Introducing Guest Curator, Jennifer Hunt! What a joy it is to host this accountant turned art gallery owner turned founder and visionary of the wildly successful paper goods company Dogwood Hill. A true art lover and collector, hosting Jennifer as our latest GC is such a treat. In borrowing Jennifer's time, hearing her career journey, and to have her discerning eye on our collection has the Well + Wonder team inspired and invigorated. Jennifer is such a babe! Originally from from northwest Alabama, Jennifer graduated with a Master of Accountancy from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and moved to Birmingham in 1999. As we mentioned above, in addition to creating Dogwood Hill, Jennifer has led successful careers first as a Certified Public Accountant and then as an art gallery owner. In 2014 another career pivot was in order and Jennifer launched Dogwood Hill to offer a space where artfully created paper and accessibility could meet. As a gallery owner, Jennifer developed an eye for spotting talent and a skill for curating, which help ensure every artist and piece of work represented in the collective is top-notch. And to top it all off, Jennifer is a wife and mother of two adorable boys. The woman is a star! Get to know and get inspired by Jennifer like we have by reading her responses to our rapid-fire Q&A as well as see what Well + Wonder paintings are currently on her wishlist. Thank you, Jennifer, for your time and your thoughts and without further adieu we are pleased to say Introducing Guest Curator, Jennifer Hunt!
Harvest II by Chloe Wood – This piece reminds me of the Lowcountry where my family spends time each summer.
The Curator by Lizzy Love – I am generally drawn to abstract art, but I especially love the human element in this piece. She feels so elegant and complex.
Tell us about yourself and your blog, brand, or business.
I have a varied professional background that includes being an art dealer and a CPA, so I love that I was able to bring both areas of knowledge into a business five years ago. I started Dogwood Hill, a purveyor of superior-designed, custom-looking cards and paper, after not being able to find a quick and easy holiday card that was thoughtfully crafted with beautiful hand-painted art. It has been such a fun business where I work with artists, designers and brands who inspired me every day.
Do you recall your first piece of artwork? We would love to hear details!
One of my first real art purchases was four small paintings by Annie Butrus. She paints large acrylics on panels, but she starts by painting small studies before creating the large pieces. I visited her studio and got to see how she creates her work and, while our home was unable to hold one of her very large pieces, she sold me four 3x6 inch small “panels” on paper. They are colorful, calming and happy and we get to see them each day hanging in our den.
It is said to look for art that "makes your heart skip a beat." What aspects of art make your heart sing?
I think the story behind the art makes each piece special. Of course, you need to like the way it looks as well! But sometimes the story connects you to the piece in an unexpected way and you find yourself loving it even more than when you were seeing it without context.
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective?
The variety! It provides the consumer a way to view so many styles and mediums in one place, which makes the experience of acquiring art more enjoyable and easier.
What is your most cherished piece of art—whether a child’s drawing or a priceless piece?
Oh, I have too many favorites! We love art and were able to collect quite a bit of it in my art-dealing days. My mother-in-law, Vicki Hunt, is a talented photographer and mixed-media artist, so the pieces we own of hers are very special. I was able to have a gallery show for Kathryn Tucker Windham, a beloved Alabama personality who entered my life in the 4th grade through her popular book, 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffery. She was an Associated Press award winner for her work in journalism and photography and she was a pioneer for women in her industry. We own two of her signed photographs and I’ll cherish them along with the time I was able to spend with her before she left us at age 93. Another favorite piece we own is “Snow Day” from Julie Blackmon’s Homegrown series. It makes me smile every time I see it. And we love a piece from Jack Spencer’s This Land series called “Two Wild Horses, Cumberland Island, Georgia,” especially given my fascination with Cumberland Island. Most special, we have a gallery wall of our children’s art. I love each piece and how they reflect their personalities and creativity. A painting named “Matilda” won first place in our son’s art competition at school!