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Synergy 1 + 1 = 3
Eighteenth Musing

by Ms. Terious

Synergy is a great topic for a musing to start off the New Year. Synergy is a combined interaction greater than the sum of its separate parts – it means ‘stronger together.’

Let’s look at how synergy can apply to art and artists, galleries and artists, and even the workings of a gallery, to create a synergistic environment for viewers and artists alike.

We can start with a very simple example – an artist begins working on a piece of art; the idea, the feeling, the message, is already becoming embedded in the artist’s eye. What material will the artist use; paper, canvas, board, metal? What medium will the artist use; oil, acrylic, pastels, collage, pen and ink, watercolors, mixed media? What colors will the artist use? What about lightness or darkness portrayed in the work?

An artist may have a favorite medium in which to work but may consider incorporating different techniques into that medium to achieve a specific effect. The artist will work toward creating a piece that shows what they see, what they feel, what message they wish to impart with the piece of art. This piece of art created is greater than just the sum of the components used; it becomes more than just the idea or feeling the artist originally wanted to capture, it becomes a living part of the artist’s soul and affects viewers in many different ways. A piece of art becomes a living embodiment of something meaningful both to the artist and viewers.

Jeanney Wharton – “Feel the Breeze”

Perhaps you have two favorite pieces of art that hang in different rooms. One day you decide to move them and put them together in one space. The new space becomes transformed – the two pieces of art hung together are more dramatic and dynamic together than they were when viewed separately.

Peg Belcastro – “Salsa” and “Abiding Endurance”

Another example could be the framing that is applied to a finished piece of art. The piece of art is already a thing of beauty, and the question becomes “to frame or not to frame?”.  Framing choices are many but there are usually only a few choices that will be perfect for not only the piece but also where, and with what else, it will be shown. The painting is beautiful on its own, the framing is beautiful on its own, but when put together the singular piece created outshines the sum of its parts.

Arlene Figueroa – “Navy and Gold”
Arlene Figueroa – “Navy and Gold”

Synergy exists within an art gallery in a few different ways. The first is through an exhibit a gallery may hold. The exhibit brings together artists who work in many different mediums, materials and styles, but when the exhibit is hung onto the gallery wall the exhibit becomes the synergistic whole of every painting hung. The energies are channeled through colors, materials, themes incorporated, and styles.

If you attended The Smith Gallery’s juried exhibition entitled “Reflections” the idea of creating synergy in an exhibit becomes clear. Artists were tasked with creating a work of art that for them mirrored the idea of reflection.  The art was all very different in materials and colors used and styles represented. Each piece was a soulful creation by the artist to create what reflection meant to them specifically, without the use of words. Together the entire exhibit created a synergy of the idea of reflection in all of its various interpretations.

Donna Berk Barlup, Gail Walden Coleman, R. Muttigan, Brad Robertson, Sten, Phiroza Kapadia.

Another way synergy exists in the gallery itself is through the team who works there. The Smith Gallery has a team of artistic personnel, each having a specific talent in the art world; restoration, framing, carpentry, curating, art history, videography, giclee production, engraving; who work together to ensure you receive the best information, service, and advice available.

Plan a day to visit The Smith Gallery & Fine Custom Framing, and feel the synergy that is created on each wall by the art that is displayed. Speak with Debbie, Nancy, Mallory, Mariah, or Lindsey. Ask them how they go about deciding how to build a wall of art, pick a perfect frame, produce a print… get into a discussion about the art and artists you see in the gallery.  The energy of each of these women is amazing and the synergy created by them as they work together as a team will make your experience one that is filled with positivity, happiness, and a deeper understanding of how art and synergy work together.

Attend an art exhibit opening, mingle with others who are enjoying the art, begin a conversation with someone regarding your thoughts on the art you are viewing, open yourself to new ideas and experiences and allow the concept of synergy to become part of who you are!

Artists whose works have been showcased here are: Jeanney Wharton, Peg Belcastro, Arlene Figueroa, Donna Berk Barlup, Gail Walden Coleman, R. Muttigan, Brad Robertson, Sten, Phiroza Kapadia.

Please visit the The Smith Gallery to view more art by these artists and many other talented artists and view our ArtTalks videos for conversations with artists.

Stay tuned for the next musing discussing the synergistic relationship between an artist and a gallery.


The Tenth Muse was created to give inspiration, information and confidence to the reader.

This publication celebrates The Tenth Muse that is alive in all of us! She gives us the confidence to embrace going beyond the nine original muses.

Ms. Terious explores many subjects related to art and framing that can be used in the real world as you explore your own personal tastes and experiences without boundaries.

See all Tenth Muse articles