Gallery for The People

The online outlet pops up in the Bay Area to benefit the Palo Alto International Film Festival

by Vivianne Lapointe


The art, film and tech worlds will collide in Silicon Valley tomorrow night, 19 October, in celebration of Gallery For The People‘s Fall pop-up, an exhibition benefitting the Palo Alto International Film Festival (PAIFF) and featuring contemporary artists Sage Vaughn, Deedee Cheriel and Curtis Kulig.

Co-founded in 2012 by LA-based film producer Eva Maria Daniels and consultant Alexandra Canosa, the web-based Gallery for the People focuses on showcasing abstract work, paintings mixed media and photography. In an interesting twist of art and commerce, the pop-up will exhibit work for one night only–in this case in the ballroom of the Stonebrook Court Estate–before becoming available to collectors on the website the following day.

In less than a year, Gallery for The People has managed to build a roster of impressive artists and a clientele of film-industry buffs. We had a chance to catch up with Daniels for a quick chat about the event and Gallery for the People’s mission and curatorial vision. Along with insight behind the organization she offers a preview of work before its debut at the show tomorrow night and online 20 October.

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This is your first pop-up in the Bay Area. Can you talk about the art scene there in relation to PAIFF and the art scene in general in the South Bay?

We love PAIFF and the people behind the festival. They work so hard bringing art to the tech community, live or still, and they’ve done a tremendous job with the festival since it launched in 2011. As a film producer, I’m always looking to merge the worlds of film and art. I’ve discovered artists through my movies, and filmmakers through my gallery, so we feel like it’s all very closely connected. In terms of the art scene in general in the South Bay, we’re so new to the area it’s too early to make a statement on “the scene.” You have to dive into the trenches to really judge it–which we’re doing slowly–but I can say that we’re so excited to be bringing some of the best artists up from NY and LA to an area that is primarily known for technology. The arts community here is certainly growing and we’re happy to be a part of that.

This time your hosts are Juxtapoz editor-in-chief Evan Pricco, who is Bay Area-based, and actress Marisa Tomei. What is your connection to Tomei?

It’s merging the two worlds of film and art. Our last pop-up was hosted by Harvey Weinstein and the one before that was hosted by Dakota Johnson. We try to pick hosts that come from film but are personally committed to the concept of “art” which Marisa certainly is. She is friends with one of the artists showing and we’re so grateful for her to be coming up to host and support.

Why the name, Gallery for the People?

We wanted a descriptive name; our goal is to make exclusive art more accessible.


Why pop-up vs. permanent?

Since we’re online our pop-ups allow us to migrate around and give people the chance to view the art in person before it becomes available in our digital gallery. We like the freedom of being able to pop up in new environments and locations. Being online means you don’t have to live in New York, LA or San Francisco to access some of the best artists in the world today. But for those who do want to see it in person they can have that opportunity for one night only during the pop-ups. We don’t want to lock up great art in one room in one city, we love that we’re open 24/7–so anyone can come to our shows no matter what time or where they live.

What’s your biggest challenge running an online business that deals with art?

The biggest challenge is to display the art so it does it justice. No matter how well you photograph a piece, there’s nothing like seeing it in person, which is why the pop-ups are so important. We’re constantly trying to think of new ways to allow the audience to view the pieces in the best way possible over the Internet.

The artists are quite diverse in their styles. What are some of your decisions in your curatorial process?

It depends on the season. For our Fall collection, we wanted to feature nature in a creative way. Fall is such a beautiful, colorful time of year, so we wanted to showcase work that brings out nature and beauty in urban spaces. Curtis, Deedee and Sage all have that in common, each in their own creative way.


When did you start collecting, and what’s in your personal art collection?

My first was a Banksy piece I got in 2003. I then purchased a Faile piece shortly after and have been building my collection slowly but surely since then. I have pieces from all the artists we work with in Gallery for the People, and my current favorite piece is a painting I purchased from Vanessa Prager earlier this year, it’s magical and tells me a new story every time I look at it.

What’s next for Gallery for the People, after this show?

Our winter collection—we’ll do a show in LA in December featuring new work, artists TBA.