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Market Is the Medium – "Making It" in the NYC Art World: Panel Discussion

  • Newd Art Show The 1896, 592 Johnson Avenue Brooklyn, NY (map)

This panel discussion explores the market as a medium—for artists, galleries, and the art world in general. While there have been many conversations about the problems artists face sustaining a career in New York City with the high cost of living and education debt, this panel will instead explore different ways market tools can be used creatively to form economic structures that make art work possible. Panelists include gallerist Magda Sawon, artist Caroline Woolard, and grants administrator Sarah Van Anden, with POWarts President Amy Whitaker as moderator. 



While in Bushwick for the panel, explore the NEWD Art Show and Bushwick Open Studios. Now in its second year, NEWD’s artist-centric mission serves as a counterpoint to the existing fair model with alternative modes of market engagement that supports artists and promotes their interests. The 2015 edition will highlight a number of critical issues related to the art market—such as the rise in speculative art buying and the disproportionate gallery underrepresentation of female artists—by giving focus to artist-curated initiatives and collaborative projects. 
Bushwick Open Studios is a three-day annual arts and culture festival organized by the volunteer organization Arts in Bushwick. Now in its ninth year, this celebration of the neighborhood’s vibrant community and local art scene is free and open to the public. The festival will take place from June 5-7, 2015. Open studios hours vary per artist, so check the directory for precise times. Most studios are open 12pm – 7pm on Saturday and Sunday. 



Magdalena Sawon is a Co-Owner and Co-Director of Postmasters Gallery in New York City, where she has organized close to 300 exhibitions. Postmasters opened in the East Village in December 1984, moved to Soho in 1989, and then to Chelsea in 1998. In 2013, Postmasters relocated to Tribeca. During its 30 years, Postmasters has shown young and established artists who actively seek new forms of creative expression in all media. Sawon also works as an independent curator, lecturer, and consultant. She served on the board of Rhizome and is a founding member of SEVEN (2010-2015) a collaborative alternative to an art fair model. 

Caroline Woolard is an artist and organizer whose interdisciplinary work facilitates social imagination at the intersection of art, urbanism, and political economy. After co-founding and co-directing resource sharing networks and from 2008-2014, Woolard is now focused on her work with to raise awareness about the impact of rent, debt, and precarity on culture and on the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative to create and support truly affordable commercial space for cultural resilience and economic justice in New York City. Woolard’s work has been supported by MoMA, the Rockefeller Cultural Innovation Fund, Eyebeam, the MacDowell Colony, unemployment benefits, the curiosity of strangers, and many collaborators. Woolard is a lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design and the New School, is an Artist in Residence at the Queens Museum of Art, and was just named the 2015 Arts and Social Justice Fellow at the Judson Church. 

Sarah Van Anden is a grants administrator, who currently works as a Program Specialist with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. As a member of the programs unit, she helps distribute over $30 million annually to more than 800 organizations through the Cultural Development Fund, the City’s open, competitive funding process for arts nonprofits. In her previous position at the Shelley and Donald Rubin family office, she was part of the curatorial team responsible for presenting exhibitions and events extending from the Rubins' philanthropic activities. Van Anden received her M.A. in Art History from Williams College and a B.A. in History and Art History from Temple University.

Amy Whitaker (moderator) is the President of POWarts and a full-time member of the Art Business Faculty at the Sotheby's Institute. In 2014, she published The Social Life of Artistic Property, co-authored with Pablo Helguera, Michael Mandiberg, William Powhida, and Caroline Woolard. The book was selected by Artnews as one of "14 New Art History Books to Change Your Mind." Whitaker has also taught business to artists and designers at SVA, New Inc., Trade School, Williams College, RISD, and LMCC. She advises artist grantees of the Joan Mitchell Foundation and is a volunteer mentor for TED Fellows.


Later Event: June 23
The POW Party