Following a career in psychotherapy and art therapy, Melinda Fay has found an unexpected way to ply a new trade. Now she interacts with interior design, fine art and retail clients out of Good Eye Gallery, which is located in a brick-clad 1920s storefront on Eagle Rock Boulevard.
Since mid-December, Fay has been putting together an ever-changing "inviting home environment" in her gallery and store. In response to longtime positive feedback about her design and art selection skills, as well as having curated pop-up exhibitions, Fay decided to dedicate a proper space in order to merge her passion for curating, creativity and curing, a concept she likes to call "curativity."
Good Eye Gallery's anteroom holds purses, small furnishings and other goods, as well as a rotating gallery of exhibitions that Fay curates. The Valentine's Day-themed "Love Me or Leaf Me" show is currently on view, and to coincide with Mother's Day in May, Fay is planning an installation titled "Ode to the Motherlode" in partnership with new L.A.-based website Momstamp.com. Works by female artists such as photographer Darcy Hemley and painter Tasha Kusama will examine "how women maintain a creative life" while juggling the demands of parenting. (The exhibition opens on May 3.)
Because Fay is an engaging conversationalist who prioritizes comfort, she has arranged multiple seating configurations. ("Always a therapist," she joked.) Everything is for sale, save a few exceptions. Charming and varied vignettes using furniture, art and accessories occupy the large central space, such as a vanity that belonged to Fay's aunt and is stocked with essential oils from Ojai's Moss Botanicals. She likes "to find unusual ways to display things," so wall-mounted salvaged doors fitted with chicken wire in the window openings show off necklaces; the presentation vehicles can be purchased for home installation, too. Fay found an old bike rack and fitted it with added reclaimed wood and finials to create an unusual way to hang vintage and new purses by Southern California leather crafter Lili T.
She's not the type of decorator to instantly produce a book of fabric swatches, but rather sees herself as "a conduit" linking clients to vintage resources, local makers and perhaps most important, artists. In the rear room, walls are packed with pieces by "people who are emerging as artists or reconnecting with their former creative selves," Fay explained. She also wants "to help people get confident about collecting art," as well as coach artists about seeking unexpected opportunities. Danielle Krysa of the Jealous Curator, embroidery artist Stephanie Kelly Clark and painter Lisa Golightly are among those Fay frequently works with.
In her creative matchmaker capacity that spans many media, Fay has collaborated with candle maker Wild Well Supply on a custom wax blend added to vintage tumblers, and she has worked on product development with Shawn Wallace of Gopherwood Design Build in Goleta, Calif.
Fay never frequents the L.A. Mart or visits extravaganza gift shows in Los Angeles or New York. "I'm always hunting and gathering things, and people come to me," she said.
Good Eye Gallery, 4538 Eagle Rock Blvd., Eagle Rock, 90041. Wednesdays through Sundays, noon to 5 p.m., and by appointment. (323) 255-4538; www.goodeyegallery.com