MEET COCO MYERS
What do you like best about what you do at folioeast?
I love going to artists’ studios and coming away stimulated by the work, the artist, the smell of the paint, the whole creative atmosphere. I equally love curating exhibitions: coming up with an idea, selecting work, and hanging the show—the process of creating a flow that's cohesive but also has elements of surprise. And of course, I also enjoy closing a deal; I love connecting an artist with the buyer of a piece and making them both happy. Nothing like it. So satisfying.
Has folioeast changed since it first started?
Well it has such a farther reach now—we have almost 50 artists on our website alone, and have included many more in shows and events. There are new faces at every show I curate. It's an incredible community and I am so happy and grateful to be part of it. And I am also working with designers to curate work for their clients’ homes as well as staging newly built homes for sale. I love curating an entire home using sculpture, painting, and photography—especially knowing someone will soon be living with and loving the work.
Much of your career has been as a writer and editor; what creative connections led to a focus on art?
While I was working in the magazine world, I wrote and edited fashion, beauty and style pieces so it was all about visual art in that sense. I also wrote and edited pieces on artists and architects in their homes. And I’ve always lived with art. No matter where, what apartment or house I was in, there were paintings on the wall—by artists my parents knew. Later, when I married, my husband, who was a modern architect, and I began collecting—buying a painting or photograph each year for our anniversary. When I moved back to the East End full-time, I wanted to explore the notion of helping people buy art (starting with my friends). Since I grew up in East Hampton, I knew a lot of artists living and working here, and once I began visiting them in their studios, my network grew. I made a whole new world of friends. folioeast is founded on relationships—I truly like the artists I work with every bit as much as much as their artwork.
There is no lack of artists and galleries on the East End; how do you think folioeast is different?
folioeast largely focuses on abstract art—though not exclusively. I work with a variety of artists in many mediums and the work is always of high quality. I choose to show work that is beautiful and timeless in the sense that it’s not trendy, nor shocking for shock’s sake. folioeast is also about placing the perfect piece of art in the lives of people whose homes and lives are enhanced by it. It’s a high bar, one that I try to reach.
What is your ideal/typical day on the East End?
I like to exercise in the morning; a walk, run, swim, or a CrossFit class. I work for most of the day on folioeast—planning exhibits and events and often doing a studio visit with an artist, so a combination of computer work and in-person conversations/visits. In the evening I might attend an opening and then go out for a drink or dinner with my boyfriend and friends at one of my neighborhood haunts: Nick and Toni’s, the Grill, Serafina, The Palm, or the Maidstone. And of course an ideal day in the summer would include an hour or two at the beach and a dip in the ocean!
Coco Myers grew up in East Hampton among the Abstract Expressionists, many of whom were family friends. They came to potluck dinners—wonderfully raucous affairs—at her parents' home where their paintings hung on the walls (frequently rotated, depending on which artists were coming over each night). There, her love and affinity for the work of East End artists began.
After earning a B.A. in art history at Princeton, Myers worked in Manhattan as a magazine editor and writer at Elle, Mirabella and Allure, later moving back to East Hampton to raise her three sons with her late husband, modern architect Daniel Rowen. She continued to write (for Elle Decor, Martha Stewart Living, and
The New York Times, among other publications), but eventually returned to her touchstone—the East End art world—and started folioeast in 2015.
Founded with the mission of highlighting the community of East End artists, folioeast has since showcased the work of more than one hundred artists—in more than 50 exhibits—in venues as varied as Springs' iconic Ashawagh Hall, Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, and a recurring series of off-season exhibits at Malia Mills in East Hampton.
Myers is a member of the East Hampton Arts Council and is on the board of Wings Over Haiti, a non-profit organization that raises money to build schools in Haiti, and organizes their Hamptons Artists for Haiti summer benefit; the third annual event is in June 2019, with an art auction comprised of folioeast artists.