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Meet Bridget Melloy of Barrett Barrera Projects

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bridget Melloy.

Hi Bridget, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I have always had an interest in the arts and chose to study Art History and Business Administration while in school. When I was beginning my career, I met Susan Barrett, the founder of the future Barrett Barrera Projects. At that time, she had recently started a small art consulting business and hired me as her first employee. We worked to help clients develop and manage high-caliber art collections. From there, Susan took on the project of relocating the World Chess Hall of Fame from its previous home in Florida to St. Louis. She served as Founding Director at the World Chess Hall of Fame, and I joined the team to work as Exhibitions Coordinator, organizing logistics and working closely with curators and artists exhibiting at the Hall of Fame.

After my time at the Hall of Fame, I worked as Director of the Philip Slein Gallery, a commercial art gallery in the Central West End of St. Louis. I had a keen interest in the business side of the arts and became interested in exploring the auction business in addition to gallery work. In 2014, I was hired by Chicago-based Hindman Auctioneers to open a regional branch of their auction house in downtown Clayton, Missouri. I served as Business Development Manager, working with estate attorneys and bankers to help their clients settle estates. The auction world is a fast-paced environment that required quite a bit of learning on the job. In addition to becoming more knowledgeable about a wide range of art genres and movements, I also enjoyed learning about antique furniture, jewelry, and other collectibles.

While I was working with Hindman, Susan Barrett had started a new art consulting business, Barrett Barrera Projects, with its affiliate commercial art gallery, projects+gallery. Susan Barrett, Kelly Peck, and I had all worked together at the World Chess Hall of Fame, and we had always wanted to work together again. In 2016, I joined their team as Senior Director of projects+gallery and as the business grew, moved into the role of Senior Director of Barrett Barrera Projects.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
My career has taken a meandering path. While I always knew that I wanted to work in the arts, I was uncertain of what I was best suited for and where my interests lied. I have spent time working in the museum world, auction world, and am currently enjoying working in the commercial gallery world. I thrive on building relationships with the artists and clients that we work with. In my position, I find the greatest joy in placing artwork in the homes of collectors who will live with, cherish, and honor the work we sell them. Because we work mostly with contemporary artists, it’s exciting to be able to facilitate an introduction and foster relationships between the artists and collectors themselves.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Barrett Barrera Projects?
Barrett Barrera Projects is a multi-disciplinary art consulting and management company. We offer many services including art sales, collection management, and art advisement. We have an office in the Central West End and two separate exhibition spaces — projects+gallery and projects+exhibitions.

Projects+gallery is our commercial art gallery space where we show work by local, national, and international artists and all work is for sale to the public. Projects+exhibitions is our newer space in the Grove where we present exhibitions that our company creates and tours nationally and internationally. Currently, we have an early James Turrell light installation on view, titled Orca (Blue-Red).

Our company is constantly evolving and adapting as the role of business in the arts changes. Throughout the pandemic, we have shifted a lot of our focus to online platforms for sales and the production of more programs that engage our virtual audience.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
I grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which is the former home of painter Grant Wood. My mother was always interested in art and would often take me to our local art museum. The art museum in Cedar Rapids has an impressive collection of Wood paintings, and I still love visiting and seeing the iconic rolling hills of Iowa in his paintings. Anytime I see one of his paintings, including American Gothic, it reminds me of my childhood and time with my mother.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Attilio D’Agostino

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