The Art World Demystified
Presented by The Fine Art Museum of Sedona
Wendi Norris started Gallery Wendi Norris in 2010, after ten years of running Frey Norris Gallery and a decade working in Fortune 500 and start-up technology companies. The gallery represents 18 critically acclaimed artists and artist estates whose works are continuously on view in important museums, private collections, top-tier art fairs and biennials around the world. In 2017-2018 alone, her artists will participate in over 75 museum exhibitions and biennials, including solo exhibitions at the Reina Sofia, Tate Modern, Studio Museum of Harlem, Contemporary Arts Center Cincinnati, Prospect.4 Biennial, Berlin Biennial and The Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City.
Wendi and her team curate and manage major public art installations, including Salesforce Tower, the Shipyard, and the New York MTA stop in Harlem. In 2015 Norris co-founded Sites Unseen, a renowned public art project in the alleys in San Francisco. She also founded the San Francisco Artist Award in 2009 which provides an emerging artist a solo gallery exhibition in an established gallery. Additionally she recently served three years as the San Francisco Art Dealers Association Board President. She holds an MBA from Georgetown and BA in International Relations/Spanish from The Ohio State University.
Wendi has been in the business for 18 years and for her presentation she chose some of the most popular questions she has been asked over the years.
A few examples of the topics she addressed:
- What is the difference between modern and contemporary art? The definitions seem to vary on who you are talking to she said. Auction houses and museums may vary on their definitions. Often work from the 1880’s to the 1960’s is defined as modern and everything from the 1960’s to today could be considered contemporary. But some cut it off at the pre and post World War II dates.
- How does an artist get represented by a gallery? Wendi tells artists to do their homework on a gallery and decide if they fit in that gallery. She relies on museum curators, other artists and associates to find artists, rarely through an artist’s portfolio submission.
- How do galleries stay relevant today? The important thing is to make sure your program is fresh, keep things interesting and smart. Despite the internet age, she still feels art galleries are the best way for collectors to view and purchase art.
Wendi spoke about how she works with museums in regards to exhibitions that involve her artists. Galleries support museums by art loans, financial support of exhibition catalogues, and archival research. Wendi closed her presentation with a Q&A session with the audience that continued the conversation about the world of art.