Tastemaker Series: Sarah Hurt, Art Broker and Entrepreneur
We recently invited Sarah Hurt of Seattle Art Source to be a part of our Tastemaker's Series, because when we met her in person we recognized that she embodied such an incredible passion and love for Seattle and the art community as a whole that you had to meet her too! She is humble and considers herself an art advocate seeking to stem the creative drain currently taking place in the PNW, but we see her as so much more than an advocate, she is helping artists to bridge the all too tricky road of art and commerce. Her work with interior designers and developers to get PNW artists in more homes and buildings around the city is so very important.
We are excited to announce that Sarah will be opening her own brick and mortar space for Seattle Art Source on Friday, June 2. For more information please make sure to sign up for the Seattle Art Source newsletter on her site. Also, in addition to Sarah being featured in our Tastemaker Series she will be curating our new Artist Series, which we can't wait to begin sharing with you!
Being - Beauty, Health, Mind
What ritual have you found to be most productive to your creativity?
I get up and have coffee with my husband every morning before he goes to work. In addition to this, honestly, probably sleep! I love my bed, I love my bedroom...It is a place set apart like no other place in my life. No computers, no phones...yes, I use an old school alarm clock just to avoid having my phone in my room. My husband and I have very busy lives, we are both self-employed and have three children so creating a small corner of the world that is uninterrupted by our responsibilities is hard won and valuable to us. The art in our bedroom may not be the most commercially appealing but is very sentimental; art from our travels together and from our children mostly.
4 out of 5 work days I go to Barre 3 for an hour, which helps to jumpstart my day. Because I am such a social person having the right amount of meetings is really important - it can really energize me to a certain point, especially studio visits to go and see the space where people create is pretty inspiring. But I am aware that I can only take so much in because I need to process and I am careful to not oversaturate.
And getting to bed early, resting and withdrawing......fuel for my creativity. Boring but SUPER effective.
What PNW event or activity are you most looking forward to at the moment?
I am determined to get to the Bloedel Reserve this spring. It’s on the calendar!
Being in Chinatown this summer....there are so many great events going on in that neighborhood, and having the shop open in June means that we will get to experience the fun first hand. Some of my favorite places in Chinatown: The Wing Luke Museum (is a total unsung hero! It encapsulates a really complicated and diverse history) and another is MOMO, they have been there for 11 years a unique and singular place to shop.
The dragon festival in July is really fun and is another reminder of why Seattle is the way that it is, we have this cultural touchstone that is the international district. Just as we embrace the Nordic heritage, we would not be the same without the ID.
Discovery Beach: One of our favorite ways to pass a summer’s day is spending a day at the beach near the lighthouse at Discovery point. The landscape is so dynamic with the ships passing, the occasional baby seal and all the piles of fun driftwood to occupy our imaginations.
One Hike Per Week: We have a roster of walks/hikes within an hours drive of Seattle and are picking one per week to try during the summer months. We are all excited about discovering some new destinations together through this process.
What is your proudest project?
I love Seattle Art Source so much and each project brings new opportunities for discovery. I am so proud to be working with some kind and talented artist as well as some fantastic designers. It’s humbling really and I feel immensely grateful.
One passion project that has taken on a life of it’s own, in the best possible way, is King Street Makers Market. My friend, Jordan Carlson, and I started talking about it several years back and it evolved into this scrappy little holiday market way back in 2014. Well, it has become a thing of beauty and is a gratifying showcase for discoveries that Jordan and I make throughout the year. Jordan and I also work really well together and have a great balance of skills that reveals itself through the market. We like to think we are inviting people into our personal space when we welcome shoppers because it really does feel so much like our homes. (IG _KSMM_)
Where do you look to find inspiration? And what are you obsessed with right now?
Studio visits are a big part of my job, but also a huge source of inspiration. You get to see behind the “curtain”, so to speak and each artist works in such an amazingly personal way. If you ever get the chance to visit an open studio tour, please do. There is something transformative about our understanding of people when we give and receive hospitality from them. In much the same way that breaking bread with friends and neighbors can provide a platform for intimacy and closeness, a visit to a working artist’s creative space will change the way you see their art.
You don't want to go into a studio visit over informed, a big part of it is a gut check. Preparing for a studio visit means to really be present, not be rushed, be able to listen and have an eye that is critical but hospitable too.
What piece of clothing/accessory when you put it on makes you feel most like yourself, most like you will be transported into your creative zone?
I am in a creative field but on the business end of it so I have lots of room to play with fashion. But the reality is that if I could wear a uniform it would be skinny black jeans, ankle boots, blazer and statement rings or bracelets. King Street makers Market always has a great jewelry selection and I tend to pick up a couple of fantastic pieces from local designers each year. Tiro Tiro and Rachel Ravitch are some favorites. And J Crew blazers because they come in Tall (I am just shy of 6ft) and are such a classic staple.
This is a really interesting question to answer because this year I am on a clothing fast. In order to honor my family's commitment to allow me to start this business, because it's a family effort I needed to get creative financially and this was an area I identified where I could give something up. The clothing fast challenges me to learn what I have to the fullest. I pull things out that I am not wearing, my wardrobe is on high rotation but also needs to be functional and not too fancy. I see that more stuff isn't really going to help me function any higher.
What are your thoughts about the prevalence of technology in today’s culture? What do you do in order to keep from being distracted while trying to work?
This will be the struggle for the modern world and I can’t say that I have fine tuned this exactly right. But our home is pretty low tech which in turn makes our time together as a family less about technology than it could be. We do watch Netflix on the computer, but there are no video games and lots and lots of books. I have always loved reading and have worked to instill the love of books in my children, but what that really means is they see me reading, there are books everywhere, we provide a constant stream of trips to the library, I engage them on what they are reading....basically communicate a high value for literacy by my own behavior.
Because I work from home a lot, the only distinguisher of me being “at work” or not, is shutting the laptop. I have to be very disciplined because no one is going to give me permission to leave work except the boss....which is me! Unless there is an urgent deadline the next day, I won’t check my email after 7pm. I have also turned off all those crazy notifications so that my phone isn’t lighting up every 3 seconds and demanding my attention.
What city/country (outside of the PNW) is currently inspiring you right now? And why?
I have a trip planned to the central coast of California in June and am very excited to see that stretch of coastline and spend a few days exploring. The central coast is just rich with natural beauty and is unlike any other place. Plus, I get to have this trip with my sister which will be such a rare and special treat. As adults we have become really good friends. Traveling with her is so relaxing because she takes care of all the details and I just get to be along for the ride, which is so very different from how I usually operate.
I spent 10 days in Rome last October and would turn around and spend 10 more right this instant if I could. I had a really well-balanced cohort of traveling companions and we all decided that we wanted to soak up Rome for the entire time, rather than race around Italy. And I wouldn’t have changed a thing. And Romans are so very comfortable with their own beauty and significance that the entire population doesn't seem surprised that you love it so much. It is the most effortlessly elegant city. I left charmed and completely smitten.
Photography featured in this post is from Seattle Art Source.