I established my ‘thousand-dollar’ rule,” she says. “
Clients can buy anything they want if it’s less than one
thousand dollars. Anything more than that, they have
to call me.” She sees the humor in this and ticks off
example after example of art pieces she suggested that
clients (who declined her advice) buy. One individual
could have pocketed approximately half a million dollars if he or she had heeded her counsel. She says with
a shrug, “Well, what can you do? I’ve just let one of
these people go.” I suddenly felt as if I was on a movie
set with the region’s Grande Dame of Art Acquisition.
And I was. Buzzell, once again, has proven that she
chooses her confidantes wisely.
One of the pieces Leeber suggested Buzzell purchase was by noted artist Theodore Waddell; she has
since acquired yet another. He’s showing up in more
and more collections and museums and, in fact, is having a retrospective this year at the Denver Museum of
Art. Obviously, it was a wise investment. However, like
any other collector, Buzzell only purchases things she
enjoys. Her collection, spread between her home and
her office adjacent to Highland Park, “brings joy,” she
says. That’s her way of characterizing her acquired art.
“Each piece in the collection is almost like a child — I
love spending time with them.” It’s easy to understand
the sentiment. Sitting in her living room, as the sky
changes and darkens, it’s a bit like a Proustian lantern
show. It induces a sense of reverie that’s hard to dispel.
And why would anyone want to?
Just some of the other artists whose work Buzzell
has collected include Dan Rizzie, Frank Tolbert, David
Bates, Tom Orr, Julie Speed, Ann Stautberg, Ludwig
Schwarz, Luis Jiménez, John Alexander, and Vernon
Fisher. A piece by Tim Knowles, MK3 Postal Project, London-Dallas, exemplifies Buzzell venture into the realm
of British art. It’s a marvelously crafted work that was
constructed via a mechanism housed in a FedEx package. While the package was handled and crossed the
Atlantic, a device “drew” intriguing lines and splotches
that, while uncontrolled, come off as remarkably intriguing and reminiscent of a Rorschach excursion. It
was yet another purchase at a charity event conducted
under the watchful gaze of Leeber. What could be better? Great art and a great investment purchased for a
good cause. If all of this begins to conjure the notion
of a charmed life, you’re right on track. Buzzell has
worked hard for her success — and it has certainly paid
off. Her art is extremely impressive. However, the art
can be assigned a (substantial) monetary tag. But the
friends? They’re invaluable. P
Top right: Smoke series, 1999, Andrew Bennett; dining chairs by
Milo Baughman; Jan Showers antique French floor lamp. Right:
Unititled, surrealist ceramic figurative sculpture, Magi Calhoun
(Romanian-born and longtime Texas resident).