DANI FULLER – 2018 Friend of the Arts
I wouldn’t call myself a gallery owner, I’m simply Dani. I believe that’s all I need. I want to create a space that draws people in. I want to entertain you, expose you to great art, with big love and genuine joy. I want to pique your creativity in unusual ways, with lights and wildflowers and tables built by hand, drawing you into an unpredictable art house. Sit at my table, get your hands messy with curiosity; listen to poetry; join a pop-up dinner party beneath crudely strung flea-market chandeliers.
I graduated from the American Academy of Art in downtown Chicago and spent nearly 12 years in that awesome city as a freelance artist – a muralist, and illustrator. However, the real-life stuff happened with my side jobs – those helped pay my rent and kept me alive in the bustle of a cool, yet expensive city. A nanny job on the city’s Northshore was a true juggle of joy, creativity and everyday tests of madness. I have no shame in that history. It means that much to me. It’s a part of my “real.” It’s layered into who I am. Three amazing kids – and me – made recipe boxes and learned to cook, shocked the neighborhood with our Halloween costumes, made armadillo cakes, bumped volleys till midnight, and shared so many memorable stories, often overly embellished, but always “somewhat” true. We lived in a fast-moving, carpooling little world, magic woven in without realizing.
Chicago, you gave me so much! The awkward hurdles of real life matured me. You changed my world view and my self-view. You sparked an ongoing need to create and a knowing confidence that I could survive on little and by just being me. I grew up in that city, as a person and as an artist, coming to believe that the more I shared and loved – the more sharing and love would come back in return.
I moved back to Ohio, taking a job as a creative art director for a local foundation. The years in that position mirrored all that I had done before, giving birth to even more new ventures. I discovered I could be immersed in the same kind of creative fun that thrilled me in Chicago, while persistently tapping into my path and purpose.
Since then, I have been blessed with continuous opportunity to give voice to my creative heart, while doing it alongside the most amazing, local creatives – the birth of Red Bird being one of them. These days, my heart is fuller, now more than ever, and I can’t wait to see where the love (of people and artistry) will take me.
I am now learning how to run a business, and I can’t imagine wanting to work harder at anything if it means I can do my thing – and do it big and full and loud – in the midst of another awesome city and a community that wants to be a part of it.