Have You Met Scott Larsen?
Providing an ideal backdrop for many activities, the Larsen Gallery, owned by
Scott and Polly Larsen, serves as an elegant venue for numerous Scottsdale
nonprofit events. "We have hosted the Phoenix Symphony, Free Arts of Arizona,
and St. Vincent de Paul. Other gatherings of clubs and committees have also come
here as well."
The Larsen Gallery is one of the largest fine art galleries in the heart of the
Scottsdale arts district and is a first stop for art connoisseurs. Scott explains that
art adds a great value to society: "Art adds culture, interesting elements, and
gives people something to question and to think about. Humans are moved by
beauty, and art enhances our environment. It honestly helps a person appreciate
all aspects of life!"
Scott's parents moved to Arizona briefly when he was in high school, before
returning to Illinois. "And then I decided to attend Arizona State University. I have
an Engineering degree from ASU, but have owned and managed small businesses
throughout my career. After selling an environmental company to a public
corporation, I began looking into local opportunities."
Polly Larsen, Scott's wife, already owned a small art gallery. "So in 1999, we
purchased the assets of the C.G. Rein gallery that has grown to what is now the
Larsen Gallery. In 2004, we purchased a 5,400 square foot building, providing a
permanent home for the gallery. It is a great venue to host fundraisers and
events for nonprofit organizations."
The gallery also hosts the annual Larsen Art Auction, held this fall on October 22.
"This yearís auction will have up to 250 lots, including works--some from Picasso,
Leger and Warhol. Last yearís auction had a 90% sell-through rate with registered
bidders from 46 states and 33 countries! The art market has changed significantly
since 1999. We have adapted our business model as a result and have seen
continual growth the last five years."
Scott explains, "The gallery has always specialized in consigning fine art for sale on
the secondary market as opposed to representing artists. As a result we have a
wide variety of artists and receive new work almost daily. Our focus is more
Contemporary artwork as opposed to Western artwork."
Scott was born in Chicago and grew up in McHenry, IL but remained in Arizona
after college. "The greatest thing about Arizona is the incredible environmental
diversity. To be able to live in the desert and travel two hours north to the cool
mountains or four hours south to the beaches of the Sea of Cortez is fantastic."
Scott Larsen has a firm view on supporting the community; "Assisting groups and
causes outside your comfort zone enriches one's life immeasurably!
Giving is easy because the rewards you receive are far greater than the sacrifice."
What are your local volunteer activities? Free Arts of Arizona, Phoenix
Symphony, St. Vincent de Paul, NPH
Who inspired you to give back to your community? The Church
Favorite restaurant? Club L
Favorite movie? The Godfather
Favorite play? Tommy
Favorite TV show? Lonesome Dove, the miniseries
Whom do you most admire, and why? My parents for the morals, values, work
ethic and entrepreneurial spirit they instilled in me
What is the best lesson youíve learned through the years? Learn to continually
fall back in love with your business
What was your first job? A draftsman for Trico Engineering
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Continually working to
be a good husband and father
What is your most treasured possession? My memories
What is the quality you most like in people? Humility
Favorite books/writers? James Patterson, James Michener, Michael Crichton
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Golf, reading, exercising
What would we be most surprised to know about you? I am ambidextrous
What is the best advice you have ever received? Always go first class. If you can't
afford it... you just don't stay as long!
What are some challenges facing nonprofits? Harnessing the service that is now
instilled in High School youth so that they continue to be a treasured future