Artist Stephanie Saunders draws inspiration from her entrepreneurial family as she opens her Newbury Street gallery.
Forget the adage about being mentioned in print only at birth, marriage and death: the newest crop of creatives in Boston bear famous names and a keen eye for detail. Painter Stephanie Saunders, who hails from a family of hoteliers (with properties like e Lenox), has already left her creative mark on the city with her bright, oversize canvases and quirky eye for color—and now a new gallery on Newbury Street. Her paintings exploring femininity, nature and the human body hang in homes across the city—and even in the lobby of The Lenox. The 32-year-old oil painter and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts grad has always been creative, writing poetry from an early age and teaching yoga before she knew painting was her calling. Saunders’ business plan is unique in that she sells her own artwork, a rarity for most artists, who often have someone broker the sale of their pieces. Growing up surrounded by entrepreneurs who were constantly expanding the family business didn’t hurt. “I was always surrounded by people who worked really hard and at the same time were entrepreneurial,” says Saunders, who was selling her pieces privately when her brother encouraged her to open her first gallery, in Copley Plaza. “I have collectors com[ing] into the gallery and say[ing], ‘This is dierent; this is exciting,’” says Saunders. “People buy my pieces because this kind of art is not offered in Boston. I stick out. I am a renegade.” Saunders also credits her grandmother, a talented interior designer, for her love of beauty and eye for color. “I fill a niche in that my work is engaging and enticing, but it’s very approachable and easy to digest,” says Saunders. “My work has a lot of heart in it. People need that, whether they know it or not.”