Young gallery owner paves the way for new artists
Bridgette Mayer in her Philadelphia gallery.
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(CNN) -- Bridgette Mayer is not your typical art gallery owner.
After falling in love with her job at a student run gallery in college and "canvassing" the real world for several years, Mayer became the youngest gallery owner in Philadelphia at the age of 27.
Although Mayer was young in age, she had more than 10 years in gallery and arts management when she opened The Bridgette Mayer Gallery in 2001.
During the years leading up to opening her gallery, the young entrepreneur came across a number of gallery owners and many of them had a few things in common -- most were middle-aged with established client and artist databases.
"I had a moment of clarity when I was selling a painting to someone and felt like I wouldn't buy it for myself," Mayer said. "[I was] just feeling frustrated by the lack of evolution in the field, so I started doing art consulting on my own and that eventually led me to open the gallery."
Most galleries tended to play it safe by waiting until newer artists developed and had an established history before exhibiting their work, but Meyer had a different vision. A vision in which she supported and built the careers of emerging artists, who like herself, just needed a place to showcase their talents.
"They didn't know me. They didn't know my artists and I was really starting out without a client base. That was the biggest challenge," Mayer said.
Almost five years later, and now representing 16 painters, Mayer has developed an eye for unique artwork and wants to share that love with visitors to her gallery.
"There's an educational aspect to what I do," said Mayer. "I really enjoy the process of teaching people about art and connecting them to the artist's work."
That connection has translated into sales at the gallery. She says her business doubled in the last year and she plans on opening a gallery in New York in the next two years.
One thing's for sure, Bridgette Mayer will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the art world.
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