Lost-n-Found Youth

July 18, 2023 - Melanea Alvarez, Executive Director


Several paintings by David Nielsen are included in SALON STYLE 2023. David was a longstanding Atlanta artist and dear friend of Jules, Corky, and mine. Like David, his art was quirky, sometimes funny, and original. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Florida State University and worked for years selling Steve Penley paintings. Half of the sales of David's works will go to Lost-n-Found Youth, a nonprofit founded in 2011 to help homeless LGBTQ+ youth ages 18 to 25. LnFY has grown to include a youth center, emergency shelter, educational programs, case management, and transitional housing. With an annual operating budget of 1.8 million dollars, LnFY provides at-risk LGBTQ+ youth with meals, showers, warm beds, and essential training for living independently. Buyers of David’s art will receive a tax deduction of 50% of the price.

This grassroots organization has emerged with the core values of inclusivity, diversity, respect, stabilization, wellness, and love of community. What began as a volunteer effort delivering meals and care packages thru street outreach, quickly evolved, and the first paid staff was hired in 2012. By the time, founding members transitioned out of the organization in 2018, the organization had grown to include a youth center with drop-in service support, emergency sheltering, educational programs, case management, and transitional housing for those needing longer-term support.

LnFY provides 5,400+ bed nights a year to LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness, as well as providing the essential tools and training for survival outside our four walls. Our program offering has expanded to include dedicated Street Outreach, life-skills programming (digital and financial literacy, and nutrition), and a Job Readiness and development program. The LnFY Care Team comprises qualified social workers adhering to professional best practices in serving LGBTQ+ youth with transparency, discipline, and compassion. LnFY programs align with the specific needs of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the Atlanta Continuum of Care. The Youth Center, centrally located in the Lost-n-Found Thrift Store, is open 7 days a week and the home for street outreach, case management, life-skills programming, and Drop-In services (food, laundry, showers). In contrast to other organizations, LnFY offers emergency sheltering for 12 youth up to 90 days (as of Jan 2023).

While many services are technically open to LGBTQ+ youth at other agencies, threats to their physical and emotional safety prevail. Many of our youth experience physical and sexual assault, a lack of true understanding of their individual situations, and an inability to express themselves authentically, all of which hinder their ability to leverage the supports available to get back on their feet. At LnFY, youth not only experience an environment that affirms, understands, and reflects their lived experience but also uplifts the voices of those often muted, discarded, overlooked, and/or misunderstood. LnFY has a long history of collaboration and partnerships with other organizations to help ensure that its youth receive the best possible care. LGBTQ+ youth makes up 7% of the total US youth population and comprise 40% of all homeless youth.

As “the LGBTQ+ capital of the South” and coupled with the current legislative environment, Atlanta draws increasing numbers of LGBTQ+ youth from neighboring Southern States. Obviously, our 12 beds are not enough to meet the demand for emergency sheltering of youth, let alone meet the demand for wrap-around support for independent living. LnFY is uniquely positioned to provide safety and shelter for LGBTQ+ youth in a safe and affirming environment. Our board of directors, executive leadership, staff, and volunteers, are dedicated to the mission of preventing, reducing, and eradicating homelessness for LGBTQ+ youth. A new strategic plan outlines goals of 1) increasing youth service, 2) building internal capacity through technology, 3) securing a permanent (rather than leased) home for our youth housing programs.

Thank you for your support. Click here to read more about LnFY.

Melanea Alvarez, Executive Director  

Marie-Cécile Aptel — Voilà!

April 29, 2023 - Timothy Tew


May 6 - 27

We are excited to announce the arrival of six large abstract paintings from the studio of Marie-Cécile Aptel, a French painter whose relationship with TEW Galleries spans more than three decades. I met her and Jean-Pierre Bourquin in Rouen, France in 1987 while assembling a group of artists to represent in the United States. At the time, she had recently stopped teaching to pursue a full-time career as an artist. Her early works—figurative and medium-sized canvases depicting angular faces and fish in earth tones—were created through a process that combined paint with wax.

By the early 1990s, Aptel’s style had evolved into an enthusiastic embrace of abstraction. The work, large-scale and entirely nonrepresentational, was atypical of the figurative pieces shown by the gallery at that time. Consequently, our relationship shifted and we parted ways.

Now, we have found common ground again. Aptel has refined her vision remarkably with consciously considered color and looser, if not exuberant, mark-making. Her successful 2021 solo show at the Museum of Louviers just outside Paris enhances her newfound appeal.

Obtaining new works from Marie-Cécile took longer than expected. Covid slowed the process. I then decided to make my selection in person, finally doing so last October. We are thrilled to share this stunning collection of paintings with you. They will be on view in our downstairs gallery May 6 – 27.



The Mechanics of Color

March 13, 2023 - Timothy Tew


Charles Keiger "Flyover" 2023, oil on canvas, 30"x34"

The Mechanics of Color

March 24 - April 22 

A group show featuring painters who combine colors in especially skillful and dynamic ways. 

Artists who make an exploration of color the lifeblood of their art are known as colorists. Rather than employing color simply as a representational tool or structural device that influences composition, a colorist calls on the emotional component of color to steer a painting’s effect on the viewer. Like a gifted mechanic who expertly aligns an engine’s parts for proper function, a colorist develops exacting color relationships that communicate complex meanings to the viewer. 

There are countless ways to combine primary, secondary, and tertiary colors for various effects—such as red to yellow for warmth and blue to green for a sense of coolness. Using three side by side colors on a color wheel creates a smoothly unified effect, whereas colors from opposite sides generate vibration and excitement. Alternatively, the juxtaposition of tones of a single color forms a more restrained mood. Colors can then be darkened, lightened or greyed for additional impact.

Color theory provides practical guidance for color combinations and determines how these color schemes evoke certain emotions and meanings when communicating with us. Throughout the history of art, from the dark brown and black pigments beloved by Rembrandt to light-filled Impressionist compositions to the garish hues often seen in contemporary art, colorists stretch the boundaries of color, creating works that captivate viewers. Although painters fall into this category most easily, photographers and installation artists can be master colorists too.

TEW Galleries represents a wide range of artists whose skillful use of color brings rooms to life. Our next show, The Mechanics of Color, features art that demonstrates this mastery. We hope you will attend. Opening night is Friday, March 24, 6:00 – 8:00 PM, with works remaining on view until Saturday, April 22.



January 17, 2023 - Timothy Tew


While in Los Angeles in March 2022, I went for a jog, turning up unfamiliar streets until I arrived at Sunset Boulevard. Finally recognizing where I was, I remembered having seen a nearby gallery that looked interesting. After waiting for the traffic light to change, I rushed across the many lanes for a look.

The gallery, located in an old brick building (probably from the 1920s) was closed, so I peered through its large front windows—the type of plate-glass once used by stores to promote their products. There, facing the street, I discovered a bright, entirely red painting enhanced with rows of undulating red marks. The painting spoke to me, but it caught me off guard because my jog had been arbitrary and minimalism has never been easy for me to appreciate.

This discovery prompted a deeper look into the gallery. There I saw four more abstract paintings. They were boldly patterned and much more colorful, but clearly all painted by the same artist. My excitement was enriched by the fact I had just attended three major LA art fairs and had not felt this way about anything else costing less than $100,000.

My mind raced. Could this be an opportunity for Atlanta?



An artist’s creations reflect their history, personality, point of view, and ambitions, so every artist I approach unveils a mystery, an opportunity, and an unknown aspect of myself. Intrigued by what I had just discovered, the next step was to figure out the artist’s name, reach out for a meeting, and perhaps determine whether we might work together in the future. 

The artist’s name was not displayed on the front window, so I googled the gallery to find it. With his name in hand, I messaged him through Instagram. Fishing for talent in a big lake like LA can be challenging, so I wondered what kind of response I would get.

Berto’s reply was enthusiastic, and we made plans to meet for coffee in Venice Beach. My conversation with this tall, thoughtful, naturally handsome young man with bright blue eyes could not have gone more easily, and quickly led to planning a visit to his studio, located at that time in Ventura.

A few days later, I drove up State Route 118—made famous by the band America’s song Ventura Highway. Berto’s studio was full of paintings, and I immediately saw that he was a careful, deliberate creative. In talking, I learned his vision had been developed by traveling the world, working as a muralist, practicing yoga and deep meditation, using plant-based therapies associated with indigenous tribes to strengthen his outlook, and, of course, developing his painting skills for years.

Berto creates a range of imagery, from the red-on-red painting that I had first seen to his graphic, abstract canvases suggestive of things we know, but cannot name, to his more realistic compositions featuring recognizable objects, faces, and animals, to outright-beautiful flower paintings. Binding these aspects together is stylistic integrity, emotional reserve, and spiritual presence. I am happy to report that in the brief time that Berto has shown with TEW Galleries, his art has touched our clients in the same way that first painting touched me.

With his studio currently in Santa Monica, Berto is setting up another one in Lisbon, Portugal, which will naturally encourage new creative developments. We recently received new art works from him and would love to share them with you. Please drop by or make an appointment to visit the gallery.

— Timothy Tew




Calling All Art Lovers!

Explore the City of Angels with Timothy Tew

I am organizing a trip for art collectors to Los Angles, May 17-22, 2023. We will visit four museums and tour the iconic modernist-style Stahl House, designed by architect Pierre Koenig. A highlight of the trip will be a private visit to Berto’s studio, but also prized visits to the studios of America Martin and Jonathan Ryan—another LA artist I want collectors to know about. As a member of the tour, you will meet the artists and have first-hand access to their art in the spaces where it is made. Accommodations are at the Pendry Hotel West Hollywood with its sweeping views across LA to the Hollywood Hills. For the trip to go forward, a minimum of 10 people are needed, but there is space for up to 16. Please contact me at if you are interested in pricing and additional details.




December 30, 2022 - Timothy Tew



As we start 2023, I want to introduce a book that should be required reading for anyone wanting to better understand the art world. It examines a variety of topics including how artists build their careers, the powerful influence of fashion and criticism on trends, and the art world’s nurturing and at times destruction of careers to make money. 

Written by Nicholas Foulkes, Bernard Buffet: The Invention of the Modern Mega-Artist is the story of the most famous artist you have probably never heard of. Filled with ample gossip about celebrities and artists, the reading is entertaining.

During the 1950s when Paris was still the center of the art world, Bernard Buffet was considered the successor to Picasso. This position was supported by art critics, collectors, and the press. However, Buffet’s immense fame and wealth at a young age soon created detractors. His disparagers also decided that abstract art should be “in” and representational art “out.”

To make matters worse, Buffet became a media darling—especially that of television—which further damaged his reputation in the eyes of those who saw this as crass. Nevertheless, he continued to paint and sold and sold and sold. Today, more than two decades after his suicide in 1999, Buffet’s reputation is on the up-and-up with paintings sometimes selling for millions of dollars.

I became familiar with Bernard Buffet’s art while living in Paris, however, it was not until I saw his 2017 retrospective at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris that I realized what a master he is. My appreciation for his art exploded. That show still stands out as one of the finest art exhibitions I have seen in my life.

Buffet’s life, art, and success as the first mega-artist cleared the way for a succession of others. Andy Warhol even called Buffet the best French artist of the period—preferring him to Picasso. But his story also serves as a cautionary tale for artists, the art world, and collectors alike.

I have always encouraged clients to buy what they love and want to live with. Above all, I ask them to base their decisions on an emotional response to the work. This is because art should speak for itself. Ultimately, this “voice” is the only thing a collector can be sure of in a volatile marketplace where the rise and fall of an artist can occur with little respect for the art itself. 

Reading Bernard Buffet: The Invention of the Modern Mega-Artist will make you a more knowledgeable art buyer—saving research, time, confusion, and probably money. What it teaches you will also make my job easier.

Thank you so much for supporting TEW Galleries in 2022. We look forward to working with you again in 2023!

—Timothy Tew


Bernard Buffet, “Clown,” 1966, oil on canvas, 32 x 25¾ inches, sold for 365,400 pounds at Sotheby’s London, June 30, 2022


December 13, 2022 - Timothy Tew

 “There is no finer way to practice kindness towards oneself than through the contemplative reverie, luxurious beauty and strange incantatory spell that only art can cast.”  —Brian Rutenberg



Inspired by the woods and waters of the Lowcountry and vacation colors of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Brian Rutenberg’s landscape paintings are a place where nature and artifice collide in the bright and combustible—two places he says gave him a love of excess. To ground his abstract vision, vertical marks represent trees, horizontal ovals depict ponds, and slabs of jewel-toned paint sit easily beside pale washes. 

Rutenberg wants the viewer to read his paintings from left to right, as if wandering through the woods versus any fixed vantage point. For him, painting is a rhythmic process and a successful painting keeps our gaze in perpetual renewal. He offers this example of how it works: when we look through a window on a rainy day, we either see the raindrops on the glass or what lies beyond, but not both views at once. With patience, we begin to take in the whole. 

Whereas the paintings are the most obvious aspect of Rutenberg’s creativity, they lay the foundation for what transpires when we take time to contemplate an object outside of ourselves. Rutenberg believes this process causes the artist’s and viewer’s nervous systems to twist around, creating what he calls “the third thing.” He also believes that art is a form of empathy and the ability to extend oneself to that which is outside of oneself will save the world. That’s a wonderful idea to hold onto in these difficult times.

In a turbulent time when the art world is increasingly focused on status, luxury, and investment, Rutenberg’s paintings are a reminder that art is ultimately about aesthetic pleasure and intrinsic qualities. By following their own instinctive taste, eye, and intelligence, those who value this belief bind themselves to the rich history of art and its ongoing appreciation.

—Timothy Tew



Rutenberg’s paintings are held in the following museum collections:

Asheville Museum of Art, Asheville, NC
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL
The Bronx Museum, The Bronx, NY
Burroughs-Chapin Museum of Art, Myrtle Beach, SC
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC
Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH
Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC
Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory, NC
Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN
Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA
Naples Art Museum, Naples, FL
Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY
Ogden Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA
Saginaw Art Museum, Saginaw, MI
Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, OH
South Carolina Arts Commission State Art Collection, Colombia, SC
Yale University Gallery of Art, New Haven, CT





November 16, 2022 - Timothy Tew


Isabelle Melchior and I go back to 1987 when I discovered her art in a show featuring France’s most promising young artists. Shortly after that, I opened Galerie Timothy Tew, and sales of her paintings, drawings, pastels, and bronze sculptures became the foundation of my fledgling business and sustained me through those early years. In fact, without her and her art, there would be no TEW Galleries today.

I recently visited her in Paris. Upon arriving, I checked into my hotel and caught a bus from Saint-German-des-Prés to Montparnasse, giving me time to get reacquainted with the French, as I listened to what people around me were saying. Once I reached my stop, I walked a short distance past the Tour Montparnasse—the only skyscraper in the city—punched in the door code, strolled through the porte-cochère of her building, and knocked on her vivid red door.

The arrangement of Isabelle’s apartment has not changed over the years. She greeted me in the small, dark room that serves as a foyer and library, then guided me into an expansive room with a large clerestory ceiling above the back half. Below the clerestory is her art studio, the other part the kitchen and bedroom, plus room to store paintings and sculptures.

Having visited Isabelle on many occasions, we have established some habits. She offers me a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, depending on the time of day or my jet lag, then we catch up on family, my gallery, France and politics. After this, we get down to business and start looking at her art. Artists are generally quiet about new developments, thus there are often surprises. Experience has taught me to quietly observe before I comment on what I discover. The contemplation period is especially important, because my eyes and mind need to adjust to the ways in which the art has evolved since my last visit.

Isabelle’s new ceramic sculptures were the immediate topic of discussion. Without boasting,  she has succeeded in the creation of something new and exciting. She had talked about wanting to make more of them when I saw the first ceramics in 2019, but I was unprepared for the degree of evolution I discovered, as they have taken on the commanding presence of her bronze sculptures with the additional appeal of colorful glazes reflecting her unique sense of color. As a result, these ceramic works seem more contemporary than anything she has ever created.

It is interesting that Isabelle is primarily known for her paintings and pastels, as she actually majored in sculpture and drawing at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She was rewarded for her talent and work when she was won the Prix de Rome—one Frances most important artistic prizesfor her sculpture and drawing in 1980. This gave her the opportunity to live and create in a studio in the historic Villa Medicis in Rome, Italy for two years. She also won the prestigious Pierre David-Weill Drawing Prize during this period.




To be a sculptor like Isabelle, you must know how to draw, and her training was intense and disciplined. She told me that one of her professors would stand at the back of the studio and listen as she and her fellow classmates worked, because he said he could tell how good the drawings would be by the noises they made. This is French tradition at its finest.

Isabelle and I also went through the many paintings stacked four and five deep that were leaning against the walls. Some were finished, others still in progress, but all expressed her ongoing creative evolution. It is not easy to be an artist who has had a great deal of success over a long period because the demands only become greater. This is the position in which she finds herself.

There are times when I do not like what an artist has done and I must find a diplomatic way to share my opinion. This was certainly not the case with Isabelle, but her painting style is changing and caused me to realize my taste has also evolved because I appreciated them so much. We also looked at her recent landscape pastels. These are some of my favorite Melchior works and I am honored to have two in my own collection.



On this trip, I was fortunate to get to spend a great deal of time with Isabelle’s oldest child, her son, Gregoire. The three of us, plus my friend Robert, hung out in the studio, visited the Musée d’Orsay where we saw a wonderful Edvard Munch exhibition, and had lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, the simple but très français Le Petit Saint Benoit. Later we enjoyed dinner at another fine Saint-German-des-Prés restaurant, the Italian Il Vicolo. I also got to see Isabelle’s delightful mother whom I have known for a long time. As a young woman, she studied art and worked as a fabric designer. After raising four children, she made enamel paintings. Her husband died twenty years ago. She turns 100 in December and not only lives alone but also does her own shopping, cooking and cleaning. Quelle chance!




Another important part of my trip was visiting Marie-Cécile Aptel, another gifted artist and the former partner of Jean-Pierre Bourquin who died in 2020. I have known Marie-Cécile for almost as long as Isabelle and represented her before we went our separate directions. We have decided to work together again and I am excited. She was recently featured in a museum exhibition and without a doubt, she is creating the finest art works of her career. Her extraordinary paintings are large scale, so I am waiting for the right moment to ship a few to Atlanta. You can count on seeing them in the gallery in the near future. For the time being, we have several images on our website.

As we approach the end of the year, I want to thank the artists, clients and friends who have contributed to the gallery’s success. I also hope you will take time to come and see the new Isabelle Melchior ceramics. They reveal her artistic talents in a wonderful, new way, one that I feel sure collectors will find exciting.

Timothy Tew




HAIDEE BECLER - Four Painting Gems from London

November 4, 2022 - Timothy Tew





I recently went to London, my first trip there in over three years, to visit Haidee Becker, Stewart Helm, and Julia Fullerton-Batten, three gifted artists whom I am proud to be associated with. My longest relationship is with Haidee, a painter whose art has added beauty to my life and the lives of so many others. She also means a great deal to me personally. I stayed with Haidee in the third residence I have known her to live in since we met in 1990, allowing me to experience yet another uniquely British neighborhood.

Haidee is actually an American and was born in Los Angeles in 1950 to uncommonly creative parents (a father who was a writer and a New York art dealer and a mother whose pursuits included movie actress, puppeteer, and painter). Los Angeles did not last long, as Italy and the cast of creative characters living in Rome, helping it awaken from World War II, beckoned.

Rome provided the Beckers a rich existence, and Haidee grew up in an apartment in a historic palace where she met all types of artists, writers, actors, movie directors and aristocrats. She also attended the French lycée, setting her on a course to speak six languages: English, Italian, French, Spanish, Hebrew and German. From Rome, the Beckers moved to Vienna, then settled in London, where Haidee grew up in a rambling house in Chelsea with a large, old fashioned studio, the kind you see in movies. At that time and just a block away, King’s Road was home to the Swinging Sixties. It also attracted mavericks, free thinkers, and creative types.

Haidee had a unique art education. After attending art school one day, she knew that was not to be her path because it would not respond to her creative needs, so she set up studies with a series of gifted artists. For example, she went to the studio of Uli Nimptsch seven days a week for seven years to draw—or more precisely, to learn to draw. Later, working with Adrian Ryan, a gifted painter my gallery has shown, she learned the craft of painting—employing techniques used by the greats and which are rapidly being lost.

This unique training provided Haidee with an arsenal of skills to express things that most other artists cannot because they lack the craft. You need to be able to play the piano to be Chopin. You need to know how to paint to be a Becker.

When we consider the life she has lived—raised in privilege in wonderful, European cities, the mother of two creative children, daughter to one writer and lover to another, but also someone who has suffered many difficult moments, from the tragic death of her first husband when they were in a car crash on their honeymoon while both still in their twenties, to the more recent loss of her partner, the esteemed British author Clive Sinclair—Haidee has many things to say about the sanctity of life, empathy, and the need to see the beauty around us all the time.

Oddly enough, I discovered Haidee’s paintings while attending an art fair in Los Angeles in 1989. As they say, the rest is history; but it is necessary to add that her art not only helped define my taste then but still gives it direction. Though I already owned several of her paintings, while in the light-filled studio on the second floor of her new house in Stoke Newington (an area of London that attracts young professionals), I found myself drawn to yet another Haidee Becker painting—a peculiar one that I would not have loved before.




It is of two flying fish, strung up and dead, the color not just muted but downright somber.

At first, I was surprised by my attraction to the painting. Yet over the last year, my sense of color has grown and evolved, allowing me to appreciate this introspective, poignant painting of fish. It makes sense, owing to my love of seventeeth-century Dutch art and the paintings of the eighteenth-century French artist Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, artists who painted dead animals in somber tones because they did not have electrification, and because they knew just how damn beautiful dark colors can be, and how death is a hurtful affair that calls for reflection.

While in her studio, I also chose four small flower paintings which have just arrived at the gallery. They are gems and I want you to see them. Because of Haidee’s poetic nature and her love of the tradition of painting, these four are destined for collectors who share her passions. However, if you were able to place one of her paintings beside a seventeenth-century Dutch painting or one by Chardin, you would immediately realize how contemporary she is. The strokes are loose, the colors clear, almost as if we are looking through glass, and the mood vital and fresh. How wonderful and unique!

One last thing, if you plan on traveling to London, get reservations at her son Jacob’s Italian restaurant Bocca de Lupo in SoHo. It is always booked, so do this before you travel. And while having dinner, look at Haidee’s paintings. You will see that I am not alone in my appreciation of dead fish paintings, as one is also decorating the restaurant’s walls.

Timothy Tew



Video Tour of the America Martin Solo Show

May 17, 2022

AJC Review of Stephen O'Donnell's 2022 Show

AJC Review of Stephen O'Donnell's 2022 Show

May 14, 2022 - Jerry Cullum