Gallery Interview: ArtHaus

By Carolyn Edlund

An interview with ArtHaus gallerists James Bacchi and Annette Schutz of  ArtHaus in Francisco.



ArtHaus, voted a favorite gallery in San Francisco


AS:  What type of artwork could a visitor expect to see in your gallery?

James Bacchi:  Our program is an adventurous blend of the expected and the unexpected. It’s important for collectors to see new exhibitions illustrating the progression of work by Gallery Artists they continue to collect over time. Regarding the unexpected, last year we hosted the 1st International Mobile Photo Awards Exhibition – curated by Toronto-based, photographer/film producer Daniel Berman. Earlier on, Carole Austin, former curator at the San Francisco Craft & Folk Art Museum, presented INSIDE OUT – a survey exhibition of BOX ART in the ArtHaus Project Gallery.


ArtHaus gallery opening

Gallery visitors attend an opening at ArtHaus


THE CHOSEN ONES, the gallery’s most recent exhibition, was an Invitational show. We invited seventeen noteworthy Bay Area Designers  to illustrate THE FINE ART OF DESIGN. Each designer depicted a project whereby works by ArtHaus Gallery and Guest Artists were incorporated. Projects ranged from photo shoots, installations and inside views of collector’s homes.


The Chosen Ones exhibit at ArtHaus

The Chosen Ones exhibit at ArtHaus


AS:  What is your approach to working with new art collectors? Specifically, educating them about the art and helping them to build their collections?

Annette Schutz:  We both agree that working with new collectors is extremely satisfying.  Their approach is a unique experience. The ArtHaus approach is all about servicing the why and how new collectors would like to begin. The experience is personal, educational, and sometimes entertaining. A vast variety of work is presented to get a sense of what resonates.



Annette Scutz with Melanie Narducci

ArtHaus Gallerist Annette Schutz and collector Melanie Narducci discuss artist Carolyn Meyer’s transition from explosive color to black and white at
the opening of her recent exhibit.


It’s always interesting how quickly someone will say what they don’t like before they actually see art. Many times we’ll hear a dislike for abstract work, and these are the new collectors that will leave with two Serena Bocchino jazz-inspired abstract paintings. We always recommend, especially with beginning collectors, that they see work in their home prior to making a commitment. ArtHaus is very big on “on approval”.  Seeing work in a gallery setting can be deceiving in regard to scale and lighting. Our experience has always been that every piece of art looks completely different in a setting outside of the gallery.


Zooms & Booms

“Zooms & Booms” 2002 Enamel and Oil Paint on Canvas 52″ x 72″ by Serena Bocchino


AS:  ArtHaus frequently works with interior designers and also corporations. What special needs do these clients have?

James Bacchi:  In addition to beginning and established collectors, ArtHaus continually works closely with Developers, Architects, Designers, Corporate and Private Art Advisors. Often times these calls for art are site specific, and in many instances the art is commissioned. We are presently facilitating a commissioned series of photographs with ArtHaus Guest Artist Michal Venera and Designer Eric Cohler.  Cohler designed corporate offices for a financial firm located in a landmark Theatre Building. The commissioned photographs depict historical theatres throughout the city, and are sited for a conference room. Perfect!


Inner Thoughts

Jeffrey Ketcham, “Inner Thoughts”, 24”, Handcarved woods, graphite, oil and silver leaf, Corporate Collection: San Francisco, CA


Most often the work selected may reflect corporate identity,  location or particular areas throughout the space the architect/designer created purposely for art.  Adventurous corporate collections are far and few between. I guess we got lucky. For the past several years, we’ve had the opportunity to build a collection for the principal of a Real Estate Investment firm here in San Francisco. The first painting he acquired was a large-scale canvas, “Woodie’s Way” by Serena Bocchino. This jazz-inspired painting looks extraordinary in the space. In a short time, I saw this collector had a passionate connection to works that were both outrageous, and outstanding in terms of originality and technique. He has since acquired three papier-mache sculptures by Adam Kurtzman, and a portrait in wood, based on the writings of Oscar Wilde, by the late, great Jeffrey Ketcham.


The Back Yard

“The Back Yard” Photographs by Chris Schiavo/Landscape Design by Deanna Glory


AS:  What’s your best advice to artists who have a goal of representation by an art gallery such as ArtHaus?

James Bacchi:  ArtHaus receives up to 10 submissions from artists on a daily basis. Our advice to artists is to learn everything possible about each gallery you approach prior to contacting them. If you can’t envision your work in a particular gallery, take them off your list.  Most often you have one shot, so give it your best. Never walk into a gallery with work in hand and ask to be seen, and do not send out blanket emails. Email each gallery, requesting information about their review guidelines.


artMRKT San Francisco

Art Haus Booth at artMRKT Fair, San Francisco


Most important is your pricing.  The retail price for your art should be consistent in all the galleries representing your work, the prices you post in your studio and any websites you offer your work on.

Seems more and more artists are offering their work on the web at prices far below their gallery prices. This is the biggest mistake an artist can make in regard to their career. You can’t have it both ways.


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  1. James and Annette, it was good to read about you here. Wishing you continued success!

  2. Evelyn Wray says

    Thank you so much for this article. The sound advice and colorful presentation caught my eye and kept my attention long enough to gather the information important to my career. Appreciation!

  3. Looks like a fun gallery to visit!

  4. Very instructive article and very nice gallery to visit! Great advices too! Wish you continued success!

    Myriam Nader Salomon
    Owner of Nader Haitian Art Gallery, NY

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