Artist Elizabeth Sutton is a true trailblazer. While many new artists struggle to support themselves entirely through art, Sutton’s approach and unique aesthetic have made her truly shine. While her heart has always been in painting, she’s also made a name for herself through licensing with everything from kitchen and bathroom tiles in collaboration with TileBar, rugs with Rugs America, to office chairs with The Raynor Group. So, it’s not a surprise that she’s recently opened a solo artist pop-up gallery, studio, and retail experience in West Chelsea. Sutton believes she is the first female artist to do this.
Located at 550 West 29th Street between Tenth and Eleventh avenues, it’s just a few blocks south of Hudson Yards, and just north of the famed Gagosian Gallery. Measuring approximately 5,200 square feet, it’s just as expansive as it is chic.
A Hybrid Workspace
While walking into an art gallery can feel very intimidating, Sutton’s space was created to feel the exact opposite of that. “My goal is to set myself apart from the other boring and traditional galleries in the Chelsea neighborhood, as I am the artist and not just a gallery operator,” explains the artist.
While she designed the raw space to feel happy and cheerful—it’s also intentionally accessible. “You can touch, feel, and shop my various collections including fashion accessories, tabletop, tiles, rugs, prints, wallpaper and fine art, among other things all while watching me in action. You get a behind the scenes glimpse into both the creative and business elements of my work.”
While Sutton’s original work doesn’t come cheap (her original paintings start at approximately $5000)—her other offerings are more accessibly priced. The space also allows her to show one-of-a-kind works such as a Blatt Billiards table, the first time the artist has showcased this work to the public.
Artist in Residence
Sutton is incredibly enthusiastic not only to use the space for work, but also to connect with her community. “You can expect me to be in the studio almost every Monday through Friday, painting live while also working in real-time with my team, whether doing photoshoots, art, or even just general administrative aspects of the business. I’m also hosting lots of events and fundraisers,” she says.
The large square footage (especially for New York City) gives her the flexibility to do whatever she wants with the space fully integrating every aspect of her business. “This is a fully operational working art studio that needs to function and operate in alignment with my needs to create. That is a priority, but it’s also what makes the space dynamic and interesting, beyond your average retail shop or gallery experience,” says Sutton. “Imagine you got to see Coco Chanel sewing a dress when you walked into a Chanel store?”
This is also a full-circle moment for the entrepreneur. In 2020, Sutton staged the four luxury penthouses for the residential space above the gallery. “The retail space is the last square footage still available for purchase. However, it is unfortunately beyond my budget. But, it is truly my happy place and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be here for the time being. It marks a sense of accomplishment and achievement that is something beyond my wildest imagination coming from where I was a mere eight years ago when I started.”
Sutton recently launched her first tabletop collection, which includes melamine dishes, faux-linen napkins, and vinyl placemats. While not a bad thing, it sold out faster than she anticipated. However, she is trying to make these products available again soon.
The artist also recently launched another tile collection with TileBar called the Meta Collection, which is currently showing at the gallery, and has a new collection launching in 2024, along with her first vanity collection.
2024 will surely be a major year for Sutton. Her tile collections are set to be installed in major hospitality projects, including the new Fairmont Hotel in Long Beach, Essex House New York, CapitalOne Cafe, El Conquistador in Puerto Rico, and Kissaki Miami.
In addition to all of this, the iconic Malliouhana Resort in Anguilla which recently transferred management to the Storey Hotel Group, will be collaborating with Sutton to create unique artwork, products, and art programming for the hotel’s guests this coming spring in honor of their 40th anniversary.