Sofia Blom is an art administrator who is based in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. She works as a Gallery and Communications Manager at Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA), a 501c3 non-profit, non-collecting institution committed to promoting innovative contemporary art and thinking. Originally from Sweden, Sofia has also lived in Australia and Canada.
What was your first job in the Arts?
I was a volunteer gallery assistant at my university’s gallery.
Tell us a little more about yourself. When did you realize you wanted to pursue a career in this industry?
I have always been creative and once I decided to pursue a degree in art, it came naturally. I realized pretty quickly that I am more interested in other people’s artwork than my own, so pursuing a role where I can actively support artists was a natural fit for me.
What do you do now?
I am the Gallery and Communications Manager at Tephra ICA. I manage the organization’s communication, print, and website needs, exhibition logistics, and installation.
Where are you from and what is the arts community like there?
I am originally from the Gothenburg area in Sweden, which has a large arts community. It’s a very creative place.
Has where you come from shaped what you do in the arts today?
Very much so. I was always encouraged to pursue the creative field, both by my family and my community. Both my sisters also work in the creative field.
What is the best piece of advice you can give about working in the art world?
Support your peers and always look for opportunities to learn from people you admire.
What is one of the greatest accomplishments in your career so far?
Working with the artwork of underrepresented artists like Paulina Peavy and Moira Dryer.
What do you think defines a good employee? And what defines a good boss?
Good communication, trust, and support both ways. A good boss encourages and empowers their staff.
What artwork is/was in your home office?
I print by Rachel de Joode that I acquired as a source of joy during the height of the pandemic in 2020, a wall sculpture by Stephanie Williams that was a gift from the artist and is very special to me, and a print by Cooper & Gorfer, two photographers who use to share a studio with my sister.
What is/was your greatest WFH challenge? Or a WFH luxury you don’t want to lose ever again?
Feeling isolated was for sure the greatest challenge for me. I really missed coffee breaks with my coworkers. Being able to hang out with my dog while working was a luxury, but I don’t want to go back to WFH life again.
What aspect of the art world this year (2022) is most exciting to you?
The prospect of seeing more art in person and seeing more inclusive representation.
Is there any advice you would like to give people entering the art world?
I would reiterate the importance of supporting your peers and always look for opportunities to learn from people you admire.
What is the best exhibition you have seen recently?
Katharina Grosse: Is it You? at the Baltimore Museum of Art. I also loved DC artist Kaitlin Jencso’s exhibition We Miss You. It was a very tender and poignant portrait of what life has been like the last couple of years.
If you could own a work by 5 different artists, who would be in your collection?
Charline von Heyl, Carrie Mae Weems, Vivian Suter, Moira Dryer, and Diedrick Brackens.