Palm Beach's Hot New Dealer: Sarah Gavlak
By Tali Jaffe
OCEAN DRIVE: Palm Beach and West Palm Beach are quite close, so why the move?
SARAH GAVLAK: I was offered a great deal on Worth Avenue and it was the best decision for me. While the major collectors will travel anywhere to see new work, there was a certain group we weren’t reaching with our location on South Dixie.
OD: And you have a very fabulous landlord...
SG: I do have a fabulous landlord! Jane [Holzer] is really a part of our history, so of course I knew who she was years before she became a client. She’s been a great supporter of the gallery and of what I’ve been doing in West Palm Beach. When she told me she had space available and wanted to have the gallery as her tenant, I was honored.
OD: What brought you down to South Florida?
SG: I’m from Pittsburgh originally, and I grew up visiting Florida. When I decided I wanted to open a gallery, I thought, Why not West Palm Beach? At the time nobody was offering a really strong program there. And it was so much more affordable than New York.
OD: You showed Phillip Estlund at ABMB this year. Was it important to you to represent a local artist at the fair?
SG: For the last two years I’ve shown local artists at Miami Basel. Local has such a pejorative connotation. But I think it’s important that we show the artists who deserve it. He’s in the collections of Beth Rudin DeWoody and Douglas S. Cramer. MOCA has his work in its collection.
OD: One of your artists, Pae White, was especially visible at ABMB. Would you like to comment on her work?
SG: I love Pae! She was perfect for the Oceanfront project. She really understands how art, design and architecture relate, better than any other artist I think. And yet she’s still under the radar. She’s not really that well-known in the States. But that may change after the fair.
photographs by NELSON HALLONQUIST