Stephan Fine Arts has been a family affair since it's inception in 1977 when my parents, Pat and Pam Stephan, were enjoying some success in Alaska's real estate market, and wanted their art collection to be enjoyed by more Alaskans. Over the years, they had gathered works by nationally-acclaimed artists such as Norman Rockwell, LeRoy Neiman, and Salvador Dali, among others. They soon began showcasing local talent as well, as it became more and more apparent that Alaska's beauty inspired artistic leanings in many local talents. All four of my siblings and I worked at Stephan's at some point along the line, and art will always hold a special place in our hearts as a result.
When Dad rang me up to ask for help with the gallery in 2004, I told him I'd give him 10 hours per week (I had three young children at home). That quickly changed to part ownership - then full ownership - within a couple years. Dad often told me "with you, life will never be boring" and the gallery business has certainly been anything but boring! It's not about stocking shelves and placing orders; it's about sharing visions, creating purposeful spaces, giving others a moment or a lifetime of creative energy that inspires them to do their best, and ultimately about giving back to my community who has given me so much. People often ask me if I'm an artist; while I'm not an artist per se, I'm a creative problem-solver, and have always been drawn to business, diversity, design, color, and a good old fashioned challenge.