WILSON SIGNATURE COLLECTION FINE ART GALLERY
407 Front Street Suite D
Key West, FL
ART GONE WILD STUDIOS / GALLERIES
Lisa and D. Arthur Wilson, owners of the original Art Gone Wild Gallery in Key West, Fla., and the new sister gallery in Santa Fe, N.M., find themselves living a charmed life in the art world; however, their success did not always comes easily.
The husband-and-wife team is making some brave and risky moves, such as opening a new gallery during the tough economic recovery of 2010. Those risks paid off: The Wilsons are doing well enough to expand, and Lisa and Arthur’s work continues to attract more collectors. The couple is even speaking with some Hollywood producers about creating a feature-length animated film based on Arthur’s signature character, Rhupert the ostrich, although the pair cannot yet share any further details.
ABN spoke with the couple to find out what drew them to art and to each other and to discover the secrets of their success as artists and gallery owners.
Art Business News: How did you first get involved in art?
Arthur: My first art show was in 1976 in Dayton, Ohio, when I was 17. In the ’70s and early ’80s, mall art shows were [among] the major ways to make a living. When I tell people today that weren’t around in that era, they go, “What? In malls?” But you must understand that malls were the new marketplace. Downtowns were dying across America at the time, people had not yet started renovating downtown historic districts, … the shopping mall was brand new and promoters were doing art shows there. They were typically traveling shows, and I ran into one, and these people were making a living at art and traveling the country. I said, “Hey, it doesn’t get any better than that,” so I bought myself a van, and I started doing art shows coast to coast for the next four or five years.
ABN: What about you, Lisa?
Lisa: My mother was an amazing vocal-music educator, and she gave me that beautiful balance of always having a creative space. I was always surrounded by art and performances and museums, and I was a vocal-music major and dance minor in college.