PARADIGM GALLERY + STUDIO: ART OF JOY
Sara McCorriston is the co-owner of Paradigm Gallery + Studio and director of Paradigm Art Advisory in Philadelphia. For SHOWFIELDS, Sara is curating a selection of artists that are full of color, joy, and an impressive range of artistic practices. As we have all spent more time than ever in our homes, it’s increasingly important to surround ourselves with good energy and comforting spaces that express our uniqueness. For every person that joins the LIVE, we will donate $1 to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence .
What are your parameters for artist selection?
One of the first things I look for when reviewing an artist’s portfolio is the level of mastery an artist has achieved tackling their specific techniques. Mastery of one’s craft is important to us in every exhibition we curate at Paradigm. I think this also helps to make artwork more accessible to a wider audience. Sometimes it can be difficult for people to talk about the meaning behind a piece or to ask questions about it, but over the past decade running Paradigm we’ve found that people are much more comfortable discussing and learning about how an artist created their artwork, especially when there is an exciting story behind it. I also absolutely love learning about and talking to people about technique, so that contributes to its personal importance to me as well.
What kind of artwork is relevant to our generation and the times we are living?
I think it’s an especially exciting time in the art world. Throughout history people have tended to define certain time periods by very specific art movements that received heightened attention compared to others. I think right now the art world has such a global focus that anything could happen. Social media platforms such as Instagram have helped connect galleries and artists to art admirers in a different way than ever before, and I think that has created a lot of potential for art discovery and artists gaining momentum in a way never before seen, putting success in the general public’s hands in a different way. I also think that means that we all have a responsibility to share artists we love and support them, and encourage the diversity and change we want to see in the art world in any way that we can.
Tell us about this curation for SHOWFIELDS: conceptually, aesthetically, etc.?
My main goal for this selection of artists was to curate an online exhibition full of color, joy, and an impressive range of artistic practices. As we have all spent more time than ever in our homes, it’s increasingly important to surround ourselves with good energy and comforting spaces that express our uniqueness.
What is your advice for art lovers and appreciators looking to start their own art collections?
My number one suggestion is always to buy what you love. The most lasting and special part of an art collection is one’s personal connection to it. Researching and getting to know galleries and artists is wonderful and important as well, but nothing beats walking through your home and having a special personal connection with a piece of artwork, even if you can’t explain it.
Right now is an especially great time to start collecting as well. These past few months during COVID-19, galleries and art fairs have all moved exhibitions online out of necessity, and as a result many have started to make pricing public for the very first time. It has done a lot to break down the barriers that sometimes exist throughout the art world that can make it feel intimidating and less accessible. Running a small business during the pandemic has been difficult, but we are excited about the new digital features we and many other galleries are now using to share artwork with collectors around the world as a result.