Welcome, Whitney Forstner! We are thrilled that Whitney the founder of ART FOR THE HOME is serving as our latest guest curator. Through a collaboration with designers, artists, and collectors our hope is that through our guest curator series we will introduce you (our readers) to all of the amazing emerging southern artists and their original artwork that is featured on Well + Wonder! Whitney is a champion of all things creative. Her blog, ART FOR THE HOME, serves as a platform whose mission centers around connecting people to art, getting to know artists and the depth, passions, and life behind the artwork. In creating a conversation centered around art, Whitney, believes that an individual is able to glimpse into the creative process and to learn lessons that we can apply to our everyday lives. We are so happy to have Whitney on the blog, continue reading to learn all about our latest guest curator and her Well + Wonder favorites!

Tell us about yourself.  

I grew up in Nashville, TN and traveled “north” to Virginia to attend Randolph-Macon College (way back when). My mom thought she was saying goodbye for four years, but I never moved back to my hometown. I live in Richmond, VA with my wonderful husband and eleven year old twin boys. I am a connector – whether it be connecting people to each other, a job, a new necklace or an artist. In partnership with one of the smartest women I know and a great friend – we launched a boutique staffing company that focused on helping women find professional work that fits into their lives (when my boys were just 11 months old, yikes!). We had the fortune of transitioning our business after 9 years to a national staffing firm (whoop!). Throughout my life, corporate career, and start-up experience, I have had a deep-rooted appreciation for art. My mom, single and raising three children, always squirreled away a tiny bit of money to buy a piece of original artwork. Her walls are donned with a combination of the things my brothers and I created as kids along with the most beautiful artwork from well-known artists. I know it was a true sacrifice for her to purchase these pieces, but each spoke to her preventing her from walking away. Observing her relationship with art (even subconsciously) influenced my love of art and my desire to uncover the creative process.

 I believe that:

  • Art really does make us happy.
  • Everyone should have original artwork in their space – whether they spend thousands on artwork or it’s a masterpiece from a child.
  • One amazing piece of art can stand alone or be paired with the barn find in the most formal or causal spot in the house.
  • Everyone can be a collector.
  • Buying art does not have to be hard or expensive!
  • If you buy what you love, you will love it forever and it will always have a place in your space.
  • Art can be hung anywhere – I have art hanging in my laundry room and even my master bedroom closet.   

Why did you start your blog/brand/business?

I started ART FOR THE HOME as a storytelling platform – a way to get to know the women behind the art. To hear about their process, their dreams, and concerns. To see the whole person and the beautiful work they create.  

What is currently on your nightstand?   What are you reading?

I love to read and often go to the library more than once a week. I think that books find me, giving me insights that I need for that moment in my life. I have a book journal where I note the lessons I have gained from the pages of a bestselling novel. Right now I have a stack of books on my nightstand – The Art of Hearing Heartbeats - Jan Philip Sendker. I read this book a couple of years ago and it is still one of my favorites. I keep it on my nightstand thinking that I will pick it up and read it again- gleaning something new from the words on the page. The Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete. We have a new family member in our house. River, the 5 month old English Golden Retriever. It’s exhausting. This book is a useful guide to puppyhood. Studio Stories: Illuminating our Lives through Art. With my interest in telling artist stories, it is fun to read this one by Lauren Radar. Great lesson for the everyday gleaned from a creative experience.

It is said to look for art that "makes your heart skip a beat." What aspects of art make your heart skip?

Aside from layers and layers of paint and lots of texture, I truly love understanding each artist’s creative process and getting to know the person behind with work. Plus – I love the names of paintings. I have purchased (and not purchased) art based on the name it was given by the artist and what it represents for me at the time or a memory it evokes. For example – a couple of years ago at the very end of the summer before my boys started kindergarten, I was sipping a glass of wine and feeling anxious and excited for all that was to unfold with my boys entering school. I came across a piece by Raven Roxanne from Charleston, SC. It is a little abstract nest with two eggs resting effortlessly in its comfort. The painting is named “keep them close” – which was my exact feeling at that very moment. The overwhelming desire to let my boys fly but still wanting to keep them close. I see it and think of how much has changed over the past 6 years, but how they will always have a place in our nest.

What is the benefit of buying art through a collective?

I love the Well + Wonder Collective. It is so great to have a collection of artists in one spot. You don’t have to go five different galleries or a thousand different websites to find one piece or a combination of art that works for your space. I love the artists that W+W has pulled together to create this collective. There work compliments each other in style and palette. There is a little something for everyone’s taste and price point with this amazing collective.