Sara Stewart: Biography
1997 to present
Managing Director, Fine Art Commissions Ltd, St. James's, London
2013 to present
Trustee, Cowden Castle SCIO, Clackmannanshire, Scotland
Charity set up to restore historically important Japanese Garden in Scotland, established in 1908. The first and only Japanese garden to have been planned by a lady landscape designer.
2014 to present
Director, The English Room Ltd, St. James's, London
The English Room was established by Geoffrey Cridland, joint founder of Eximious. In 2015 Sara became principle shareholder of the company, which continues to retail the popular monogrammed clothes covers and luggage synonymous with Eximious as well as an expanded range of products. These are available from the website and in our gallery at 34 Duke Street, St James’s.
Director, Picton Castle Studios Ltd, Pembrokeshire, Wales
PCS runs short courses and painting holidays at Picton Castle in Pembrokeshire, ancestral home of Nicky Philipps, portrait painter. The aim is to open a figurative art school espousing traditional techniques in the next few years.
Managing Director, Arndean Gallery Ltd, Cork Street, London
Director, Malcolm Innes Gallery Ltd (London and Edinburgh)
On completing a post-graduate diploma in Fine and Decorative Arts, I joined the Malcolm Innes Gallery in Chelsea, London. After two years I was made a Director after the Gallery moved to St. James's. I introduced and subsequently organised, contemporary exhibitions before leaving to set up my own company, Fine Art Commissions, in 1997. The agency was established largely because I was often asked by clients when I worked at Malcolm Innes, where they should get their son/wife/daughter painted. The questions were particularly random as more often than not, the client would be staring at a landscape of a Scottish Glen. There was clearly a gap in the market for people who wanted choice and the security of back up during a commission.
After six years I opened the Arndean Gallery (www.arndeangallery.com) in Cork Street. The gallery was used as a weekly space for other art dealers and artists who would rather not rent a permanent gallery. It was extremely useful for Fine Art Commissions as it provided us with an additional exhibition space. In January 2010, The Hay Hill Gallery took over the Lease as I was finding we were spending too much time wrapped up in bookings for Arndean, rather than marketing Fine Art Commissions.
Fine Art Commissions has had three moves over the years. From an office above the tube line in Walton Street, to a gallery fifty yards up the street, via Bury Street, to our current home at 34 Duke Street, St James's.
Since 1997 I have met a myriad of fascinating artists and clients, had the greatest fun and I hope, provided many talented people with interesting faces to paint and stories to hear. We have had many adventures along the way, most recently in the U.S. where we took a Stand at The International Art Fair in Palm Beach (www.palmbeachfair.com).
We have benefited from enormous encouragement from literally hundreds of artists and clients over the years and I look forward to working with many more in the years to come.