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Friday Five with Terry Eaton of Eaton Fine Art

06.07.19 | By
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It’s undeniable that Terry Eaton, President and Chief Curator of Eaton Fine Art (EFA), has a good eye. Merging his childhood love of art and an innate entrepreneurial spirit with his business partner’s expertise in hospitality, Austin-based EFA is a full-service art consulting firm that specializes in curating unique art programs for the hospitality and healthcare industries. Since 1992, Terry and the EFA team have stayed atop trends by scouting art shows and artists the world over, integrating the best into their collaborations while keeping an eye on sustainable, locally-sourced art. Each project is diverse in design, with a fresh vision that carries forward each company’s unique narrative. Notable project collaborations include The Palace Hotel San Francisco, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, The Hilton West Palm Beach, the Four Seasons Austin, the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, and the recently completed Embassy Suites by Hilton in Downtown Minneapolis. In this week’s Friday Five, we talked to Terry Eaton about five of his sources of artistic inspiration.

1. Old Growth Trees
Nature has long been, and will continue to be, a great source of artistic inspiration. Old growth trees themselves offer inspiration through their shape, texture, and size, but also the setting they create, which enables us all to recharge and breathe life in. Furthermore, the trees grand stature really helps puts life in perspective – that mother nature is much grander than us as humans.

2. Fedoras
I find that a fedora is both traditional and very contemporary depending on the color and style. The term Fedora comes from the title of a play written in 1892 for Sarah Bernhardt. I have over 30 different fedoras, including bespoke fedoras crafted from beaver felt, as well as wool, cashmere, straw, and linen. They are both fashionable and practical, as they keep the sun away from my shaved head.

Photo courtesy of Eaton Fine Art

3. Cuisine
Modern food doesn’t only have to taste good, it needs to look good too. There is an increased focus, thanks in large part to social media, in the art of food and the presentation of dishes. Look around any restaurant and you’ll see patrons snapping pics of their meals to share on Instagram. Art is literally everywhere, including our food. We often overlook the everyday, but artistic expression is just as important as taste these days! Some of my favorite restaurants include Wink and ASTI in Austin, The Modern in NYC, and Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas. Yum!

Photo courtesy of Eaton Fine Art

4. Museums
Both for what lies within, as well as the structures themselves. While museums may seem like an obvious choice, I oftentimes find myself valuing the structures themselves and spaces thoughtfully crafted within as much as the work on display. For example, I recently visited MoMA and was in awe of the staircase just as much, if not more so, than the beautiful art on display. I was also recently in Mexico City and visited the National Numismatic Museum, and was blown away by the intimate story and heritage of Mexico that lied within. The museum offers the opportunity to discover and see operating machinery and equipment that dates back to the late 19th century, and I personally experienced a spiritual embrace standing among these pillars of Mexican history.

Photo by Kurt Forschen

5. In Your Own Home
To me, the best kind of art is when there is a personal connection. My husband and I love to turn found items into art – we collect and frame things from our travels that are then displayed in our home as members of our art collection. This includes vintage balloon molds, Venetian bead boards, pillow cases from Switzerland, and antique toys from all over the world.

Kelly Beall is senior editor at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based graphic designer and writer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, and enjoys sharing her finds with others. When undistracted by great art and design, she can be found making a mess in the kitchen, consuming as much information as possible, or on the couch with her three pets. Find her @designcrush on social.