Veronique Wantz, a French-born veteran of the art business who studied art history at the Ecole du Louvre and worked as a curator and antiques dealer in Paris for a decade and as an art consultant and gallery director here for fourteen years, recently decided it was time to start an art gallery of her own.
As she was scouting out possible locations, it seemed serendipitous when an 855-square-foot space in a vintage brick building in Minneapolis’s North Loop neighborhood opened up. Wantz jumped at it, opening the Veronique Wantz Gallery
on Jan. 15.
The gallery focuses on work from emerging and well-known national and international artists whose work hasn’t been seen in the Twin Cities before.
This includes a range of artists working in different mediums and styles. “I want it to be fresh and different from what you can find in other places,” she says.
Wantz plans to do six or seven shows a year, including a mix of solo and group exhibits, depending on how large an artist’s body of work is. “My idea is to establish relationships with fewer artists. It’s more about quality than quantity,” she says, adding, “I want to commit to artists and give visibility.”
Previously, the space had been used as a shipping area for a software company. Although the space needed “a vision for what it could become,” she made mainly cosmetic changes. For example, she upgraded the lighting, cleaned up the floors and put a fresh coat of paint on the walls.
Already, the space had plenty of character, with exposed brick, hardwood floors, and high ceilings and old wooden beams, she says. Behind some boards that she removed, she found beautiful original windows intact. “I wanted the same integrity, to keep it the way it is,” just with added polish, she says. “It was really interesting to see how things fell into place.”
More broadly, she’s glad to be situated in North Loop, which she calls the little SoHo of Minneapolis, with all kinds of upscale and up-and-coming restaurants, retail shops and galleries. “I think it fits the neighborhood really well. I am very optimistic about it,” she says.
Source: Veronique Wantz, gallery owner
Writer: Anna Pratt