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Exploring Life & Business with Kelly Carper of Art House Consulting

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Carper.

Hi Kelly, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I got started working in commercial galleries in Santa Fe – I initially moved to New Mexico from Virginia for an internship at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, but the gallery market there drew me in. After working in gallery sales, marketing, and management, I decided to pursue my own business providing PR services for artists and galleries and writing for arts magazines. Creative entrepreneurship excited me, and I’ve been able to expand on this work in Utah. I eventually felt pulled to pursue my own curatorial efforts; when I moved from Santa Fe to Ogden, I saw very few opportunities for the community to engage with contemporary art and even fewer exhibition opportunities for artists of this style. I started with pop up exhibitions for local contemporary artists, and have since started teaming up with like-minded organizations like Ogden Contemporary Arts to curate more large-scale shows and bring national contemporary artists into our community.

With Art House, I’m offering art consulting services for homes and business in addition to my curatorial projects. This brand also allows me to layer in my real estate work with SLC’s real estate and design firm, cityhomeCOLLECTIVE, whose creative company culture inspired me to start selling real estate. I’m trying to demystify this idea of “art collecting” and encourage/inspire everyone to bring original art into their homes and by doing so, support working artists and community arts efforts.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I first started my own business in my 20s, so it was often a struggle to get people to take me seriously. It sounds silly, but as a petite female, it can be even harder (I looked even younger than I was…) When I first started peddling my PR business in Santa Fe, I got several – “how old are you?” responses and that was frustrating. I think it also came into play with some of the jobs I had, where I wasn’t promoted as quickly because I was young, not because I wasn’t doing the work.

When I first started pursuing work in the arts, I had to do a lot of unpaid jobs to get started. I had a lot of support from my family and even so, my first few jobs in the arts were paired with other jobs for it to make sense financially. I think this is an issue in the art world, and I make it a priority to work with organizations that pay their employees, interns, and artists.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Art House advocates for art and expression both at home and in the community; it’s a platform for curatorial projects, art consulting and real estate services all in one.

I’m really proud of my recent rebrand as Art House (formerly Carper Contemporary) because it integrates everything I do under one brand and encourages creative living. I feel like it authenticates every aspect of my business because I’m combining all the things I love rather than separating my work in real estate and my work in the arts. I do both – I am both! And I think each one uplifts the other in a lot of ways.

One thing I want folks to know about my business is that I sell art for public places in addition to homes. I have a lot of artist relationships and can help businesses find what they’re looking for to create a vibe or bring energy into a space. I would love for public spaces like hotels, offices, hospitals, etc., to utilize these art consulting services because I think it’s so important to bring original art into these spaces, which also supports the local creatives in our community.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
The idea of home has shifted for a lot of people recently – we’re reevaluating where we want to live for the best quality of life, and creating spaces that generate calm when the world feels like a real shit storm. After spending a lot more time at home in recent years, this is at the forefront and I think it’s even more important to help folks connect with or create a space where they feel safe and comfortable, but also inspired and energized.

I also think the way we live in our homes is shifting – we’re working where we’re playing, and asking our spaces to hold a lot of ourselves and our emotions. I see homeowners continuing to put more stock in the quality of life within their homes, which is becoming more of a refuge as we prioritize our personal well-being.

My combined work in real estate and the arts really hits this, and I think homeowners will continue to be drawn to the way I do business.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Kerri Fukui, Lauren Kerr, Austin Luckett, and Beth Thompson

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