Hello, Elena Frampton here. I run Frampton Co, an interior design studio and art advisory with two gallery spaces named Exhibition, in Bridgehampton and New York City.

Elena Frampton in Miami

In a pre-covid world, I loved welcoming guests into the galleries for Salon Series, in-person conversations with some of my favorite artists – or sometimes, artists whose work I’d just encountered, but knew they were on the rise.

The live version is still on hold, but thanks to Design Milk, there’s good news – Salon Series is back, and this time around it’s “Short & Sweet.”

These six-ish minute episodes offer condensed stories and moments of insight from some of our favorite creatives from around the world. (The perks of virtual, we get to go global!) For our first episode, we invited the visionary Nina Johnson, of her eponymous Miami gallery, to hop on the phone.

Nina Johnson portrait by Gesi Schilling

Calling in from her gallery, Johnson took us back to the start of her career. “I was growing up in Miami, and nobody knew what to do with me,” she said.

Her stories brought me back to my own foray into the art world, and the inclinations that brought me to where I am today. There is a gut instinct that attracts me to art, and guides a lot of how I work with clients, whether they’re established collectors or just starting out. As a conduit between art and design, I’m looking for works that clients can and want to live with, not just in an aesthetic sense, but in a metaphysical sense as well.

Judy Chicago and Nina Johnson. Courtesy Nina Johnson.

Courtesy Frampton Co

We inevitably touched down on Miami, too. From an outside perspective, the vibrant city is often synonymous with fair season — that exciting time of year when the global art world descends on its sunny shores. That’s changing, Johnson tells us. The once-nascent local art scene is now a force in its own right, much of which can be credited to educators and gallerists like herself. “More of the general population is now interested in contemporary art here,” Johnson shares. “And it’s important for us to recognize not only artists that live and work here, but artists that push us to continually ask the question, what does it mean to be in Miami? Are we being respectful? Are we raising the bar?”

Tune in to the video above to hear us talk about meaning, Miami, art matchmaking and more – all while keeping it Short & Sweet.

Episodes are edited by Evey Joan, with select images courtesy Nina Johnson gallery and the artists.

Special thanks to Frampton Co for this post and for having us a media partner for their Salon Series: Short & Sweet talks series.

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