The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) presents:
Beginning to Collect, a panel discussion
This panel is made possible by the generous donation of space from the Sotheby’s Institute of Fine Art and the assistance of Barbara Strongin.
It is presented in conjunction with NYFA’s 2009 Spring Benefit, ARTSEEN.
Dr. Kathy Battista (Moderator) holds a PhD from the London Consortium, an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and a BA from Fordham University. She is a writer, lecturer, and curator. Her research centers on contemporary art and architecture, with a focus on gender issues and alternative sites for art production. She is the New York correspondent for Photoicon and is on the editorial board of Art and Architecture Journal. She is co-author of Art New York (Ellipsis, 1998), and a contributing author to Surface Tension: Problematics of Site (Errant Bodies 2003) and the forthcoming White Cube Blue Sky.
Jim Kempner started Jim Kempner Fine Art in 1987 as a private dealer specializing in contemporary master prints. He opened small gallery in SOHO in 1994 and moved to his current location in Chelsea in 1997. Mr. Kempner did not study Art History in college but became interested in printmaking after a chance meeting with the art dealer Jack Rutberg in Los Angeles in 1981. Mr. Kempner was District Manager for Bed Bath & Beyond at the time but became passionate about prints and spent much of his free time studying and collecting. After moving East in 1987 he started to deal with contemporary prints. Since moving to Chelsea, Jim Kempner Fine Art has greatly expanded their contemporary inventory to include everything from photography and works on paper to painting and sculpture. Mr. Kempner continues to work on his episodic video of the art world, The Madness Of Art.
Stuart Alan Levy is an art advisor and dealer specializing in American and European art from the 19th through 21st centuries. He works with individual collectors and institutions in the United States and Europe on art and cultural projects including the assembling and deaccessioning of collections and estates; the representation and gallery placement of individual artists; the curating of exhibitions; and the organization and implementation of arts programs. During his twenty-five years in the art business, Mr. Levy established and managed a gallery for ten years in Soho beginning in the late Eighties, with a program of contemporary Russian, Eastern European artists and older American abstract artists. He has lectured as a guest speaker on the dynamics and pleasures of collecting art and has participated in numerous panels and symposia exploring developments in the art market. In recognition of his contribution in promoting the careers of artists, he has been an official guest of the Ministries of Culture of Australia, Finland, Mexico, and New Zealand; the Business and Arts Council of Japan; the Foreign Ministry of Sweden; the Antorchas Foundation of Argentina; the Lampadia Foundation of Brazil; the Andes Foundation of Chile and the Gorbachev Cultural Initiative of the former Soviet Union. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Brandeis University in 1976.
Barbara Strongin is the Director of Administration and a Lecturer in Art Business at the Sotheby’s Institute. She holds a BA in Business Administration from Rutgers University and served as Senior Vice President/Director of Operations for Christie’s Auction House over the course of twenty-six years. She is a senior executive with expertise in strategic planning; project management; logistics; cost containment; training and development; negotiations; marketing; and security. She also created and taught numerous classes at Christie's regarding the auction process and rules and regulations related thereto for both new and seasoned staff. She was also responsible for the training and oversight of the auctioneering staff. She is a Licensed Auctioneer in New York, and assisted New York City Consumer Affairs Department to rewrite regulations governing auctions. As Director of Operations at Christie’s, she managed a $35 million annual operating budget and eight major departments, and participated in the redevelopment of Christie’s landmark facility in Rockefeller Center.
Dr. András Szántó is a writer, researcher, and consultant whose work spans the worlds of art, media, policy, and cultural affairs. He is a member of the senior faculty of the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York. The co-author and editor of five books and numerous research reports and critical essays, he is a founder of ArtworldSalon, the international online site on art issues, and has been the editor of the journals ARTicles and Reflections. His writings on arts affairs have appeared in The Art Newspaper, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. He is a frequent contributor to conferences and panel discussions. In addition to his teaching at the Sotheby’s Institute, Dr. Szántó has taught courses at Columbia and Barnard College and has lectured in universities and cultural institutions around the world. As an advisor to foundations and cultural organizations, he has designed programs, conducted research, and launched initiatives for many foundations across the U.S. In 2001, he helped establish the Transatlantic Forum for Cultural Research at UNESCO. A former advisor to the Hungarian Minister of Culture and Education, Dr. Szántó is a trustee of the Cultural Hungarica Foundation and a board member of the Extremely Hungary 2009 Year of Hungarian Culture in New York. Dr. Szántó holds a B.A. from the Budapest University of Economics and a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia.
Paige West is the founder of Mixed Greens, a Chelsea gallery and web site http://www.mixedgreens.com. Founded in 1999 on the belief that contemporary art should be accessible to everyone, Mixed Greens is committed to doing things differently to introduce their artists and the idea of collecting art in general to a new collecting audience. Since 1995 she has also been the curator of the West Collection, her family’s emerging and contemporary art collection installed throughout the world at SEI Investments’ offices. The collection (a private collection housed in a public environment) currently consists of over 3,000 works representing roughly 600 artists working in painting, photography, video, sculpture and installation. (http://www.westcollection.org) In 2008, with her family, she launched an annual $125,000 emerging art prize. She has produced two documentaries on artists: Art and Racing: The Work and Life of Salvatore Scarpitta (seen on The Sundance Channel), and Worst Possible Illusion: The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik Muniz (chosen as the opening documentary of PBS’s 2004 Independent Lens documentary program). She authored The Art of Buying Art: An Insider’s Guide to Collecting Contemporary Art (HarperCollins, July, 2007). It is a field guide for new collectors to assist them in maneuvering through the contemporary art market consisting of such topics as ‘Good vs. Bad Art: Who Decides?’ and ‘10 Questions to Ask While Standing in a Gallery’.