About the owners
Caren Petersen opened the original Muse Gallery in Columbus, Ohio in 1997. Caren began collecting art while living in Boston. After multiple collecting trips to NM, and when her daughter Hali was just 2 years old, she moved to Santa Fe, to pursue her dream of managing an art gallery. During her stay there, she fell in love with the land, built relationships with artists, and dedicated herself to representing artists living in New Mexico from all over the country. That carried forth when she returned to Columbus, where she worked as an art consultant, helping major firms acquire artwork for their offices, and began cultivating private collectors. After almost 22 years in a physical space in Columbus, she transitioned to doing pop-up and traveling shows, but still maintains a small display space inside Reed Arts. She dedicates time to her property in New Mexico (a future artist colony), and traveling the country visiting artist studios and maintaining artist relationships.
Story by Amy Coyne Bredeson + Photography by M. Kat
For as long as Hali Lookabaugh can remember, she has been surrounded by art.
Her mother, Caren Petersen, worked with artists for years, eventually opening Muse Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, in 1997.
Lookabaugh grew up attending art shows, visiting artists’ studios and watching her mother pore over each piece before deciding to represent it in her gallery. Through her mother, she gained a true appreciation for art and learned a great deal about running a business.
“What I really learned early on was relationships are everything,” Lookabaugh said about her mother’s connection with her clients and the artists she represented. She watched as her mother worked closely with them and became good friends with them along the way.
Lookabaugh attended college for marketing, then studied real estate. But art was always on her mind. She fell in love with it at an early age and always knew she wanted to open her own gallery one day.
After getting married and honeymooning on Hilton Head Island, she and her husband, Kevin, realized they loved the community and wanted to live in the Lowcountry. So, they packed up and moved from Columbus, and Hali opened her own Muse Gallery at 65 Arrow Road, Unit B.
That was three years ago, and the Hilton Head fine art gallery is thriving.
“There was no fighting it for me,” she said. “I love what I do. It’s very much who I am.”