Meet The Gallery: Artistellar
Curiosity, perseverance and a good eye for up-and-coming artists helped Adele Smejkal, founder of the Artistellar get her own business started. Artistellar started as an online gallery during the covid pandemic, grouping artists in fascinating online viewing rooms featuring multidisciplinary talents working with disparate mediums. After the pandemic the gallery turned nomadic hosting pop-up exhibitions in different venues around central London. Now, Artistellar’s permanent space breathes in the heart of Oxford Circus. In addition to Artistellar’s new space on 39 Margaret Street, the gallery is still present online with compelling exhibitions, art projects, art advisory services, and a selected editorial section.
Adele Smejkal upholds the importance of a digital presence. It is the best tool to target and reach the younger generation of art collectors.
'I feel the concept has been adapting to the changing environment. Even though we have a permanent space now, we are still a hybrid gallery in a way.'- Adele Smejkal, Founder and Director Artistellar
Adele has a diverse background in the arts, including Sotheby’s and Pace Gallery. These institutions provided her with a solid ground for her trajectory as an entrepreneur. She loves to champion lesser-known talents, often showing in the United Kingdom for the first time. She looks for unusual techniques, visual language, or subject matter. Adele Smejkal introduces us to Artistellar’s philosophy and three of her favourite paintings.
1. How is Artistellar different from other contemporary galleries on the market?
We are different by our selected artists, business mission, and values. I am keen on spotting talented artists who are maybe overlooked or lacking exposure. I never choose artists based on the market’s trends, upholding our values as a gallery. It is all about supporting, mentoring, and championing. It is not about profit and fast fame
2. How important is it to showcase female artists?
Our program focuses mainly on women artists. About 70% of the artists we work with are women. I agree that women artists were previously disregarded and deserve attention. However, the main reason for working with women artists it’s not just based on a trend. It comes from a deep belief and admiration for female artists. When I started collecting, the first piece I bought was by a women artist, and I have been supporting them ever since. Sometimes, when I look at an artwork I like, it usually turns out to be by a woman.
3. Choose three of your favourite artworks to date.
- Reflecting by Tiziano Autera
I think this work is incredible: the structure, the layering of the face, and the play with black and white. It almost appears as a sculpture I want to touch. I like Tiziano’s way of thinking about the world and painting. It is very rational, and that makes him different from other artists.
- Option by David Samuel Iyanuoluwa
This work can be perceived as sad, but to me, it’s full of emotions. I sympathise with the subject matter, but instead of despair, I feel hope; as the title suggests ‘Option’. There is always an option. I also love his realistic painting style and colour rendering.
- End of the Day by Ethel Coppieters
I love this piece because it is so feminine and relevant to the current theme of beauty culture – two friends sitting next to one another in two pairs of very cool boots. There is also the humour element of both characters being half naked. However, Ethel is not insulting or provocative, and it is outstanding.It is truly a fun piece to look at!
With a growing percentage of female artists represented, Adele Smejkal wishes for Artistellar to grow and gain attention as the gallery that brings the next talent to the market. Artistellar looks forward to participating in upcoming contemporary art fairs and exciting new projects.
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