Garvey's story unfolded in New York City, where she was immersed in the art
world, becoming co-director of the Schmidt Bingham Gallery in Midtown
sister, Catherine Simon, also went to New York City. Business and real estate
were her fortes. Eventually she took her abilities to Marin County, in northern
far this is your classic brain drain story. But there's a twist.
June, the sisters opened a temporary gallery in the Carmel Arts & Design
District called Garvey|Simon Art Access. They're home again, involved in a
creative enterprise that has found enough local traction for them to decide to
find to remain in their current space for at least the coming year.
and I are very good friends, as well as sisters," says Simon in the airy Magdalena
Gallery space the sisters are leasing for the summer while Magdalena is away in
Mexico. Currently on view is a show called Contemporary Abstraction, prints by three artists who
have had exhibitions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art: Tara Donovan, Ingrid
Calame and Dan Walsh.
would take me to art shows and galleries and it was so nice to go with someone
who's not intimidated by that world," Simon says about the introduction to the
art world that Garvey provided. "It felt like I had a shield. Then, when I
decided I wanted to start purchasing art, it became a really lovely process
where you begin to get these pieces in your home that become like parts of your
family. It's like you're involved with the art instead of just looking at it."
called Art Access for a reason," says Garvey who, in addition to being a
gallerist, worked the past ten years as a private art curator, advising clients
on how best to build their personal collections. "Even for me, you walk into a
big, white, sterile gallery and you get the stare-down from the 20-something
receptionist and there's this whole intimidation factor that I don't think
needs to be there. Some people like that game. It's like going past the velvet
rope at a club. But that's not what we're about.
we want to do is show people you can buy fine art, really high quality,
museum-quality art by artists who are nationally or internationally known. And
you can afford it."
has used her store of relationships with New York art dealers and artists'
representatives to stock Art Access with a focused selection of works on paper
by leading contemporary artists. "We're only interested in selling art that can
hang on a wall or that's an object," she says. "We're not interested in doing
the video or the installations, but to show people that many artists who do
installation-based work also do two-dimensional work, like Tara Donovan. That's
part of the access, to help people realize that even artists like that
frequently do drawings, works on paper, paintings."
sisters began thinking in terms of a partnership last year. Their initial
concept was to do temporary pop-up gallery shows, the first of which took place
in a redesigned home in New York City. When that venture worked, they began
looking for a way to build on its success. The burgeoning Main St. gallery
scene in Carmel caught their attention. Garvey was encouraged by the opening of
Evan Lurie's gallery, coupled with the extent of the suburban development she
saw on Indianapolis' north side.
are people on the upper eastside and Park Avenue," she says of arts patrons in
Manhattan, "who really don't want to go downtown to Chelsea. That's why there
are the 57th St. galleries and Madison Avenue, and there probably
always will be, because they want to stay in their uptown area. I imagine
that's true here, too."
to Garvey, Art Access has already become a magnet for people who are new to the
area. "The bulk of my mailing list is from people who just moved here in the
last year or so and have been looking for a gallery like this."
their original idea was to lease a gallery space for the summer and then move
on to the next project, the response to Art Access has been so encouraging the
sisters have decided to stay in Carmel for at least a year. "It's been an
organic process for us," says Simon. "We were going to do this temporary thing,
but since we've been here we've thought it makes sense [to establish a more
permanent location]. These are our roots. We're west coast/east coast, but
Indiana at heart. The gallery is still getting its legs, but we're feeling a
little more hopeful and excited than we thought we would."
adds: "I think that what we have to offer is something really fresh. Collectors
have come in and said, 'Wow, no one has done anything like this here.' I think
we can be a portal into the contemporary art scene."
Access aims to provide visitors with an insider's view of that scene. To that
end, the gallery is outfitted with an iPad programmed with videos on each of
the artists being exhibited, as well as plenty of books to browse through on
the artists' works and programming bringing artists into the gallery. The
painter James Moore came from California to discuss his process as part of the
gallery's first show in June. David Morrison, head of printmaking at Herron
presented an overview on methods used to create works on paper at the end of
gallery has also found its range expanding. Garvey discovered the steel and
hardwood constructions by local artist Donald Mee and quickly incorporated
Mee's work into the Art Access mix. She envisions the creation of a Projects
Room dedicated to emerging local artists.
she maintains that championing the work of artists that have shown in New York
galleries is vital for establishing the gallery's market and value, she also
thinks Art Access can provide a platform for homegrown talents.
our vision of bringing well known artists with the finding of the new and fresh
– I would love to do both," she says.
East Main St.
Hours: Wed.-Sat: 12-5, and by appointment