Interview with Interim Show Director Kay Evans and Associate Show Director Margan Mulvihill

How did you get involved with the San Francisco Fall Show?

Kay (left): I was introduced to the magic of the Fall Show by a friend who was an exhibitor in the very first show. He told me how great it was going to be and he was right – I’m so glad I listened to him. I was a designer in Southern California and nonetheless I knew I wanted to be part of this event. Through the years I’ve attended every show with the exception of one. I have always loved the energy, the wonderful exhibitors, world renowned lecturers, McCall’s lamb chops, and importantly I always found something to purchase for my clients. Fast forward to a few months ago when I was asked to come on board as Interim Director, trust me, I didn’t hesitate!

Margan (right): Before joining the Show, I worked in art galleries and had the chance to work at art fairs as an exhibitor. I loved the energy and the coming together of people with shared passions and I still do. So, when I saw the job posting for a position with The San Francisco Fall Show, I jumped at the chance to be on the other side of the coin–organizing an art and antiques show that not only celebrates the arts but also gives back to the community through Enterprise for Youth.

What are your favorite parts of the show – and why?

Kay: For me, through the years I’ve always made time to enjoy the Lecture Series. Some of the speakers have become friends and many I will truly never forget. One of these was the worldly and fabulous Rosamond Bernier. I heard her speak twice, both times at the SF Fall Show, and I quickly became enraptured with her life as well as her as a smart, interesting, and truly fascinating woman. I was fairly young the first time I heard her and I made up my mind – I wanted to BE HER! That not being possible, I wanted to emulate her and that decision gave me a life goal of the sort of woman I wanted to become. I have always loved attending the Gala, mixing with interesting guests and seeing for the first time all the exhibitor booths decked out for the event. In the early years, the Gala was black tie and the San Francisco ladies wore their bespoke jewelry and beautiful couture – what a sight that was! Gradually it became less formal but still is an event to be celebrated and dress up. The San Francisco Fall Show, as it is now known, is celebrated by residents and out of towners alike but we are so fortunate that it is held in our own backyard. I would never miss it!

Margan: From an organizers perspective, I love seeing a year’s worth of hard work come together. It’s incredibly rewarding and it truly takes a village to pull it off: exhibitors, sponsors, patrons, designers, a production crew, volunteers, show chairs, and more! From a consumer’s perspective, I love the breadth of art and antiques at the Show. Every corner you turn, you can find something from another part of the world, another time, another style, another piece of beauty and history. I have found that with other art fairs, the work you see starts to appear the same, but not at The Fall Show–there is always a new treasure to discover.

What are your top 5 tips for first-time show attendees?

Kay & Margan:

1. Plan your time well. Take your time to savor all the possibilities the show has to offer. Check event schedule online for daily lectures, events, and programs.

2. Ask a friend to join you in the Cafe for a delicious and leisurely lunch. It is located in the center of the show – great for people watching!

3. Don’t miss the caviar and lamb chops offered only at the Gala.

4. Don’t hesitate to ask questions of the dealers. They want to chat with you and love to share their knowledge of the treasures they have brought with them to the show.

5. If you are so inclined, get creative with your dress in the Wanderlust theme.

What does this year’s theme Wanderlust mean to you?

Kay: I’ve always had Wanderlust. I was raised in Mexico City by parents who loved to travel. Later in life I owned my own Interior Design business and during that time I also started the Kay Evans Decorative Arts Study Tours which I led for over 35 years. It all began when I invited like-minded individuals who shared a common passion for the Decorative Arts – art, antiques, gardens and private collections – to travel with me. Our itinerary consisted of visiting private homes, gardens, or private museums. We made it a point to never visit any place open to the general public. Fortunately, we were entertained in many of the private homes we visited and made great long lasting international friendships along the way. A magical side effect of having Wanderlust!

Margan: Oh, we couldn’t have picked a more perfect theme for me (except maybe dance… look out 2020!). Like Kay, I have the wanderlust gene. I love to travel to experience cultures and lands different from my own. Travel can open one’s mind to new perspectives on life. Wanderlust is synonymous with what’s at the heart of the Show – we invite exhibitors from around the globe to showcase brilliant works from different parts of the world. We are bringing snippets of new worlds to San Francisco. Plus, travel is often about seeing historical monuments, visiting museums, taking in the architecture of a new city, and learning about cultural norms and practices, which is often seen through objects, design, and art.

Lightning RoundKay

Favorite decorative arts era: 18th Century

Favorite (fine) artist: Favorite Contemporary fine artist: Hung Liu and 18th century: George Romney

Dream travel destination: Anywhere in Italy, particularly Venice

Words to live by: “I’m a pastiche of incongruity”

Rule to break: I don’t necessarily break the rules as much as I stretch the rules.

Best advice you’ve ever gotten: Challenge Yourself

Lightning Round – Margan

Favorite (fine) artist: I hate choosing favorites. I used to say van Gogh and I wrote my Master’s thesis on John Baldessari. The last exhibit I saw that deeply moved me was David Hockney at the de Young.

Dream travel destination: Anywhere that is distinctly different from home or that has awe-inspiring landscapes. I want to go back to India, it’s incredibly fascinating! In December I plan to visit Chile, my boyfriend’s homeland, and hope to “hop” over to Buenos Aires and Iguazu falls, or maybe Patagonia or Easter Island.

Words to live by: Dance like no one’s watching, love like you’ve never been hurt, sing like no one’s listening, live like heaven on earth.

Rule to break: I don’t have anything specific, but as long as you are acting respectful and not doing harm to yourself or anyone else, I’m totally fine with bending the rules from time to time.

Best advice you’ve ever gotten: Professionally, I’ll go with show up with a smile and ask “how can I help”