What determines if someone is a collector?
It’s in our nature to collect. We naturally collect all types of things like shoes, coins, antiques, etc. Just like these items, it’s natural to collect art. I consider a collector to be anyone that decides to acquire a piece that really speaks to them. We encourage people to buy what you like. If it speaks to you then it’s for you. It’s that simple. It’s not necessarily about the number of pieces you own, but rather the thought that you put into adding to your collection. Art collecting is addictive. Once you hang a new piece in your home, its usually not long until you make additional purchases and the collection organically grows.
What are the mediums of Art?
The creativity that comes from artists is unlimited and frankly, fascinating. With that said there are too many mediums for me to mention them individually here. For example, artists can use different types of paint (i.e. acrylic, oil, gouache), they can use different substrates like canvas or paper, they can create sculptures using clay or bronze. The list goes on an on. As a collector or aspiring collector, I think you have to experience these different types of mediums and understand what really resonates with you.
What is your process in selecting artist to be featured in your gallery?
There are a lot of really talented artists in the world, unfortunately it’s impossible for Zucot to cater to all facets of the art world. We usually have about 5 exhibit openings every year. We typically focus on living, mid-career African American and Latino artists that are actively producing bodies of work. We select artists by reviewing their work, understand where they’ve been exhibiting previously, evaluating their fit with our collector base. Artist can take a look at who we represent today and if they feel like there is a fit, we encourage them to submit pieces on our website.
How have the Arts impacted your life?
We believe that art is a medium that allows any society to capture is history and document events, emotions, beliefs, behaviors, spirituality, etc., the things that you would use to define one’s culture. As an African American art dealer, we’ve become “custodians of culture”. Custodians of a long, rich, and complex culture that his greatly shaped, molded and influenced what it means to be an American.
The majority of art the we sell will long outlive us and its initial collector, however, there is a tremendous satisfaction that we get in knowing that we played a part in helping to communicate our culture to the generations that will come after us.
What inspired you to open Zucot Gallery?
Zucot is named after the founding partners (Troy Taylor) Grand Mother who was the first woman to open a fresh produce market in the highly male dominated business on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts. Rumor has it, in order for her to survive, she had to be as tough as a “Zoo Cat” hence the Nickname Zucot. With respect to opening up and Art Gallery, I don’t know that it was a life-long goal or a strategic plan, but when the opportunity presented itself we were prepared financially and with a long history of collecting and dealing in art it all came together.
What type of mentorship do you have in place for young people?
At Zucot Gallery we pride ourselves by always having internships for student and young people that want to learn more about the business of Fine Arts. We frequently reach out to several colleges and universities and have develop a good working relationship with their art departments. We’ve developed programs with the local school districts and youth organizations. We conduct several educational tours of the gallery and even developed a curriculum for teachers. On an annual basis we probably host over 1000 students in the gallery.
How do you expose other African Americans to the benefits of collecting art?
We believe that all of us can be Custodians of Culture by collecting Art. When you look back through history, you can always point to Art as a defining piece of any civilization. Within the community, we have a responsibility to preserve this part of our culture and pass it down through generations. Our business model is really based on breaking down the intimidation factors that a lot of people have about collecting art. For a lot of people, art collecting is a new frontier, so our goal is to demystify the experience and make everyone feel comfortable with asking questions and learning, which leads to collecting. We facilitate this learning through Art Tastings which are signature events that are typically held in the gallery. These events are usually held once per month and are designed to be an informal workshop for people to learn about collecting art, understand the materials used to create work, and ask as many questions as needed. In addition to Art Tastings we also connect clients with artists, 1-1 curating and consulting, and virtual views, which allows clients to take a picture of an area where they are thinking about hanging a piece and we will digitally enhance that area with the work.
How do we follow you?
I am HER
Collage: preserved recycled paper, archival paper, mixed media
20 x 20 in
Aaron F. Henderson
Alibi For The Blues
gouache on paper
40 x 60 in
Acrylic on Canvas
40 x 30 in