“I started Sophiella Gallery because I have admired these artists over the years and collect their work. I felt like we needed a space downtown to showcase our local artists. Selling art is connecting people on a deeper level besides small talk. It is about what they see and what a painting means to them. These artists are inspired by something and it comes out on canvass, creating a spiritual connection. My creative outlet is street photography. I love capturing accidental and random things happening on the street and saving the moment. One day I will also show my photography here.
My kids are out of the house and my husband sold his business, but I felt too young to be retired. We live on Dog River and we could look at the river all day, but we still have so much we want to do. This gallery is part of our giving back to Mobile. We renovated the building for a year. I had a vague idea of what it should be, but was open-minded during the whole process. It became so much more than I expected and I am thrilled with how it turned out. It is a great location and we get to be a part of the renaissance in this city. People are moving downtown and want local artists on their walls to bring their community into their homes. Visitors from all over the world come into the gallery, and it has opened my eyes to the tourism side of Mobile I didn’t know existed.
I was born in North Dakota in a very rural environment. My parents were children of Norwegian wheat farmers. In third grade, we moved to Virginia suburb of Washington DC so my dad could be a legislative aide. It was a culture shock. DC is such a melting pot and showed me the world is a diverse place. My husband’s father had a family business in Mobile and when he got out of the Air Force, we moved here. Mobile was a great place to raise my kids and now it is the place to explore the creative side of myself.”