Images by Kath Mclean @kathsbrightphotos
Fresh white walls, natural light and contemporary pieces. Curator and gallery owner Jerico Tracy applies the same principles to art as she does to dressing. Measured minimalism.
About a year ago, and only months after launching her gallery mind you, we encountered Jerico at the Sydney Contemporary Art Fair. The then 20-something Jerico was exhibiting a buzzing new artist on the scene; one Christiane Spansberg whose Picasso-esque faces had gone viral on Instagram.
We caught up with the Sydney local in her gallery space and asked her about curating via Instagram, finding inspiration in a cluttered landscape, and dressing for success...
Talk us through what it takes to open an art gallery?
I originally started Jerico Contemporary as an itinerant gallery when I was 26, and then opened the permanent gallery in Woolloomooloo two years later in 2018. It came from the fact that there were so many of my friends and acquaintances wanting to buy and know more about art without a clue on how to do so. On the other side, I knew so many talented artists wanting a platform to showcase their work – so I decided to connect the two.
What makes Jerico Contemporary unique in the market?
I really want to make art accessible for young collectors, and inspire people who perhaps would not otherwise go into an art gallery and be exposed to emerging artists. Often the art world can seem pretentious or unwelcoming, and I want people to feel comfortable and know that it's ok if they don’t like the exhibition, they might like the next one.
A typical day in your life starts with…
On a day that I’m based at the gallery, I will get up early and have coffee with my fiancé at our local cafe. I usually arrive at my office a couple of hours before we open to reply to emails and work on upcoming exhibitions and projects. During the day I will have a couple of scheduled meetings with clients, artists and collectors, and then attend exhibition openings in the evenings. I cook dinner almost every night - it’s one of the only ways I can unwind after a full day. If I’m lucky, I’ll also fit in a Barre or Yoga class.
Share your career highlight?
I am very lucky in that I do what I love everyday. Working with so many creative people on a day-to-day basis is quite special. Although being invited to exhibit at Sydney Contemporary Art Fair after the gallery had only been open a few months was a highlight.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Almost every artist I have worked with has come via a different path. Some I have known from art school and others I have connected with through Instagram. I discover new artists on an almost daily basis, between university graduation shows, local exhibitions, art fairs and social media. The process is always different, but whenever I’m considering working with an artist I look for three factors: originality, talent and execution.
Sum up your personal style?
I am a uniform dresser, I tend to wear variations of the same thing everyday. I gravitate towards a minimalist style and a neutral palette, consisting of basics. Christopher Esber, Ellery, and Frame Denim are on high rotation in my wardrobe, alongside Uniqlo for Knitwear and Isabel Marant for accessories.
What’s on your wish-list?
A Pierre Jeanneret chair.
Any advice for budding curators?
Believe in your curatorial vision, and know what sets you apart from everyone else. You need to have a point of difference.
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