YOU SHOULD MEET: WITAN WALCZAK ART ADVISORY
Balancing life and work is truly an art form and one that Palm Beach's prodigal daughter, Stephanie Walczak, has clearly mastered with aplomb. Whether you are looking to sell off your Picassos in your 10,000 square foot manse or craving some off-beaten, but wallet-friendly prints for your Citiplace condo, Walczak knows just were to unearth the perfect pieces for your home or office.
Walczak grew up on Palm Beach island and Jupiter, gathered art degrees from the College of Charleston and Parsons (NYC), then started a faux finish and trompe l’oeil business in Palm Beach. She accepted dozens of demanding projects like restoring a Lake Worth church and painting a 5,000 square foot mural at one of the Jewish community centers. Craving more, Walczak returned to NYC to work for Sotheby’s while pursuing another master's degree at Christie’s-- a bit of an overachiever!
She joined the London team of Gurr Johns where she worked with some of the leaders in antiquities and modern art. After many successful estate sales and art deals, she started an advisory firm in Miami. Then, at 32 she brokered a world record sale in contemporary Asian art for artist Zeng Fanzhi at Christie’s Hong Kong. (This record sale of $9.7 million in 2008 would be broken four years later by another Zeng piece, this time selling for $23 million.) Stephanie invested some of the proceeds of her sale into a healthy beverage company called Rawpothecary, that sold all over the US, including select Costco’s and Whole Foods. It was her way of creating consumable art in a bottle.
While Stephanie’s international art career and beverage company continued to heat up, so did her love life. This year she and her partner moved back to Palm Beach County and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. But motherhood is clearly not slowing this muse down. She continues to advise art and decor clients ... all the while cooking up an exciting, new business idea.
Stephanie gives BPB readers a few tips on buying art that will wow (and not wither). Plus, a few other tips that only a Palm Beach native could dispense.
Best Places to Shop for Art: The Lower East Side of Manhattan is booming with so many great galleries, same with pockets of Brooklyn.
Favorite Local Artist:Roy McKay
Three Tips on Selecting that Perfect Work of Art: You have to buy what you love.
If it's over a certain amount of money that you are not comfortable with, speak to an expert.
Buy the best of the best of an artist if it is in your budget, don't skimp.
Should you Shop Local or On-line: Both. On-line is great, but make sure that you are working with a valid source and that whatever you buy is authenticated.
Best Palm Beach Dinner: Sant Ambroeus
Best Palm Beach museum to While Away a Weekend Afternoon: The Norton
Best Cocktails on Palm Beach: Imoto has some really great cocktails.
Best Park in Palm Beach for a Family Stroll: The Society of the Four Arts garden is just beautiful.
To Set up a Private Art Consultation with Barefoot Palm Beach's favorite femme, Stephanie Walczak, email her directly at: email@example.com
* Stephanie is part of the Advisory Group for the C+L Team @ Sotheby's International Realty