New York natives, Louanne and Dave Rozek are hardcore art fans who have called Marietta home since 2008. If there’s a local art opening, you will find the Rozeks in the gallery contemplating all the latest work. We enjoy spending time with them at dk Gallery, and always enjoy hearing their take on art matters.
A Collecting Journey
“My love of art began in high school where I took an AP Art History class. As part of it we took a class trip (1978-79) to the MOMA in NYC where the entire building was devoted to the life work of Picasso. While the class gave me great introduction to art it was the Picasso trip that really made me love modern art.
David’s mother was a fine artist. She owned a gallery and also sold miniature landscapes. David was her helper at art shows and the gallery. His interest in art was more old school, he wasn’t interested in “modern art.” While we were dating I gave David a Raymond Lowey print of train. We still have this framed piece, although it has been moved from his office to another room.
Our first years of marriage we bought more posters. When we traveled we picked up small pieces by local artists. Our first major painting acquisition was a vibrant landscape that David bought me for my 40th birthday by Jerome Gastaldi.
We moved around a bit and ended up in Marietta in 2008. On one of our first trips to the Square we were thrilled to learn that a new modern art gallery was opening soon. We were peering in the glass window when the door opened and out popped dk with an invitation to the grand opening. Since then we have come to love dk, her husband and all the gallerinas. dk Gallery has become our second home on the Square.”
The Rozeks own a Picasso serigraph, but it wasn’t until they were introduced to the artwork of Susan Easton Burns at dk Gallery that they realized they had become collectors.
“When we started collecting multiple pieces by SEB, we realized we were collectors. Before that we bought art that we both liked, but never multiple pieces from the same artist,” recalls Louanne.
On Collecting New Work
Usually we bring the new pieces (we never seem to buy just one) home from the frame shop and remove the paper/plastic and place them on the stone hearth in our living room. It usually takes a few days to decide where we are going to put it. I usually make a suggestion and Dave has right of refusal. Lately he has agreed on all my first recommendations. Dave also has a penchant for the wolves that Susan Easton Burns creates, the pack in his office now stands at five and he recently added a bear. We both love Susan’s work, she was the first artist that we purchased from dk and at last count we have 35 of her pieces. Most are paper but last year David gave me SEB’s “How Big, So Big” canvas that resides in our living room.
When asked about their favorite piece, they balked. “That is like naming your favorite child,” said David. But they admitted that they have on occasion discussed what to save first in the event of a fire. “David says he would grab as many SEB large works as possible from our living room first.
I love Dale Chihuly glass and one of our favorite glass pieces is Blue Spinnaker by David Goldenhagen. But my absolute favorite piece that we purchased was SEB’s “Friction.” It became the center piece of our living room redesign in 2014.
We asked Louanne her thoughts on process of purchasing art now that the couple has put together a beloved collection.
“Now that we have the money to spend on original art work we’d never go back. There are key pieces that we keep in their original places, but every three to four years we take everything down and move them around. It allows us to take another look at a piece that we may not have seen in a while.
If I didn’t have art on the walls I’d go crazy. I like to look at piece for a while, to me it is like re-reading a favorite book. I never fail to find something new every time I do this and it is a great form of stress relief to just pause and visually enjoy a piece of art. We know a lot of people spend money on travel, we spend money on art. To us the memories last longer than a sun tan. We can look at a piece and remember where we bought it and the artist.
The coolest thing we did this year was commission a piece from Steve Dininno. Manhattan Bridge with the Empire State Building framed in the arch was fun and exciting experience.”
Their advice when asked what advice they would give to new collectors?
“Buy what makes you happy, what makes you smile.”