Victoria Shaw, a prominent figure in the art world, shares how her passion for art stems from her upbringing in downtown Manhattan. For her, art is not merely about beauty; it’s a medium to convey powerful messages and ideas. Read on to hear Victoria’s insights on successful arts leadership and the challenges facing the art community today.
🌟What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
My favorite thing about what I do is being able to engage on a daily basis with collectors, artists, families of artists, galleries and auction houses. I grew up in downtown Manhattan, and from an early age I was a regular visitor at museums, auction houses, art galleries and artist’s lofts where many of my childhood friends were raised and where some of my parents’ friends lived and worked. I have always been drawn to artists and the different ways that they view their world, and I love seeing that vision translated into something tangible that can be shared with others. And I don’t believe that artworks always needs to be something beautiful. It’s just as meaningful for an artwork to convey and important message or idea.
💡What are the top qualities you see in successful arts leaders?
The most successful leaders I have met in the art world and the ones who are dedicated to a vision for their organization, and are flexible enough to adapt that vision as the art world evolves. When I first joined the art world in the professional sense, it felt a bit like an ivory tower or an icy fortress at times. Today the art world has adapted to become more open and inclusive, and that’s an amazing development to watch.
🎨What is the greatest need facing your organization and/or the arts today?
The greatest need facing the arts in New York City is the lack of arts programming in the NYC public school system. Fortunately because New York City is the center of the art world, there are some wonderful programs at museums and other institutions that can help fill that void. And for the younger generation social media has made it possible to see as much art as possible by following artists, galleries and museums through apps such as Instagram.
🌈Why is making art accessible important?
Art enriches lives and builds community. Everybody has challenges that they are facing on a daily basis, and art can offer a temporary respite and a beacon of hope. One of my favorite quotes is from the famed Avant Garde Dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp: Art is the Only Way to Run Away without Leaving Home.
Victoria highlights the importance of visionary and adaptable leadership in the art world, emphasizing the positive evolution towards openness and inclusivity. She draws attention to the lack of arts programming in NYC public schools, stressing the vital role that art plays in enriching lives and building communities
What role do you believe art plays in your community? 🌈