News & Views
Photo of Sandwich Village by Joe Janis
What is your name and the name of your business?
Patricia Carega (Patsy), Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery
How did you get to Sandwich?
Sandwich found me. My brother lived in Moultonborough in a wonderful house with a view of the Sandwich Range and the best cold-water pond ever. I fell in love with the White Mountains. I was at a juncture in my life and in search of a new adventure for the next phase. My four children were in college or beyond, and I wanted to get back into the gallery business that I had left behind in a move from Washington, DC to Miami.
A barn in New Hampshire would allow me a life in the mountains and the challenge of selling contemporary art in New England. I left Miami and moved north to Center Sandwich. I have never been disappointed that the barn on Maple Street screamed, “Buy me” during the summer of 1999.
What got you started in the business?
A long relationship with art, and art history followed me from childhood throughout my life. I spent a year in Florence studying art history at the University while also trying my hand (not very successfully) at sculpture. After my marriage to Paolo Carega , Roman, we moved from New York to Rome. Paris followed. My interest in art increased with long walks around these cities, their amazing museums and the exhibitions of contemporary artists against a background of living art history.
The gallery bug really bit hard when we left Paris. I missed the art scene I had known abroad and decided to create my own. I began a gallery career in 1983 in Washington DC. Ten incredible years there taught me a lot about the business. The economy shut us down in 1993. I joined my husband in Miami with the idea of opening a gallery there. No gallery, many soccer games and fundraisers later, I packed up and moved to Center Sandwich.
Tell us about your business.
I sell contemporary art, figurative or abstract in all media. Facing four college educations I couldn’t afford to buy the work that I would have liked to own. Therefore the direction of my gallery has always been to show the best work I could find for the best prices I could offer. I look for excellence and innovation in ideas and technique. But I also search for something deeper that I cannot quite explain. This could be an underlying peace, a strong social comment or simply a whimsy that delights the soul. Art should never grow old. A piece of art should be even better ten years after the day you bought it. I show a very eclectic collection of work, as there is no one style or technique that governs my choices.
The other fascinating part of the art business is education. Artist’s talks, workshops and demonstrations have always been a part of the schedule. Over the years topics have included the Book as Art, Inspirational Kites, sketchbook journaling, and heart maps as well as many conversations with painters, sculptors and photographers. I should also mention the year I was quite taken with creative shoe decoration. This workshop yielded some unique creations.
I am happy to say that over thirty some years in business, I have been able to give a start or a boost to artists beginning their careers. The art business is not an easy one and it is a real thrill to know when one of my artists has made it to a museum collection, an international exhibit, or a corporate venue.
What is the most fun/satisfying aspect of your job?
Studio visits, finding new work, and best is giving a client the happiness of taking a great piece home. I love meeting people who come to the gallery and the conversations that ensue. People and art are an exhilarating combination. I love installing exhibits and I love creating new shows in the barn’s vast space.
What is the hardest?
The economy and political scene can be difficult. People’s thoughts and emotions are elsewhere. Days when no one comes into the gallery are the hardest. The periods of no sales when you begin to think its time to close the door are the very worst.
What has happened to your business during this last Covid Year?
The pandemic was a challenge. Instead of opening in May as usual we waited until July 1st and then the question was how to show art safely and more than that how to make people want to come to the gallery. Creative barnstorming resulted in Drive Buy shows.
Pam Urda made a wonderful Drive Buy car sign for the driveway and we strung a clothesline between the trees in front of the house where we hung her floor mats. The trees were covered by mostly chickens in all forms of their silly adventures. It was a rewarding experience to have people come by the gallery and thank us for being open and more than that thank us for making them smile.
What are your goals and hopes for the future?
I am looking forward to bringing a wonderful summer of creativity to Sandwich. I hope we can put Covid behind us and move forward with a renewed energy directed towards an interest in the arts in Center Sandwich. As always we will bring a collection of amazing talent with a smidge of whimsy to the gallery this summer.
What else can you tell us about yourself and your business?
Like other businesses in Sandwich, we work internationally. I find it thrilling that a small business in a small town can have far flung clients across this country and abroad. The far reach of the Sandwich tentacles will forever amaze me. One never has to pass through Sandwich to get to another town, yet we are an invigorating island of creativity and nature.
News & Views
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Meet Our Members
Please enjoy the Sandwich Business Group's 2021 project called Meet Our Members. Read interviews with fascinating people who live here and run businesses, organizations, and engage in other creative pursuits.
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