Looking back at our shows, we often wonder about the people who've left. Where did they go when their moment in the Bravo spotlight was over? What are they up to now? Each week, we'll be looking into the lives of one of these familiar faces. Today, it's Chantal Chadwick from Gallery Girls.
Of the seven women at the center of Bravo's 2012 series Gallery Girls, Chantal Chadwick was the one many viewers—including one of Entertainment Weekly's TV critics at the time—unapologetically admitted had the most "love to hate" appeal. The New York art scene darling certainly earned her rep as the show's villain during the series' single-season run, thanks in part to her seeming lack of commitment to End of Century, the boutique and gallery space she ran with college pal Lara Hodulick and Gallery Girls costar Claudia Martinez Reardon.
It was meant to be "a hybrid of art and design," a place where "you could buy a $300 dress or a $5 zine, go to a book reading or a film screening or just stop by on a Sunday afternoon and drink mimosas with … us," Chantal told Urbanoutfitters.com. But it closed down in 2013 after the show's finale, and Chantal moved on.
She and Lara tried again with another spot the called Of Us in Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood. But it shut its doors too, and it wasn't the only thing that ended for Chantal: She also split with Spencer, the boyfriend who—in front of her face—declared he was totally on board after Claudia revealed she'd always wanted to sleep with him, then went on to admit he had "an Asian fetish" and a crush on his girlfriend's costar Angela Pham.
In early 2014, Chantal packed up and moved to the West Coast, where she's no longer sporting her usual brunette hairstyle: These days, Chantal is platinum blond. "The move to L.A. was the result of a culmination of things: a breakup, the rent on my South Williamsburg studio apartment being nearly doubled, and the realization that I didn't have to live in New York and put up with the grind to be a creative person," she explained to Urbanoutfitters.com's "About a Girl" blog in April 2015. "Also, the proximity to nature in Los Angeles and how important that is to me. I took a few months to settle, realign my mind, and adjust to the pace of L.A."
There, she worked as the head of media and communications and director of content for design firm Poketo's blog. But now, she's her own boss: Chantal is currently a partner at Assortment, a creative agency in L.A.'s version of Brooklyn: the city's hipster-infused Silver Lake neighborhood, where she works with various brands "to create original content, websites, campaigns, and events," she explained.
This summer, she'll be performing in artist Beau Rhee's "All Blues" performance art installation at the Baryshkinov Arts Center in New York, and will be launching the online publication Ana (pronounce it like this: Ah-nuh). "Every other month, we'll be exploring a new theme with collections of stories and sketches that will include non-traditional mediums for web such as art, music, and performance," Chantal explained. Starting with, according to the Ana website, "Experience Theme No.1, Transparency."
Chantal is also a musician artist now. She creates "a collection of ambient synthesizer soundscapes, which I make under the name Bed," she told Urbanoutfitters.com. "They are more of a therapeutic practice than anything, but who knows—I might release something some day!"
Chantal says that although she's learned and changed a lot in the last few years, her New York experience still informs who she is. "Living in New York taught me how to hustle, how to be uncomfortable most of the time, and how to use that discomfort to inform my creative process," she told the "About a Girl" blog. "L.A. has taught me how to relax, how to live in the moment, and how to find inspiration in my immediate surroundings."
Those surroundings include one of her favorite spots to explore: Venice Beach. If you're rolling through the Southern California town anytime soon, Chantal—who wrote an "About a Place" blog post for Urban Outfitters noting her must-see and must-try indulgences there—says you've got to stop by the Team Gallery bungalow beach art shack, for starters. It's "chill," she writes. "It's like you gave everyone in the New York art scene a Tecate and a taco." Venice's La Isla Bonita taco truck has earned raves from Chantal too. "Get the ceviche tostada," she adds. "It's amazing."