Creative Careers | Classifieds Success Stories
Q&A with Caroline Perkins, an inspirational arts professional who found her current role at Artsy through NYFA Classifieds.
We spoke with Caroline Perkins about her exciting art world career and her experiences using NYFA Classifieds, the arts and culture job board which connected her to her current role.
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NYFA: What is your current role at Artsy?
Caroline Perkins: I work at Artsy as an Associate on the Collector Relations Team. My team collaborates with our Product and Gallery Relations teams to ensure that Artsy is the best place to learn about, buy, and sell art online. I specifically work to connect buyers with our 2,500+ gallery partners across 90+ countries to facilitate sales and to make art buying more accessible.
NYFA: How did you find this position?
CP: I first discovered my current job posting on NYFA Classifieds. Soon after graduating college, I, like many aspiring art historians, could not resist the allure and promise of the New York art scene. I debated the decision for months, but eventually committed to making the move to the city. Having very few professional connections in New York City, I checked the NYFA Classifieds listings almost every day for 2 months. As luck would have it, I stumbled upon three job postings for Artsy in mid-October 2016. I applied to all three, and landed my current position a few weeks later.*
NYFA: Are there any particular aspects of the job that inspire and/or motivate you throughout your work day?
CP: Artsy holds a unique position in the online art world as a product-driven startup with an extensive technical management team. Like most roles at Artsy, my current job allows me to collaborate with experienced engineers, designers, and product managers on a wide variety of collector-facing projects. These collaborations are always the most exciting and inspiring aspect of my job. Through the mentorship of my endlessly supportive and creative colleagues, I have been able to develop technical skills like quantitative analysis, to learn about open-source engineering, and to scope products that bring the art market online.
NYFA: Can you describe your career path so far, in terms of educational background, previous jobs, internships, or any major path changes?
CP: I graduated Wake Forest University in 2016 with a major in art history and a minor in mathematics. Throughout my undergraduate career, I was quite determined to pursue a career as a gallery educator in art museums. As such, I interned in education departments at a variety of institutions, including The Phillips Collection, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, and the Uffizi Library.
Immediately upon graduating, I began my first paid art job as an education intern at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams, Massachusetts. While I enjoyed the wildly unique experience of working in a factory-turned-contemporary art museum, it proved to be a pivotal moment in my career path. Over the course of the internship, it became clear to me that many art museums are not able to provide significant growth experiences, both financially and professionally, for young graduates just starting out in the field. I switched my focus and began exploring opportunities afforded by the commercial art market. Right before I joined Artsy, I was hired as a part-time gallery assistant at Cristin Tierney Gallery, where I worked on Saturdays for about 6 months.
NYFA: What advice would you give to job seekers currently looking for their next creative career?
CP: If possible, strive to find a work environment where your professional relationships are built on trust and respect. Finding an employer that values honesty and openness will allow your work to shine and your collaborations to blossom. Don’t be afraid of getting and giving feedback.
*Editor’s note: Use your judgment when applying to multiple positions at the same organization or company, since some employers may prefer that applicants apply only to the opening for which they are most qualified.
– Interview conducted by Molly Martin, Account Manager, NYFA Classifieds
Images: courtesy of Caroline Perkins