November 9, 1998
Volume 51, No. 11
Business and craft of art mesh for music's Dorothy Moye
Most people are lucky if they have one job they love, but Dororthy Moye is blessed with two, and both allow her to indulge her passion for art.
At Emory Moye serves part time as programs coordinator for the music department's concerts division, producing programs and brochures for 80-odd performances each year, from last week's Wynton Marsalis concert to student recitals, along with other various and sundry tasks for an office in which "everybody does a little bit of everything," she explained.
In Moye's other career she works as an art consultant, serving as a broker between artists and architects or interior designers. For example, the staff cafeteria at the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Atlanta bears the fruits of Moye's labor-hanging on its walls are several quilts designed by artist Murray Johnston, and Moye served as the intermediary to bring the quilts to the bank.
"They wanted something that would reflect the diversity of the work force at the bank," Moye said. "So the artist designed them using a lot of ethnic fabrics, things people might respond to, maybe even on a subconscious level. I sold those several years ago, and I hope those quilts will move when the bank moves to Midtown," she added, referring to the bank's plan to relocate to a new site at Peachtree and 10th streets.
Elsewhere in town, Moye has also placed a collection of work by Georgia artists at the law firm of King & Spalding, and she brokered some art for Decatur's Columbia Seminary. Mostly she works with fiber artists-tapestry, quilting, basketry, etc.-but she also deals with most kinds of craft media, including clay, woodwork, glasswork and others. One piece at King & Spalding is a sculpture that incorporates stone, brass and fabric.
An amateur artist herself, Moye got into this business back in the late '80s when she was doing promotions for a number of arts organizations. "I had met so many wonderful artists, people whose work I really admired, and I was working as a sales rep for commercial photography at the time, and I just said, 'I can do this. I can sell this.' So I started out with a handful of artists I knew personally, and it just sort of expanded from there."
Moye started by cold-calling clients and slowly building her reputation through word of mouth. Gradually her list of both buyer-clients and artist-clients grew-though she admits she knows a lot more artists than buyers-and now architects and designers will refer her to their colleagues. She keeps up with local construction, and when she sniffs out a new building that's soon to go up, she finds out who's specifying the artwork.
Right now she's working with the soon-to-open Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon. The project's been in the works for two-and-a-half years, but it was only in May that the artist Moye represents was officially commissioned for the job. He is now at work on a mural to be finished by the first of the year, and the Hall of Fame-the last Moye heard-is slated to open its doors next April.
"I enjoy the challenge of coming up with the right art for a particular location," she said. "And it's a real chancey kind of thing. I may talk to somebody for two years, knowing a particular job is coming up. I keep going back, and we talk and talk, and we may get up to the end and they cut out the entire art budget, and all that time's been wasted. That's not infrequent."
In fact, it was because of a particularly slow period in her consulting business that she came to Emory. "As with many things in my life, it's not something I set out as a goal, but it was one of these serendipitous things that fit in with something else I wanted to be doing." She was familiar with graphic design and layout because of her "previous life's" work in photography, and that experience helped her land her job in the concerts division. "I have really enjoyed the connection with the performing arts," she said. "I feel at this point like both sides help the other."
Indeed, and not only in balancing out things artistic in Moye's brain. Some time ago she was invited to an exhibit opening at the Carlos Museum that resulted in her meeting a couple of artists she now hopes to place inother collections. "There are all kinds of ways these two lives intermesh," she said.
"It's one of those exciting things-the way something just appears or surfaces from whatever else is going on in your life at the time, and suddenly there is something you needed all along."