Michelle is a Calgary born actress, arts enthusiast and the creator and owner of .Ko.n.fe.ro Art gallery. Though naturally quiet, you would never know with what she’s accomplished in such a short time span!
MMICHELLE HAUG – .ko:n.fe.rō
WHAT DO YOU MAKE/SELL? TELL US ABOUT YO’ SELF.
.ko:n.fe.rō was originally created for designers to have a place to source original art work for their design projects. We are a boutique style art gallery that caters to Designer’s and private clients in the sales and promotion of original art work. We are lucky now to expand our services to the general public. We feature a large variety of original art work, ranging from photography, drawings, watercolors, acrylics and oil paintings.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU HAD YOUR BUSINESS?
Our Bricks & Mortar Gallery has been open since September of this year (2015). We originally started with an online gallery back in May, after a 3 month renovation we finally opened our doors to Designer’s and to the public. At present, we have about 16 artist’s that we represent, and that number is growing. 11 of those are local artists. There is nothing more exciting than promoting talent that is part of our community and having the other artist’s from other parts of Canada and the United States only compliments us even more.
WHAT SOMETHING UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR GALLERY?
None of the artist’s names appear on their work-only an artist number. This is because we want the art to sell for itself. Seeing the art for the art’s sake is a concept that seems to have been forgotten. We are so consumed by brands and labels. Art should not be seen through those specifics. Art is very emotional and personal and should be based on that connection to the work-not on the name, the price etc.-that comes later. I am however not trying to hide the artist. Once a piece is purchased, the buyer is then given the GIFT of knowing who the artist is, a little mystery is kinda fun too.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I am an actress, was a dancer, taught high school, ran a small graphic design company, and am an artist, who was terrified to actually paint. About a year ago a dear friend of mine went back to school to get her Masters Degree in Creativity. She asked me for ideas on what she could do for her first year final project. I told her to paint and put on an art show. She loved the idea but would only do it if I did it with her. Terrified, and thinking she would forget because she was so wrapped up in her own work, I agreed. Long story short, I completed about 10 paintings. I actually couldn’t stop.We put on the art show in a Design shop. Through out the day, as we set up, a steady stream of Designer’s came through. They were constantly asking who did the work, and where they could get it. I began to realize there wasn’t a place for them to have access to multiple artist’s in our city to source original art. And then began the idea for my company. The art show was in April. I started the online gallery in early May and then began renovations the beginning of June for the Bricks & Mortar gallery. So fast, so organic and so worth the risk!
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK?
Artists inspire me-plain and simple. All kinds of artists. The idea of being able to connect with creative, vulnerable, emotional, raw, inspiring, risk taking people…what a dream. Also the fact that there is so much talent here locally, and abroad and being able to represent their work is humbling.
WHAT DO YOU DREAM FOR YOUR BUSINESS IN THE FUTURE?
My goal (dream) now and for the future is to promote as many artists as I possibly can and to be able to sell their art and have it hang in as many homes, restaurants and corporate spaces as possible. I hope .ko:n.fe.ro art will be place that is known not only to designers, but to the public as well.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM AND WHY?
Definitely Instagram. Being new to social media to promote a business is sometimes overwhelming, but Instagram allows me to showcase the fact that art doesn’t have to be intimidating. It’s visual and gives me the opportunity to say it all within a few words and pictures. I cannot believe how many companies, small and large that I have been introduced to through Instagram. The world is literally at my finger tips.
HOW DO YOU PICK YOURSELF UP WHEN THINGS GO WRONG?
Luckily, I have the most amazing support team around me. My husband and two children are always there to pick me up when I am stressing over something. They make me smile when I feel like crying, keep me balanced when I feel like I’m falling and show me how to ‘chill out’ and keep things in perspective. I am also blessed with amazing girlfriends who know when it’s time to go out for a drink. Lucky me!
WHAT’S ONE THING NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT YOU? GIVE US AN INTERESTING FACT!
I am also an actress. I’ve been lucky enough to be on tv shows and films over a twenty+ year career.
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPER POWER WHAT WOULD IT BE?
To be invisible. How crazy fun would that be?!
You can check Michelle and her Gallery out on Instagram, facebook and twitter all under @konferoart. You can visit her site www.konferoart.com or go check Our bricks & mortar gallery is at 3635 Manchester Rd SE, Calgary, Alberta. Open to the public: Tuesdays/Thursdays 11-2 or by appointment.