|© Jerimiah B. Brown|
by Jan Schlain
The newlyweds who walked into the temporary OnSite gallery on Main didn’t look like wealthy collectors: they entered in grubby clothes, and their bikes were parked outside. Talking to them amid Angelis Jackowksi’s huge watercolors of leaves and Dick Siegel’s digital art prints, gallery owner Terri Marra learned the couple were European medical grads doing residencies at the U-M. One of Joan Rosenblum’s Rothko-like pastels captured the couple’s hearts—but the $1,335 price was beyond their budget. “Why not ask your parents to buy it as a wedding gift?” suggested Marra hopefully. “That was medical school,” the husband replied. “Then a first-anniversary gift, perhaps?” Marra ventured. But they left on their bikes empty handed.
Suspecting they’d be back, Marra drove over to her other business, ArtSearch, which finds art for corporate clients. She picked up a larger Rosenblum, Do Re Mi, and brought it back to the gallery. Sure enough, the couple bought it when they returned, dressed up and ready to buy. “They came for the smaller one but left with a bigger one,” says Marra happily—adding, “I gave them a nice discount.”
[Originally published in October, 2008.]
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