An Instagram Live Chat with Big-Time Curator, Sophie Lucas

Sophie Lucas is a fair director, curator & art administrator.

She has 7 years of experience in art curation around the globe. Sophie was the first official employee of The Other Art Fair, an international art fair for emerging artists presented by Saatchi Art. Sophie is based in New York, but she travels back and forth from London, Australia, and the United States. We were able to sit her down for a few rapid-fire questions on a late NYC morning!

The Other Art Fair has about 130 artists chosen for each fair, and the application process is incredibly easy: it is open criteria and based on the work you submit. Sophie explains that at the start of the fair, it was for artists to showcase their work at the beginning of their careers. Over the years with its expansion — artists use the platform in a different way, taking on more independence. These artists now regularly launch their artwork in other cities, to display them elsewhere and progress their careers in diverse ways.

What makes an art piece stand out to Sophie? What kind of submission makes enough of a powerful statement to be accepted into the fair? Keep on reading to learn more about Sophie’s perspective on modern art.

▹ Do you think that Ryan Stainer’s vision, the creator of The Other Art Fair, has changed, or has it stayed the same?

▸ “[Stanier’s] vision for the fair was as an outlet for a group of friends that wanted to buy art from artists, [he] knew people that wanted to sell their work. […] Those groups weren’t coming together, so the fair started as a platform to connect those groups of people.”

▹ What makes a piece stand out to you?

▸ “You need to have focus in your practice, and have a clear direction for your work […] and be consistent with your practice. It’s of course important to experiment, it’s key to artistic practice. […] Thinking about what pieces you’re putting out there. Ask yourself: how do your pieces work with your other works?”

Can you offer any advice on what makes a powerful artist statement?What are some strategies they can use?

▸ “[…] Speak genuinely about your practice, why you created the works you created, and what inspires you. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated, consider it like you were speaking to someone in passing.”

▹ Lastly – How did you find out about Mentorly, and why did you decide to join?

▸ “I’m always on the lookout for initiatives like Mentorly, I think I heard about it in an Artsy article. It was an exciting opportunity to talk to artists in a more formal way. […] The more that artists can talk to each other in the art world, the better.”

Sophie has recently launched the Chicago edition of The Other Art Fair, and is currently in New York to work on the Brooklyn edition of the fair.

Want to be updated on The Other Art Fair? Follow them on their Facebook and Instagram pages to stay on track. Also – keep an eye out for their annual GirlBoss Rally, a pop-up exhibition based on 15 highlighted artists that present their work to their followers, taking place in Los Angeles.

Article written by Mentorly Associate, Mila Costa-Gizli