N. Alessia Murphy
Esopi Galleries, LLC
4215 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
“I can see my statue of (King) David within the large mass of marble, and I need only to carve the remaining pieces away to reveal the true beauty.”
–Michaelangelo Buonaroti (1501)
“I will restore her to a beauty that never was.”
–Viollet-le-Duc on beginning major restoration on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris in 1845
With an incredibly eclectic selection of contemporary and traditional artwork, Esopi Galleries showcases local, national and international artists and provides a source of exciting art for first time buyers to seasoned art collectors. Murphy says the business “has been best described (by an international design firm) as an amazing gallery with an unpretentious feel wherein Napa Valley meets Bauhaus, by design.” She works with art galleries in Italy, Spain, Germany and France to promote Baton Rouge artists to the European art market and in turn introduces European artists to Baton Rouge, and the U.S. In addition to their fine art selection, they also sell fine jewelry featuring designers from Italy, Japan and California. “We provide natural gemstones that rate at least 7.0 on the Ohms Scale.” Endeavoring to make art and jewelry affordable for everyone, Esopi offers payment plans on most of the pieces.
Originally from the Pocono mountain region of Pennsylvania, Murphy moved to Louisiana as a youth. She studied art at Tulane, earning a liberal arts degree. Fashion, jewelry and art have been her lifetime passions. She has studied, collected, observed and admired them from around the world. “I decided to follow my dreams and leave the corporate world behind. Opening the gallery facilitates my passions, creates new opportunities for travel and strengthens direct support from me to my community.” She has gotten assistance from “amazing mentors” with strong entrepreneurial skills, who have established international art galleries. “It is a real honor to have industry leaders in my life to whom I can constantly turn.”
Her family and close friends have also been extremely supportive. In fact, she named the gallery after her grandmother who is soon to be 103 years old. “We are so blessed to have a family member for so long. She is a real delight and a true inspiration to both mothers and career women.” Murphy says she makes time to spend with family and friends on Sundays. For the question—‘Who motivates the motivator?’ her answer has always been Music and Movies, but she also adds Faith, Family and Friends.
“But my work never stops.” She belongs to several organizations and believes in playing a strong role in the community, continuously strengthening the gallery’s position in the community while building a strong customer base. In April, Esopi coordinated with LSU’s French Department, the Francophilia Foundation and Paris Parker to create, “Rouge! A Fashion Show and Model Competition.” Over 400 patrons attended the show at LSU and the grand prize was a round trip ticket to France. “It was such an amazing visual display of talent and energy, with exotic models from Africa, Germany and, of course, Louisiana. The lead coordinator, Jean Xavier Brager (a native of Marseilles), did an outstanding job in creating and facilitating the show.”
Esopi Galleries is currently putting together many exhibits and events. At the Gallery from May 25th through June 14th is a show titled, Mediterranean Dreams. Another show, Esopi’s Magical Mixers, will be exhibited at Sullivan’s Steakhouse from June 4th through July 2th. An exhibit called Anime Mi-2 will run from June 14th through July 12th at Esopi Galleries. Six of the gallery’s local artists which are currently on display at the Louisiana State Museum, will have their works televised on June 10th as part of a fundraiser for Friends of LPB.
In June, Esopi will provide works to help raise money for Brave Heart, to help children in need. The Gallery is communicating with Children’s Hospital to plan events with the children and raise money for their causes. Future works also include events for recognizing the elderly, and sponsoring a car rally. “It is a real pleasure to work with such a variety of people who put so much back in to the community. There is so much to plan and not enough awake hours.”
It may sound like this woman works all the time, but luckily Murphy loves her job. “This field is amazing! I am thankful to be surrounded by such beautiful work and to have some of the greatest clients in the world! It is a real honor to work with everyone who comes into the gallery. One of my happiest moments was when a deaf woman came into the gallery, sat down, relaxed and took complete joy in the artwork, then returned several weeks later with a deaf friend. I was happy the woman felt so comfortable here that she brought her friend. I signed ‘thank you’ when they were leaving.”
Murphy credits her diversified outlook on life to traveling extensively. She has lived in various cities in the U.S. and abroad in Italy and Germany. “Yet, I recall falling in love with Baton Rouge the first time I arrived. Baton Rouge was named as one of America’s 10 Greatest Cities in May of 2005 (featured on msn.com, by Sperling’s), and that reinforced my excitement to live here. Also, Baton Rouge still maintains a friendly small town charm like no other city I’ve ever seen. It is a true blessing to be a part of this growing city, as it continues to redefine itself.”
Impressed with the enormous level of growth in Baton Rouge, Murphy praises the efforts to grow the film industry and the downtown area and applauds the continued infrastructure improvements. One of her Baton Rouge favorites is Trafficland.com, a DOTD project that provides Internet access to see exactly how traffic looks on the Interstate. Baton Rouge was only 1 of about 8 cities in the U.S. (this time last year) that had this capability. Murphy would like to see continued improvements with BREC, the Baton Rouge schools, and the libraries to help Baton Rouge maintain itself as the family friendly city.
Murphy reports that libraries have always been a strong part of her life and she’s used them for business research, general research and her schooling from grade school through college. “Sometimes I go to the library, just to unwind and relax and find myself in the middle of some amazing factual or fictional book. Libraries are like finding water in the desert; you thirst and become quenched. Libraries offer food for the brain, soul and spirit. The East Baton Rouge Library is a great asset to our community and there is something for everyone!” One of her favorite books is Our Mutual Friend by the 19th century serialist, Charles Dickens. “OMF is rich in character, social commentary and coyness.”
Because Murphy considers herself a bit of a visionary, she chose quotes from two great visionaries of earlier times for the beginning of her profile. But when she feels exhausted, she recalls an old French proverb—‘It is amazing what one can do when one thinks one can no longer do.’ “People can do great things in life. Great work takes determination, endurance and persistence for which you will one day be rewarded.”