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A former senior director of the embattled Nino Mier Gallery will set up her own shop in a space along Santa Monica Boulevard that once housed her former boss’s Los Angeles location. Megan Mulrooney’s goal for her eponymous gallery is to showcase emerging and mid-career artists from Los Angeles and elsewhere in a space where artists can curate presentations alongside solo exhibitions, according to a press release.

Mulrooney was hired as a senior director at Nino Mier Gallery in 2018 and left in May 2024, after The Art Newspaper published an investigation in which four of the gallery’s ex-staffers accused Mier of shortchanging artists. The gallery charged collectors one fee, then informed the artists of a lower price and pocketed the difference, they said. In nine of the 21 cases seen by The Art Newspaper, documents show that the gallery’s artists were shorted by between 20% and 54% of what their commission should have been, and amounted to a discrepancy of $31,000. The former staffers who spoke to The Art Newspaper noted that the gallery did not alter records for every artist during the period these instances occurred, between 2018 and 2019. Mier declined to comment, and shortly after the gallery confirmed to Artnews that it was considering closing its Los Angeles spaces.

Mulrooney, born and raised in Los Angeles, had already been planning to strike out on her own with her own gallery. Before joining Mier, she worked as a specialist for several auction houses and held other jobs in the art world, including at Paddle8, Julien’s Auctions, St. George Valuations and Sotheby’s.

“I am excited by the recent attention to Los Angeles’ burgeoning arts scene and eager to contribute to the conversation by highlighting its rich history as well,” Mulrooney said in a statement.

Los Angeles-based artist Jon Pylypchuk will serve as a curatorial advisor for a series of group exhibitions the gallery is planning through 2025.

“Megan’s decision to go off on her own has been years in the making, and she’s already proven herself a supportive gallerist with strong artist relationships and a keen understanding of Los Angeles’s cultural ecosystem,” Pylypchuk said in a statement. “The art world needs more women gallerists steering their own ships, and I look forward to seeing her realise her refreshing vision with a community-forward ethos.”

The gallery will open in September with solo shows by Marin Majic, an artist still listed on Mier’s roster, and Piper Bangs, an emerging painter whose work was included in a group presentation at one of Mier’s Los Angeles galleries last year.

“As a young artist, it can be hard to find your footing in this industry, so it’s refreshing to see someone like Megan committed to investing in emerging artists like myself, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to partner with her,” Bangs said in a statement.

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