Choosing The Perfect Art For Your Home Featuring Orth Contemporary And Tara Thacker


8 years later and we FINALLY have this condo almost finished. 

The only thing we lacked is something in the corner space of our kitchen by the front door. We debated with a super cool modern coat hanger but then realized that it would just become so cluttered and junky. 

Choosing the right piece of art to complement your space can be one of the most challenging things in decorating. Unless you’re an art curator, gallery owner, or artist, chances are that buying art does not come very naturally to you. How do I choose? When do I invest? How do I educate myself? Should I go for black-and-white abstract art or colorful photography?

So I am going to share our story with you and we really hope it helps!

 On a recent visit to Orth Gallery in Kendall-Whittier a few months ago, I stumbled in and fell in love with TaraThacker's  sculptures. They had an incredibly modern but organic feel and really played on light. Thacker's sculptures are abstractions, referencing natural forms, utilitarian tools, fishing baskets and traps. The central theme is linearity. Similar to the way a line can mark the surface of a drawing. It is fluid, elegant and simplistic. Highly tactile and monochromatic, repetition is central to the process. The works begin with a single element, which serve as architectural building blocks, which are then combined in various ways to discover how they interact visually. Thousands of porcelain parts are tied and woven together to create ambiguous surfaces and landscapes. And my goodness, they are just exquisite. I took some photos with my phone in poor lighting have you but wanted Lin to see how beautiful they were and how perfect they would be for that corner space. 

Well, long story short, Lin hated them . It was not love at first sight and I was so confused. I know him very well and I knew he would love Tara's work.

I personally couldn't get Tara's pieces out of my head. I thought about them non stop. I am very attracted to shapes and shadows and love playing with light in my own photography and artistic endeavors. So these pieces just etched their way into my heart. I just like what I like..what can I say? Zoë Pawlak once said this..

Art is a place for expression through color, content, and texture,” says Pawlak. “Choose art at a heart level, and don’t forget about sculptures and rugs!” They can make artistic statements too.

Tara's sculptures make the PERFECT statement.

So here are a few tips for you all that we did!

Don't be afraid to work directly with a gallery. That's their job and they want to help.

So having a great relationship with Corey Wickersham  for many years, I reached out and we put together a game plan to see if they had some pieces that both Lin and I would love. She had switched galleries and started working for Katie Orth whom I sorta have a girl crush on. She owned a gallery in San Francisco and always looks so effortlessly chic. Plus her skin is always so radiant. She is like the real life Benjamin Button. Once I connected with Corey and Katie suddenly, this process seemed less daunting. They came to our space and had multiple meetings and really took the time to understand what it was that we were searching for. They really made us feel important and through this consultation Tara's pieces WERE actually right in line with what Lin wanted. (Duh-we just had to make it be his idea, lol) Any women out there that can relate to this??! I have found out if I can make something Lin's idea it usually ends up working in my favor almost 99% of the time. 

They showed us some other artists too but they just didn't speak to us and know that's okay. Be very honest with the gallery or you will end up having something you ultimately do not like. I am probably a little too! But seriously I can appreciate something but at the end of the day I can appreciate it from afar. 

Orth Contemporary brought us several pieces of Tara's on loan which was great for an upcoming photo shoot I had (cannot wait to release all that goodness when it's live but now I actually cannot say a word ) And we were able to live with them for a few months. This was so fantastic because they catch different light at different times of the day and it was important that we really experience that. Art is such an investment. And it's also such a incredibly personal affair. It takes time to really ensure that it's the right fit for everyone involved. So we were so appreciative that Orth Contemporary understood that and we were all on the same page. Lin and I never felt rushed or pressured through the whole process. We needed to know for sure. 

So during his time, we got to know the artist behind the pieces we adored.

“Getting to know the artist that made your art helps you to understand the content of the work and the context around the piece itself.”

No, we didn't have coffee dates with Tara, but we read up. Many contemporary galleries such as Orth Contemporary now offer artist profiles online. Read up on the people who produced your art, or follow them on Instagram  to get a glimpse into their lives! Now I couldn't find an Insta profile on Tara but I must admit this really intrigued us--like okay you mysterious private enigma you! But I did stalk her on line...

Thacker has taken her sculptural work as a reference to create two- dimensional pieces. The shadows cast from the sculptures are captured through photography and made into inkjet prints. In this way, the idea of linearity is punctuated yet retains the elegance of form. These prints are enhanced in size, further emphasizing the notion of elegance in simplistic abstract shapes. A dialogue to the three-dimensional work that retains a quiet appeal.

Thacker received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle and has had numerous shows throughout the US.

Payments Plans Or Trades Are Often Totally Legit

Did you fall in love with a piece that’s slightly above your budget? Maybe that artist wouldn’t mind receiving a few hundred dollars a month or maybe they need your mad Photoshop or portrait-taking skills as much as you need their art in your life! Harness your own talents, and see if you can be useful to the artist or gallery in any way.

It never hurts to ask the gallery. The worst thing they can say is no. 

So we kept two of the four pieces we "borrowed" from Orth and wanna hear a funny story?! They ended up working in a completely different area then originally planned. YEP. 

So another moral to this story is you might need something where you never knew you needed it. 

And now it's back to the drawing board with our infamous corner. I believe we are going to do a really beautiful modern oversized cactus in a gorgeous artistic planter. Well at least that was my idea so now I just have to make it Lin's.


So my dears--stop into Orth Contemporary. Please tell them you saw my post!

Orth Contemporary represents a select number of Nationally and Internationally known artists. Driven by a strong admiration of art that has the capacity to change the way people see and feel instantly, they focus on artists who stand out in their vision and creative exploration. The artists they represent create work that is forward thinking and visually engaging. The work exhibited ranges in medium; from painting and sculpture to photography and new media. In addition to their represented artists, they also feature project exhibitions by visiting artists from across the Nation.The goal of Orth Contemporary is to provide collectors and emerging-collectors, with focused exhibitions in order to educate buyers on the relevance of the artwork that is showcased.  Having a select number of represented artists shows the belief they have in the artists that are exhibited.  

Working with them was truly one of the most professional and fun experiences of my life!!!!! And who knew art could come live with you for a bit??!

When truly finding that perfect piece, it is critical that it's going to fit long term if not forever!!!!

Thank you Corey and Katie from the bottom of our hearts!!!!!  


Tuesday through Saturday / 11:00 - 6:00 pm and by appointment.

Katie Orth:

Corey Wickersham:


All photos by Jenna Mandel.

Tara's pieces were given to us at a discount for various features.