Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacque L Keller.
Jacque, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I met John Gleason almost two decades ago delivering artwork to a new gallery where we shared some easy laughter. (The ease was born from a conversation around ‘butt cracks’, but it’s a long story. Still makes us laugh though!) After a few conversations we convinced ourselves that the successes in all of this–along with any disappointment–would be easier to take with the cheerleader that we found in each other. When one received and delivered a commission, the other would help install which usually led to a commission for them, and so the cycle started. Referrals were plentiful, and thus started the cooperative approach to the singular mission of creating great art. We incorporated our effort into Quan’tum Art, Inc. in 1999 to minimize and consolidate our work load, but still maintain our own studios. We opened the brick and mortar space in Scottsdale several years ago–we probably should have done it sooner.
We are anything but selfish. We really do consider ourselves “art cheerleaders”. If a site-specific project would be more diverse and exciting with additional work, we do not hesitate to pull in the other’s work and input or work by other artists’. It truly is about the art and the art lovers–and the joy of it all.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This makes me smile, because it has all been a lesson in life itself. There never seems to be a lack of ideas or imagination (maybe we are a little crazy, the fun kind of crazy, I think). I know there are things in my head I might never get to. I never linger on an obstacle though…not that doing something else hasn’t entered my mind over the years, but only because life is so full–look at all the things out there to do. I guess frustration can set in if you can’t wait to be back in the studio, and life has you somewhere else. I received good advice from my daughter once “Be where your feet are.” So I enjoy everything, but especially to be working for 34 years in the arts, That is a gift I don’t take lightly even if I don’t take myself too seriously.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Fine art. Contemporary, modern, wonderful. I paint–usually acrylic on wood or canvas, from real life to real crazy. John sculpts with copper and glass and rock. Damn, they are cool! Our newer-to-the-tribe is Suzanne Larson from Utah who does beautiful glasswork and more. And then we represent mud artist (his term) Alvin Pace–potter extraordinaire. We have repped up to 17 artists over the years but these folks seem to be the most serious about creating, the most collected, and we keep our heads in the game.
What were you like growing up?
Ah, geez. John knows my family and says I grew up in the crazy version of a Norman Rockwell painting. I was the middle of three girls; my sisters are my forever BFFs. We grew up in NW Ohio off Lake Erie on my grandfather’s farmland. It was really splendid although, at the time, I thought having to dry the dishes or pick peas for supper or vacuum furniture meant I was abused. I loved school and my friends and my family and just about every encounter I ever had. My folks were fabulous parents and people full of giving and laughter. Looking back I think they kept the world at bay as much as possible so we could be kids. But Dad never came home grumpy. He loved his home. And Mom was such a gem–caring, fun, hard=working like Dad. I studied in the youth program at the Toledo Museum of Art. That place is still my favorite man-made place in the world. I thought I was in heaven every Saturday for those years. And on top of that I got a quarter for a candy bar. Yep, heaven. I would sit and draw under Thomas Cole’s An Architect’s Dream. Do you know the story? A magnificent painting, commissioned, rejected, now immortalized by history. It is so impressive that it still overwhelms me. I met my husband when I was 15–a keeper and the best man I know. We have kids that are awesome citizens: a son and a daughter, a daughter-in-law that is a true daughter, and a wonderful grandson! Blessed. For sure.
- Address: 7077 E. Main Street, Suite 16
Scottsdale, AZ 85251In the courtyard of Marshall Square right in the middle of the Scottsdale Art District
- Phone:480-216-0450 (John)
- Facebook:Quantum Art, Inc.
By Quantum Art, Inc., and the pottery piece is credit to Alvin Pace