Member Spotlight: Vanessa Blaikie


IG @romeryounggallery

What are you working on here at Radiant Workspaces?

I am the co-owner and co-director of Romer Young Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. Together with my husband, we founded the gallery with a commitment to featuring innovative, challenging and ambitious work by national and international artists working in areas of visual, conceptual, installation and performance art.

Though I continue to be one half of the gallery, I started working at Radiant Workspaces in the hopes of exploring some other ideas and projects that I might pursue independently. There are a few things bouncing around - one of which is me getting back into the studio and focusing on my own practice as an artist.

What are you most passionate about?

Art. Love. Family. Living a meaningful, wonder-full life. Going to sleep with a dream and waking up with a purpose. Raising compassionate, thoughtful little beings. Advocating for artists and those who have made it their passion and their purpose to bring beauty, meaning, moral uplift, edification, and a deep sense of connectedness to others and to the world.

In 1991 Felix Gonzalez-Torres, an incredibly inspiring Cuban-born American sculptor, photographer, conceptual artist and cultural activist made a piece called "Untitled (Passport)." It was a stack of white, blank, empty, un-inscribed pieces of paper. He described it as an 'empty passport for life' and invited the public to inscribe it with the best, the most painful, the most banal, the most sublime, and yet to inscribe it with life, love, memories, fears, voids, and unexpected reasons for being. The piece was a simple white object against a white wall, waiting to be engaged and acted upon. Its quietude speaks volumes to the power of art. I truly believe that art has the potential to unite and show people that what they have in common and what they share is more profound than what divides and differentiates them. It has the power to elevate empathy, awareness, and understanding as well as to celebrate love and generosity of spirit. My friend Griff Williams, and mentor in many ways, once said that a gallery serves not only as a market function, but as an important political and cultural purpose by providing a forum to amplify the ideas and agency of artists, writers and musicians. I could not have said it any better.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?

If all the stars align that practice involves a balance of intention, meditation, mindful parenting, kundalini yoga, cold water swimming, cycling, being outdoors, surrounding myself with honest people who energize and inspire me, healthy food, more sleep, more laughter, more time in the studio, less technology, and 'doing small things with great love.' It looks like a long list in writing, but I'm working on integrating all those things into my life every week - even if it's only in small ways.

What songs/podcasts are on heavy rotation for you right now?

Music has been on heavier rotation than podcasts lately:

"Hearing" by Sleeping at Last (on endless repeat)

Lama Gyurme

Leonard Cohen

Lord Huron

La Dusseldorf

Emmylou Harris

Hildur Gudnadottir

Grateful Dead

Gordon Downie

Toots and the Maytals, Steel Pulse and Bob Marley with the kids


NPR Fresh Air, A Piece of Work, HumaNature

Tricycle Talks (Tricycle Magazine)

SFMOMA's Raw Material

Modern Art Notes

The Conversation Art Podcast

Where do you like to travel?

I'm happy anywhere above the tree line with rock underfoot, sky above, and a cold, alpine lake; anywhere with ocean and sand as far as the eye can see. Iceland, Namibia, India, Mongolia, New Zealand, Bolivia, Japan and a return trip to Bhutan are on my bucket list. Closer to home: British Columbia, Hawaii, Tahoe, Yosemite, Mount Shasta. Montreal, home, always feeds my soul and New York City, home before San Francisco, is electric and always inspires me.

What won’t you travel without?

My boys. I love seeing the world with them and through their eyes.

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

Breakfast: water with lemon, eggs and fresh fruit, and I love a really good coffee.

Lunch: green leafy salad loaded with a rainbow of fresh veggies and grilled chicken.

Snack: fruit smoothie with almond butter, coconut oil and chia seeds.

Dinner: (because I ate it last night and it was delicious) heirloom melon and kimchi, with a ribeye steak.

Whom in the world would you most like to share a meal with?

Right Now, the Dalai Lama and a baby girl named Devi.

When in doubt your go to song is……..

"This Must Be The Place" by the Talking Heads