This Raleigh arts advocate, collector, and gallery owner fills her home with work found in North Carolina and abroad. by Ayn-Monique Klahre | photography by Catherine Nguyen
“I believe passionately in the power of art, the joy of living with art, and the importance of supporting those that create it,” says Marjorie Hodges. “Art keeps me grounded and inspired.”
Hodges is arts and community advocate and co-founder of Artsuite, an online platform that showcases artists and collectors around the globe and provides a curated selection of works for purchase. “Both of my parents instilled in me an appreciation for art — both visual and performing — and nature,” she says. “That was my foundation.” She studied art history and trained as a classical pianist — but majored in marketing and public relations instead, intending to start a more practical career in pharmaceutical sales. And yet she found herself visiting galleries instead of cramming for tests, a hint at her true passion.
After working for Pfizer in her native Florida for a few years, she lived in Park City, Utah, where she had her two children, then moved to Raleigh. Here, she was able to transition her skills into the arts world, first working with Duke Raleigh Hospital to acquire work for patients’ rooms, then working for the former Flanders Gallery. Over the last 15 years, she’s held director positions at the North Carolina Museum of Art and CAM Raleigh, and she also serves on the board of the Dix Park Conservancy.
The earliest pieces Hodges collected were abstracts. “I first started with a color focus, and as I’ve gotten more confident in my taste, I’m more and more attracted to pieces with complicated processes or a strong message or story,” she says. “The more art I see, the more I’m able to glean from each piece.” She’ll pick up pieces on her travels, often simple, handcrafted items, like a bowl with ornate carvings. “Some of these pieces are stunningly beautiful, even though they’re made for utilitarian purposes,” she says.
“Lately I’m especially drawn to textiles — I think because it’s such a global thing, women have been working with their hands to create textiles for centuries.” In the modernist north Raleigh home in that Hodges shares with partner Carlton Midyette, their art collection merges textiles, pre-Columbian pottery, ceramics, contemporary photography, sculpture, and painting. “Living with art is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Most of the artists in our collection are friends. Each work has special meaning,” says Hodges. “The art brings our home to life and adds character and authenticity.”
The two add pieces little by little, as they find them. “I enjoy traveling to international art fairs like Art Basel, Frieze, and NADA — these give me a snapshot of the global art market — but I love visiting artists’ studios, artist collectives, and museums, too,” says Hodges. She advises others to follow their instincts and build over time. “Buy what you love and collect whatever you want to collect,” she says. “If you are able to invest in art, have an advisor guide you toward a few anchor pieces.”
Most importantly, display the work you love. “I hope to inspire people to live with art, whatever their taste,” says Hodges. “Art is something you’ll keep the rest of your life — you may change residence or update your furniture, but art is enduring.”
This article originally appeared in the January 2022 issue of WALTER Magazine