Art and business. To many, they may seem like polar opposites. Anybody good at art would undoubtedly be bad at business, and vice versa.
Well, Katie Fogg quickly realized that to be successful in the art business, you had better be good at both. So last year, right after she graduated from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, she took a job running the Gallery At Firehouse Square in New London.
“When you know something is right you have to go for it,” Fogg said. “This just felt right.”
Fogg grew up in Waterford, graduating from Waterford High School. During her last year at Lyme Academy, she crossed paths with John Johnson, owner of the gallery.
And for Johnson, things clicked right away. He quickly made Fogg part of his life, having her run his Bank Street art gallery.
“Once in a while, you get an employee who you feel like could be your own blood,” Johnson said. “Katie was that for me.”
So since May, Fogg has been running the gallery while still painting. Although she is trained as an artist and still passionate about art, the business side of things is not too bad either, she said.
“I like it,” Fogg said. “My goal is still to try to get to my studio every day. But I like the business side as well.”
For business, she runs art shows, sells pieces and even installs work in people’s homes. It is a lot of work, but the experience is invaluable, she said.
“I’m working my butt off,” Fogg said. “But I really think all of this will come back to help me.”
Despite the long hours at the gallery and working at nights as a waitress, Fogg still manages to paint. She just finished a massive 6-foot work that needed two men to carry it into her latest show.
In the painting, a girl is leaning against a tree, smoking a cigarette. It represents the everyday girl, getting her minute of relaxation, she said.
“It’s her break time during her day,” she said. “And I think it just shows the growth of the woman, next to the growth of the tree, and just taking a break.”
Fogg often paints women, or landscapes. Her favorite painting was six dark figures sitting, with a brown background. Lyme Academy purchased the art from her, using it for promotional and advertising literature.
“I love art,” she said. “It’ll always be a part of my life.”