A chair of this year’s Magnolia Ball, celebrating the Ogden Museum’s exhibition, The Whole Drum Will Sound: Women in Southern Abstraction, Chad Graci invited us into his 1916 New Orleans home and gave a tour of his personal art collection, which he has been growing since his early 20s.
“Collecting art can start at a young age and can be done on any budget,” says Graci. “I started with just a few pieces and eventually began running out of room.”
While working as an interior designer and living in New York City, Los Angeles, abroad and now in his hometown of New Orleans as owner of Graci Interiors, LLC, Graci has been exposed to diverse cultures and forms of artistic expression. His journey informs his collection, which is comprised of enigmatic landscapes and dark abstract works from street artists, estate sales and auctions.
“I like dark pieces,” says Graci. “I look for depth. Usually there is an initial connection with a piece, like a click, and I know it’s right.”
His most recent accession—a painting by Mildred (Millie) Wohl—hangs in his kitchen above the fireplace. This contemporary work serves as a focal point in the room, mesmerizing Graci’s guests with its golden glow. Guests of the Magnolia Ball, being held Saturday, June 9, will be able to see works by this artist and others in The Whole Drum Will Sound.
In addition to his Wohl, Graci says, “From my collection, I love a small unknown oil of a dim interior, with a vibrant scarlet French chair, given to me by a client. Also, my Richard Johnson wows me each time I open the door, with its colors and layering.”
For those interested in growing their own personal art collection, Graci recommends joining him at the Magnolia Ball, which will feature a silent auction with works by women artists living and working in the South.
“The Museum elevates the arts of our region and has become a cultural hub of New Orleans,” says Graci. “Come to the Ball to see and be seen amongst the brightest and best that the city has to offer.”