she came for a visit in August of 2006, she vowed that within a year, she’d relocate to the Pacific Northwest.  In a preliminary internet job hunt, she says, “I immediately came across Tony’s ad for this position and knew this would be my next career move.”

Upon talking to Tony, she says, “We agreed upon one thing in particular which caught my attention, the necessity of community involvement.”

To that end, Joseph says that the gallery is working on several projects with local schools, as well as continuing to cement connections.

But “connecting” is only one of Joseph’s job duties, though she seems to connect effortlessly with her easy-going, affable manner.

She explains her job duties: “My job consists of…well, everything.”

She continues, “At Rebecca V I am responsible for talent scouting, marketing, advertising, client relations, curating, hanging, lighting, sales transactions, public relations, and much more.”

She adds, “I love how dynamic this position is, it keeps me fresh and on my toes.”

And then there’s the art.

Of her personal tastes, she says, “I most admire the depth of Mark Rothko’s abstract expressionist images, as well as Purvis Young’s raw and imaginative mixed media paintings.” On her own walls, she practices what she preaches vis-à-vis collecting; “My personal collection is mostly folk art and a beautiful painting by Purvis Young is the pride and joy of my collection.  I also have works by Per Fronth (a Norwegian painter) Jeanne Risica (a Brooklyn-based conceptual painter) and Matthew Courtney (a street artist from Soho.)”

One thing not hanging on Joseph’s wall? A large plasma screen.  “Actually, I don’t watch TV,” admits Joseph.

Since she looks at art, not TV, Joseph advocates the same for potential clients—electronics are an investment that will fade, while art is forever.

As to things up and coming in the gallery, look for an event in June that Valenzuela and Joseph are cooking up that will heat up the Tacoma scene. The art is not conceptual, it’s not cloaked in artsy mystery.  It’s simply old-school hot.

[Rebecca V Gallery, 3010 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.9111, www.rebeccavgallery. com]

comments powered by Disqus