In The Magazine

Informing An Artistic Eye

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
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BLAIR VOLTZ CLARKE is an art-world Renaissance woman. Within her company, Voltz Clarke, she wears many hats—she is a curator, consultant, and a liaison between artists, designers and buyers, and anything else that helps expose emerging contemporary artists. She uses unexpected venues (“Revealed: Faces of Our Time” is on view starting May 1 at the Surrey Hotel) to bring intrigue to her public exhibitions, while her deep art-world knowledge, taste and Southern charm have made her a sought-after private consultant. Both Blair and her husband, Alistair Clarke (who is head of Sotheby’s European Furniture), travel often for their respective jobs, but Positano—their honeymoon spot—is always calling them back.

To the coast
Positano on the Amalfi Coast is my favorite place to visit in the world. I went there on my honeymoon with my husband, Alistair, and since then it has retained a special place in my heart. The deep blue sea with lush green mountains cascading into the water draw me back year after year. I always stay with my good friends Antonio and Carla Sersale, who own Le Sirenuse , the most gorgeous hotel. I love the intimate charm of their place, and after so many years of visiting, I feel like a part of the family.

Favorite travel scores
A favorite patterned dress from Carla’s shop, and tea glasses from Marrakech, which I use every single day.

Other destinations
I was recently in New Orleans for the Prospect.3 Art Biennial, and it was a joy to discover how the city has been rebuilt. Life alongside the Mississippi is nothing but colorful. Venice during the biennial in late May is alive with art energy. And last but not least, we are taking my daughter to Las Vegas for her 10th birthday. No one in the family has ever been there, so we picked a destination right here in the States that we thought would be good family fun. I’ve heard about the colorful shows and delicious food. We shall see!

Simple pleasures
In Positano, I love walking through the little villages, searching for treats for my daughters, Poppy and Georgina, especially the handmade sandals that they love. I also love the fresh, colorful (and simple) food available everywhere you turn.

Must see
The first thing I would recommend is an evening drink at the champagne bar of Le Sirenuse in one of their wonderful hand-blown Murano glasses. I would then tell them to take a private boat to Lo Scoglio for lunch. A morning walk up the stairway to Nocelle (1,865 steps) offers some of the most beautiful views in the world! Last but not least, pick up a unique pareo from Emporio Le Sirenuse, which is run by the amazing Carla Sersale.

Artistically informed
My travels are the essence of my work, as I’m constantly gaining exposure to new artists on my trips. I make sure to visit the latest exhibits and galleries, which help me discover new trends and help me think of new and creative ideas.
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by Kelly LaffeyPhotographed by Billy Farrall