This week we sit down with Sharon Gesund, Project Manager at Galería Hilario Galguera in Mexico City. Her experience has given Sharon opportunities to develop projects and work with artists such as Daniel Buren, Jannis Kounellis, Peter Buggenhout, Carsten Höller, Pamela Rosenkranz, Laure Prouvost and with curators like Nicolas Bourriaud, Marie Laure Bernadac, Adachiara Zevi, Stephen Bann and Bruno Corà. We are excited to share Sharon’s Frank Talk with you here!
What was your first job in the Arts?
My first job in the Arts was in 2012 as an intern at Galeria Hilario Galguera, Mexico City
What was the most useful or important thing you learned at that job?
Fortunately, this is my current job, so I am actually in a constant process of learning, but in a broad spectrum, this job gave me the full panorama of how the Art Market works in Mexico City, New York and Chicago. From a more personal point of view, don’t pay attention to the superficial things, it can be very tricky to be in a world of glamour and money, but at the very end, your brain, your passion and your results as a hard worker will give you the results.
Tell us a little more about yourself. When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in this industry?
It started after I came back from a year in Israel, I was in a leadership program and when I came back to Mexico I decided to study Art History. I wanted to choose a path where I can make a change in an educational manner, so I got started at Hilario Galguera, a gallery that is also engaged to the cultural responsibility that a gallery has towards the public.
What do you do now?
I am the Project Manager at Galería Hilario Galguera in Mexico City.
Where are you from?
I was born in Mexico City, but my family is from everywhere, Turkey, Israel, Germany…
What is the arts community like there?
It is HUGE, it is an unstoppable growing bubble and it is getting more mature, broadening its horizons and getting more familiar and friendlier than ever before.
Has where you come from shaped what you do in the arts today?
Yes, it had to do with my education and the way my mom raised me, always teaching me on the importance of helping the other, and this is related with my passion in the art world on supporting the artists, helping them make real their ideas and projects.
What is the best piece of advice you can give about working in the art world?
- If you are truly in love with the arts, be yourself but be ballsy, take risks, don’t gossip and always be respectful.
- When buying airplane tickets always double and triple check.
- Never leave an artwork without protection or without a package, believe you me J
What is one of your greatest accomplishments in your career so far?
One of my greatest accomplishments was having the opportunity to produce exhibitions with Jannis Kounellis before he passed away and Daniel Buren.
What has been a challenge for you?
It might sound a little bit cheesy, but everyday is a challenge, it is a very changing world where anything can happen, so my biggest challenge is to deal with uncertainty on a daily basis.
On the other hand, I had a personal challenge on finding myself fitting into the art world phenomena, it is quite hard to attend to all the events trying to fit into a mold, but at the end I learned that it really doesn’t matter how you dress or how you look.
What is something you do every day at work?
Talk with the artists we represent.
What is one of the weirdest things you have had to do on the job in your career?
The weirdest thing I had to do was to clean an ink stain from a curator’s jacket, for 4 hours straight.
What defines a good employee? What defines a good boss?
A good employee is defined by his level of compromise and responsibility towards his/her tasks and the place where he or she is working.
A good boss is defined by his/her abilities to be a leader that promotes teamwork, a comprehensive yet strict person and a role model for his/her employers.
What do you think makes a person hirable?
I think that the most valuable asset is to be responsible and compromise with the job and with the will to work hard and learn (it is really impressive how many people are just looking for something to pass some good time with the less of the efforts).
What is your advice to making yourself stand out in your workplace?
My advice is to be compromised and responsible, to listen to others and knowing when to give your opinion.
What are things you can do proactively boost your CV?
In the art world, listing your abilities and giving examples of your collaborations.
Are there any tips you can give people entering the workforce?
Keep your CV updated as much as possible, keep looking, be patient and don’t give up.
In your experience, what are things to do and things to avoid during an interview?
Things to do: be prepared, take a look into the history of the company, gallery, museum. Take a copy of your CV to the interview. Be honest.
Things to avoid: lie, never lie, don’t pretend to be something that you are not.
What is the best exhibition you have seen in the last year?
One of the best exhibitions I saw last year was “Memories of Underdevelopment: Art and the decolonial turn in Latin America: 1960 – 1985
If you could own a work by 5 different artists, who would be in your collection?
Daniel Buren, Pollock, Rothko, Agnes Martin, Robert Ryman