Curator Close-up, Lenise Logan
Wit interviews curator and philanthropist Lenise Logan about the work she does globally in the arts. Read further to learn more about Lenise's global practice and how being laid off was the catalyst she needed to begin her international career.

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Artblog cursor clicking on a photo of Lenise Logan.
Lenise Logan. Courtesy Lenise Logan.

Curator Lenise Logan has led a fruitful 20+ year career in the arts. From working with artists and collectors at world-renowned auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s, to coaching artists in India and South Africa, Lenise’s career spans multiple locales and capacities. Coming from a family of creatives, her experience with the arts and philanthropy began at home and has since expanded exponentially.


Wit Lopez: Lenise, you are quite the jet-setter in the arts. You’ve worked with artists all over the United States, a handful of European countries, India, Singapore, South Africa, and more. What’s it like to travel so widely in your work with the arts?

Lenise Logan: It’s a dream come true, actually. I started working in the arts more than 15 years ago and I had to literally work my way up the ladder. I put in the hours which also meant I wasn’t taking vacations as often as my colleagues. After 9/11, I was laid off and decided I was going to save my money and head to India for three months. A boost to the resume and my first time traveling abroad extensively. I ended up staying about a year and from there–the sky was the limit. In Asia, particularly India – I have found a home. Once I realized there is a cyclical nature to the arts–parallel to the school year–that helped me make my plans so that I could expand my network year over year. That and a bit of luck.

Usually, I spend the winters in Asia for the fairs and biennials. I started in India by attending Art India Fair and the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, but have since expanded to smaller fairs like The Irregulars. The smaller shows are maturing and have become extremely exciting. I then travel to Thailand where their 2nd biennial will happen in 2021. Then Manila for Art Philippines and then over to South Africa to spend time with the artists and institutions learning and co-creating.

WL: What would you call the work that you do? Is curating an apt description?

LL: Thank you for asking. Curating, exhibition creation and producing is definitely a part of my business. Fine Art Logistics and Operations is my background. I am a strategist more than anything else. I simply apply that and my philosophy (Artists need the time, resources and space to execute at their desired level and beyond. If we (society) do not support artists and the arts we are in effect, an underserved population) that to whatever work in the arts I do. The services I provide are artist management, coaching, business development, project management, income stream development – this is beyond the basic studio practice. I do this for artists, creatives, collectors and art-based start-ups.

WL: How did you get your start in this business?

LL: In a way, I was born into it. My mother was an artist advocate. My eldest cousin is an artist and he created a work at school that his teacher did not find appealing. My mom coached him through the process, stood up for him to the teacher and we eventually had the work hanging at home. While I came to realize that every time she had these conversations – we would be gifted art, I thought nothing of it in a professional sense. I wanted to be an anthropologist. However, life had other plans and I worked for the largest fine art shipping carrier in the US. During a training session, someone complimented me and noted I was ‘good’ at my job. It was there I decided that if I was good–I could be great. After many lessons both good and not so good. I have Kalpa. For that I am forever grateful.

WL: Are you an artist yourself?

LL: Actually, I am a writer.

Tags

Art Fair Philippines, Art India Fair, artblog international, christie's, curating, Europe, exhibition creation, Fine Art Logistics and Operations, india, Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Kalpa, Lenise Logan, Manila, philanthropist, singapore, sotheby's, South Africa, The Irregulars art fair, United States

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