Donald Glassner, owner of Art and Company, is in the spotlight this week. In 2005, Don opened Art and Company with his son Cole and Angie McClanahan. Through selling artwork, doing custom framing, and design work, he has helped create a company that holds value high and quality even higher. We asked Don a few questions for our blog to help visitors get to know him a little better.
How did you enter the art selling/frame selling business?
Thirty five years ago I was at a New Year’s Eve party with high school friends. One of my friends had graduated from art school and had a job making lacquer in a factory. I gave him $250 to buy paint, canvases and brushes and asked him to paint several paintings. I was the Formica salesman at the time and had a customer that made frames. He made a lot of frames incorrectly sized. I would buy those frames and use them on my friend’s paintings. I took them to people’s homes, where they would invite friends over and I would sell them framed paintings.
Who is your favorite visual artist?
I certainly don’t have a favorite. I remain in the art business because of its uniqueness. To choose something from that would be to diminish the whole.
Favorite sports player?
The next one I open.
Favorite TV show?
Favorite all time, Miami Vice. What can I say. It was glamorous and exciting. Current favorite House of Cards.
Kevin Spacey. If he’s in it I’m watching it.
What other Chicago business(es) do you admire?
I’m a foodie so I absolutely love the niche places like Pleasant House in Bridgeport. On a larger scale Goose Island is a great example of the American Dream.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Baseball Player from 5-15 U.S. President from 16-25
What is your fondest Chicago memory?
My son Cole & daughter-in -law Maria’s Wedding. It was outstanding. The church was St Mikes in the Old Town area. St. Mikes is one of Chicago’s prettiest churches in the city. The reception was held at the Westin hotel overlooking Michigan Ave. and the Water Tower. This was the same hotel my wife and I spent our honeymoon at 34 years ago. We actually stayed in the same room we did 34 years earlier. It was very romantic.
What is one thing you would tell 16 year old you?
Learn to dance.
What is your favorite story to tell about Cole?
Our family loves to travel. We feel that travel is the best form of education. You can read about cities, mountains, rivers and deserts but when you actually see them it instills a sense of ownership and understanding. So we always played a game we made up called the State and Country game. Someone would say the name of a state or country and the next person would have to name a state or country that began with the first or last letter of the country or state named. You could also challenge the naming person if you thought they may not know geographically where the state or country was on the map. On Cole’s first day of 5th grade the teacher told everyone where she had traveled over the summer. She pulled down a map and asked if anyone knew where her vacation spot was. After a short silence Cole raised his hand and told the teacher where she could find her vacation destination. Impressed she challenged Cole over and over until, she gave up. That evening we received a call from the teacher about his performance. She thought they had placed him in the wrong grade level.
Cubs, Blackhawks, or Bulls?
None of the above. The White Sox are customers of ours. Enough said!
To learn more about Don, and his son, listen to this podcast !