The Business Of Joy

Meghan Candler’s art gallery is built on years of experience and a daily dose of glee.
Meghan Candler opened her gallery with a dozen artists and today represents more than 40.

Meghan Candler often gets a sense of déjà vu. After decades working in a gallery, she’s helped generations of art aficionados. “I was born here,” she says earnestly. “It’s such an advantage for me, you know? Because I know everybody. It’s amazing because I was in someone’s house the other day and it was completely renovated, and I thought, ‘I don’t know just the people who lived here before, I know the people who lived there before them. I’m the resident house historian.’” She laughs heartily. 

But for all the homes she’s known and known again, Candler is always notably present. When we meet at the Meghan Candler Gallery at The Village Shops, she is focused solely on me. There is an intensity to her as she sits erect on a stool in front of me, but a softness, too. She asks, “You know?” and the simple rhetorical question makes me feel constantly included. And she laughs often, blithely, like she can’t possibly contain all her joy.

“My mother told me I was born happy,” she admits. “That’s what they told me on my last birthday. But I work hard and I fret; I’m a busy bee.”

It’s a funny duality – her glee and her resolve – but it’s worked for her for a long time now. Candler grew up in Riomar where she and her siblings rode their bikes to Beachland Elementary; then she enrolled at Saint Edward’s School. “It was a wonderful place to grow up, like small-town America,” she says. “We had such freedom that kids don’t have today.” She recalls taking a Hobie Cat to school in the mornings, hopping in the shower at St. Ed’s if she got wet on the way. 

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