Episode 37: Sixtine Crutchfield - Fame Fine Art & International Art Management

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Episode 37: Sixtine Crutchfield - Fame Fine Art & International Art Management

Sixtine Crutchfield is a formidable force in the art world. She shares with us her passion in the sometimes difficult world of the international art market. One of her most recent accomplishments was designing and implementing the Geneva School of Business - Fine Art International Management (FAIM) MBA program - A Business Graduate Degree in Fine Art. Anyone that is pursuing a high-level career in the art world will want to hear what Sixtine Crutchfield has to share.

This episode will give everyone the opportunity to listen in on her fascinating life, and life events that led her on the path to fine art and the world of creativity.


Show Notes: 

 Episode 37: Sixtine Crutchfield Fame Fine Art & International Art Management

00:00:17 - 00:05:16

I see you're moving your lips over there, but I don't hear anything. I'm saying a tongue twister under my breath. Really, share it with me. Rubber baby buggy bumpers. Say that three times. Okay, I'm gonna say it once. Rubber baby buggy bumpers. That's good. That makes me giggle. It really helps to be words. Good. It should help me too. So remember rubber baby buggy bumpers. Okay, let's say it fast. Hi everyone and here we are celebrating what people love to do creatively by giving them a voice. I'm rod Jones. And I'm Angie Jones. Welcome to the thought rob podcast. We invite you to subscribe wherever you listen. And we're available virtually anywhere you listen to podcasts and also you can check us out at thought rope podcast dot com. We'd love to hear from you. Don't be shy. You can always leave us a question on our contact page, right? On the contact form. Website. Absolutely. We would love to hear from you. And that's why this show is called thought rope podcast because we want to hear your thoughts. Well, speaking of thoughts, how about your thoughtful quote? He made that word. I like it. Okay, here is my quote for today. The alchemy of good curating amounts to this. Sometimes placing one work of art near another makes the other one. It's like one plus one equals three. Two artworks arranged all comically leave each intact, transform both and create a third thing. And that is by our friend Jerry saltz. Oh, yes, Jerry saltz, the art critic for The New York Times. Yes, absolutely. And actually, he's got a lot of quotes, but then again, he's been in this industry for a long time. He does, and he's seen a lot and he's experienced a lot, so I bet he does have a lot of quotes. He's a lot to say. You know what I like about this one is because you and I have been to a lot of our museums. I know curators will lay the paintings out to create a flow through a museum, so they can move the people through and you go from one painting to another page, another painting. But I've noticed just basically what Jerry Seoul said here is you'll see a weaker painting and it might be positioned between two very strong paintings and then all of a sudden you're more attracted to the weaker painting. It just brings something out in it, and who's really to say one painting is better than you really can't because it resonates with people differently and sometimes maybe a more quiet quote quiet painting is not really very quiet at all. Well, it's always subject to people's interpretation, their life experiences, what they like, some person may like flower scenes and other person maybe lean towards a strong abstract. Right. It's what resonates with you. And sometimes you're surprised about what you might enjoy to and what resonates with you on that day as well. It'd be interesting to see an abstract between two floral arrangements and see how people gravitate to that. Yeah, that would be really an interesting take on having a floral and then abstracts around it. And the other thing that I read about and heard about was George O'Keefe when they would lay out her shows, she was always there and she said everything up along the wall and then she'd walk around and she'd move things around and sometimes for several hours. Sometimes she would say look, we're going to do this again tomorrow and she'd come back and move her paintings around even more. It was very frustrating for the museum staff and the curators and all that. But she had a way that she wanted to keep the harmony between each piece of her art. That makes sense that she would do that, plus she knew or better than anybody. Exactly, but also it was how she wanted her artwork to be presented in the feel and the mood, the impression she wanted to leave with people that were viewing it. Literally can tell a story, especially if it's a solo art exhibition from one painting to the next you can tell a story, or how sometimes they start out with the earliest paintings and end up with the latest paintings, and everybody walks around and go, well, I really liked what he did in the beginning.

00:05:17 - 00:10:01

I hate what he's doing now, or she's doing now. Sometimes sometimes that does happen, but it's kind of cool when you can see the whole body of work as well. But now it's going to be your turn rod. We are ready for rods motivational moment. Uh oh. Well, here it is. It's actually a quote that I came up with. In response to something, I don't remember what it was. But here it is. The sole reveals beauty that the eyes can not see, but the heart can hear. That's absolutely beautiful and so tell us about that a little. Well, I don't, I mean, I get the impression. It works for me anyway. I feel something about something that I see creatively. I feel it deep inside. And then, later, my brain has to take over and process it. So I think the soul actually reveals or sees beauty first before your brain tunes into it. That's why I say, but the heart can hear because your heart hears it in my opinion. You feel it in your heart, and then all of a sudden it manages to percolate its way up to your brain and then once it gets there, then the opinion start and experiences that you've had in past life or whatever all of a sudden start to take over what you felt deep down inside. Right. I couldn't agree more. And I think that in our very busy modern society sometimes that sort of gets a little overrun by maybe visuals or what's in or what's not in and what society thinks is cool or not. So it's kind of if you can keep it at a soul level and your spiritual level, probably you will get more out of what you're feeling and looking at. I like that. I think you interpreted my quote probably better than I did. I don't know about that. What you said, I thought that was really profound. But I also think that you're coming about being bombarded being basically told how to think you're being told. It's acceptable and what's not. Right, and if you mention this before, if you listened to that still small voice inside you, maybe it's going to reveal the beauty that is actually there and your eyes can't see it. But your heart can hear it. Right. And your spirit can hear it. Yeah. Absolutely. I'm also often curious what creativity can teach us. Good point. You know? And I have to say that on a recent post that I made, I was really, really reticent about posting this particular painting. Oh yes, I remember. Right. It was just, it was very agonizing because I felt very like it was unfinished or something was it right with it or I don't want to say insecure because that sounds so like you want accolades from others. It wasn't that kind of insecurity. It was more of like, I don't know if anybody will really it will resonate with anyone. And I don't know if it resonates with myself. So it was kind of like I wanted to make sure that people were having an experience viewing this painting and I didn't feel confident in that. And what was interesting is what it taught me when I actually did post it because you convinced me that I should. Yeah, absolutely. I think it would have been a waste for you not to. I saw that painting hanging around your studio for a while. More than one occasion, I said, are you ever going to post that? Not too positive about it or thinking that I don't know, maybe I can do something better. I don't think there's an artist in the world. I don't care if you're a composer or a musician or in the theater. You always think you can do a better job. Nobody's ever satisfied. Absolutely. But in this case, in this case, it did turn out to be a good thing, because once I posted it, I felt a very freeing experience about it. And also, it taught me that, you know, you don't necessarily have to fit in the confines of being good or bad. It's more about your creative expression. And I think that's the part that really was very inspiring for me and a learning tool for me. What I thought was interesting is garnered a lot of response, which I was really surprised. A lot of interesting comments. The comments themselves were revealing about the piece of art.

00:10:02 - 00:15:04

Everybody liked it. I don't think they were all just being polite, honestly think they liked it. But it also triggered some thing in your own imagination that when you do create a piece of art, most artists are never really truly satisfied with it. They always think that they can do something better at a friend of mine than several years ago that always used to say the problem with art is no artist ever thinks it's finished, and he always wants to go over and add one more brush stroke. That's true. And the thing about this piece that's really made me feel super happy about it and I know that others really enjoyed it this way is the conversation. I think that part of it was the most enlightening. Yeah, well, speaking of conversation, we talked to a lot of people in this podcast about creativity, as you know. And our listeners know. The common theme I see is that they're really passionate about what they do. Yeah, I think that's really true. But I also think about I think about being inspired like you have to be inspired to be passionate because of your creative drive. So it kind of it's like the LEGO blocks of creativity when you have all that. Yeah, sure. And inspiration, inspiration comes from a lot of different sources. But it's kind of interesting to know or figure out is there a bridge between being inspired, and where a passion starts? Exactly. I don't exactly know what that is. But I think you can be inspired to build or create something. Compose a great symphony, whatever, write a book, you're inspired to write a book. But as you get into writing that book, all of a sudden, your passions hopefully take over. And that's what makes it turn out to be such an incredible piece, right? So true, so true. And I think you have to check it in your brain, though, to make sure that you're not just doing it for motivation to get the end result instead of being inspired and having passion and having the creative drive. One of the things before we move on here, one of the things I want to say is a lot of times you're inspired because you think you're going to look good or are you going to make a lot of money or people are going to be really impressed by what you're doing? Yeah. I think you really have to have passion about something that you're doing creatively. If you get the accolades, that's fine. And if you don't, that's fine, too. Because it's the experience that you personally have inside is the most important thing I believe. So true. And while we're on the subject of being having inspire life or being inspired, let's bring on our guest. Okay, so today we're going to be speaking with 16 crutchfield. 16. Welcome to the thought robe podcast were really very excited to have a conversation with you regarding your career in the art world. It's just great to have you with us today. It's high 16. I agree and we are so excited to hear about your latest project as well. Hi, and she hi rob. Thank you very much for having me. It's a great honor to be with you guys today. Thank you in honor for us to say. So, okay, we're going to start out our interview by asking you, what did you have for breakfast? Well, I'm not very good at breakfast. I know it's the main meal of the day, but I usually have a big mug of fresh home ground coffee brood and a bit of milk and a banana. That's good. That's healthy. That's healthy. As long as you get a little caffeine and fruit, you're good. It's a potassium from the banana. It's interesting how many people love this question 16. Every time they go, just love that question because people eat fascinating fasting breakfasts anywhere from a cup of coffee to something more complicated. Yeah. Anyway, I want to get to your name. 16. It's a kind of a pretty name. It's a very beautiful name, actually. And it's unusual. They have to say that. Tell us the story behind it. Well, I have my dad to thank for that, obviously I had no input whatsoever at the time, but I was born in the 60s in Europe at the time. There was a lot of American music going on and so my dad was all into The Rock and roll in the Elvis Presley's and all that.

00:15:04 - 00:20:00

And when I was born, he wanted to call me 16 as in sweet 16 with the doubly in. But in those days when you went to church to get christened, there was a list of names that you could have and you couldn't sort of, you know, the priest would allow you to name your baby this so that name and not another. So they said was 16 wasn't on, obviously, it wasn't an a Christian name as such. And so he said, well, yes, it is. There's the Sistine Chapel. So an in French the Sistine Chapel spells SI xt IE. So it became so you go. The priest couldn't think. And so but it's been a great name. I love it. I mean, it's the best door opener that anywhere. And I've mainly been a lot in the Anglo Saxon world, whether in Australia and Europe and England or I was in an English boarding school for a while. So, yeah, everybody always questions. They remember it for sure. I remember you and your name. It's called branding. Branding. I love it. I have a nickname in Miami because I've been to art by so Miami, many, many times. And there's a very good friend of mine over there who's Cuban, his name is Eddie, and he calls me 13. That's very funny. Okay. So before we go on to the different projects you've managed and talk about them, we know that you lived you live in Geneva Switzerland currently, which is gorgeous. But where are you originally from? And when we talked initially on the phone, you had mentioned you spent some time living in Australia. Share with us your journey. Yeah, I was born in Switzerland. I was actually born in Basel, which is in the German speaking part of Switzerland. And then my parents moved to Geneva when I was about three or four. My dad Swiss, my mom's German. And I was sent to an English boarding school because it was like it's a family tradition and my mom's family, everybody was sent to boarding school. So that was that. So that's where I learned my English from the age of ten to 17. And then so I've been working and doing all my studies, but also working later, always in English or more in English than in French, even though French is my mother tongue I should say. And yeah, I ended up going to Australia with the Picasso, the Marina Picasso collection. And that was in 1984. And then I went, I loved it. I mean, I was there for ten days and it was all work work work. But I really wanted to go back there. So in 1988, was the bicentennial for Australia and the people who had organized the Marina Picasso exhibition asked me if I had asked them if there was ever a job for me in Australia that I could come and travel a little bit. I'd be delighted. So they asked me for the bicentennial and I ended up going there. I was supposed to go there for a couple of weeks and I stayed 11 years. Oh, boy. Oh, wow, that's a good time. I married an Australian, so that was part of the 11 years. But always having been in the art world I ended up we were in Darwin at the time because my husband worked for a company, which was providing material for the mining industry. So up and down in the 70,000 people, 90% of them are Aboriginal people. And I ended up with the art world is not much, I mean, there's a very, very good museum up there. And then there's the Australia council, which is like the ministry of culture, if you like and I loved it, I got a job there and we worked for the theater, which was called browns Marx community theater. And as I said, 90% of the population is Aboriginal. So all of the projects, the cultural projects, whether B theater dance music or fine arts or even poetry and literature is usually Australian Australian indigenous culture, which is great. That way when I stayed and we stayed in Darwin for three years and when I stayed there, I didn't get homesick because I had it was just so different. Sometimes I'd go to the office and my boss, guy called Ken Conway, he would say, okay, we're taking the plane today and we're going to men in greedo, which is like a three, 45 minute flight. Along the north coast of Australia. So, you know, that could have never happened to me in Europe. So me coming from a gallery where we looked at Picasso and modern art and all of a sudden I was doing back paintings and dot paintings and dreamings and it was just fabulous. I loved it. Well, you know, that kind of leads me to my next question.

00:20:00 - 00:25:02

That is most everything that you've done in your business career has been related to art. In one way or another, share with us and our listeners, how that came about. And when you first got excited or interested in creativity in the art world. Well, probably it starts because I'm lazy at heart. When I was at boarding school, it was a system. It was an English boarding school and it was called O levels and a levels. So you did your own levels when you were about 15 and you do about anywhere between 11 and 14, 15 subjects. And then after that, you do your a levels and you pick three max four. And so I was pretty good at art and my art teach our art teacher liked me or I was pet teacher a little bit. And so I did my aunt O level and I did okay. And then I did my art a level only because it seemed easier to do than biology or geography or physics or chemistry. So in my a levels I took in an English boarding school so I took French and German because they were languages already new. And then I took art. And then my history of art teacher pushed me. She said, do you a level history of art as well? So I ended up doing both. And that was probably the actual subject where I had to learn the most in those art classes where you actually painting and treating art. Yes, I was, yeah. And I didn't. I still do draw a bit. I love anything on paper, whether it's watercolor or pencil, but I've never actually professionally practiced art. I've always been on the business side or on the admin side or on the logistics side. But I've never I'm not an artist by any means like you guys. I'm very jealous. You know, being on the business side is extremely good. That probably more so than pushing around the cameras. Certainly use more parts of your brain. And then so I continued that with, you know, from my a levels I then went to university and again, I was in Denver, Colorado, and I did bachelors of mass communications. And then we had to choose then miners. And so I did history of the theater and history of art. And just continued on. I thought I was going to be on stage, but no, that didn't happen, and I'm glad it didn't. And yeah, so I just continued with history of art. And then I went on, I came back to Geneva. And got my first job as being a gallery assistant, but it was gallery and cuisine, which is one of the top was at the time one of the top galleries top ten. I'd say in the world, we represented Marina Picasso collection, but also other we had a lot of I mean it was like working in a museum. It was just unbelievable. And so in a way, it was lucky that I landed my first job there, but in another way you become a little bit blase. So to find to change from that and to sort of in Geneva other than the encrypt, there wasn't much going on, still isn't much going on. Then that's also what pushed me to become independent because any other job in Geneva wasn't going to cut it. I think so. Yeah, it sounds like you've got a little spoiled because it was just such a vibrant environment. And high level. And high level, yeah, it was and also, like, you have to remember, I'm just graduated. So I've got I'm 22 years old and we were doing this Picasso itinerary show, which took me to Australia. In those days, the insurance companies insisted on a conveyor on the plane with the painting. So and that was always sort of the youngest or the assistant, so that was me. And so, you know, I flew to the states. I flew to Germany and Japan and Italy and I was just great. And I thought, oh, I like the working environment. That's nice. It's very nice. Babysitting job. Yeah, very nice. And I mean, nothing ever happened. So, you know, like it easygoing. The true. I had one funny experiment. This was in Australia in 1984. When you arrive in Australia, I don't know if you know they spray you. Again, you know, it's an island, so they protect each other, you know, themselves from any sort of disease or whatever. Right now with COVID, they're under complete lockdown. But in 1984, so they would spray the cabin. But then they don't, and they still don't allow any wood inside. And I'm arriving with two or three palette falls of Picasso's. Of course, inwards, traits. So their modern had been treated. And framed, right? And framed it. And also stretched on wood and you know, and that wood is well Picasso's age. So they were going to spray the paintings. And I said, there's just no way you're spraying anything on any of these works of art. It was very it took me a long time to get through customs. They had to get all sorts of special authorizations because there was just no way.

00:25:02 - 00:30:01

I didn't know what they were spraying, and I wasn't going to let them spray any of my. So that was probably the only time where I had to exercise some authority as a conveyor of the painting. That's pretty the first time they actually had to face it too. And now they probably have a protocol for it. That's very interesting. Right around the world. China, they spray everything, too. There's other countries that are starting to do that. Maybe there's a protocol specifically for that. Because paintings, like you said, they're stretched on wood in most cases. You can't spray a solvent that's aerosol on things. Too. Yeah. Yeah, I wasn't going to take that risk, especially not on my first sort of job in 22 years old. There's no way I was going to do that sometimes. And also, the sum of the stretchers had holes like, you know, like, worm, but obviously they've been treated in Europe, but I mean, you know, there was no more worms in the thing, but to the estranged, it's like, you know, this is bad wood. And I said, well, no, it's not. Yeah, for sure. Just age at this point. I know Angie has a question for you. Yeah, I was going to ask art management seems to be a prevalent theme in your current projects. Could you let us know more about that? Yeah, your art management. Yeah. About 15 years ago, I became independent. I was working for a company that was organizing art fairs, but yeah, about 15 years ago, I became independent and there's a lot of things called art advisory who are people who know about history of art and who advise collectors or pension funds or banking bankers or anybody who buys art what to buy and why, et cetera and follow, if you like the light motif of each collection. And I thought, well, I can do that, but I also think that a lot of collectors don't take the time to put a proper inventory together to photograph their works to get proper insurance to get proper condition reports. They don't do all that sort of documentation that should be with any sort of painting. And depending where they get the painting from, there's no the provenance is not always clear or the bibliography, et cetera. And I found that when people came to me to say, I want to buy a painting or I want to sell it painting. We wasted a lot of time putting everything together to make sure the value the evaluation of the painting was correct, because if the provenance is not complete or if, you know, the condition report is not well done or whatever it plays on the value of the piece. And I thought, instead of having collectors come to me and then spending two years trying to get all the paperwork together so that we can sell it at the right price. I would offer collectors to maintain or to put their paperwork in order. So that when they sell, they can do it straight away. Very good. That's very good advice. Yeah. And so and that's what I was doing. So rather than being an art adviser, which, of course, I'm happy to do if somebody asks me to I very often take collectors around art Basel or whatever. And then we walk together. And we talk about what they need and what they want and what excites them, et cetera, and I do that on a regular basis, but I also follow through with a lot of clients and just make sure the inventories are correct. Usually the clients who have who use my services will have big collections like I worked on the UCA collection, which belonged to mister and misses ulans, Belgium collectors, obviously I did the same work at gallant cuisine with the Picasso collection, but also terrorist Garcia. Usually they're bigger collections. I worked on a Cuban collection as well, which was very interesting with Cuban artists from the 40s. So it's a lot of bookworm work actually. And then just research and all of that, which I like doing. That falls under the category of art consulting, I guess. And if so, what have been your greatest challenges and your successes for you personally in that area? What I find really gratifying is that when you do the work and then you have a show or you put pieces up in a foundation because it's a private collection starting a foundation and you hang them and you get in a good result you get good comments from the press and good comments from the public. And that I find really gratifying because it means you've done a good job and the collection is complete and it's well set up and hung et cetera. The other thing I find very gratifying is when you estimate to work and then you take it to other bees or Christie's or whatever option house and it does well and within the parameters that you had set in the first place. So whenever you're not wrong, basically it's kind of a nice feeling. I can imagine. I bet it is. You're providing a tremendous service for both the collector and people that want to view the collections.

00:30:02 - 00:35:03

People have an opportunity to actually see the collection, which is pretty important because a lot of art is held privately and doesn't always see the light of day. A lot of people don't have the opportunity to see some of these special pieces that have been collected over the years. Yeah. But it's also what's nice is that usually even if they kept privately, I've had opportunities like that just to create a catalog for that collection, which is going to be held by the collector. But at the end of the day, when you've got the finished product and it's printed and that person says, oh, well, you know what? I showed it to my insurance, and they were really happy because it was just such an easy document to work with. That sort of thing I think is also rewarding. Sometimes you take time because, you know, I mean, I have mandates and I get paid by the hour and people don't understand that it takes that amount of time because there's just two background to work on. But I've not had any bad experiences as such. I mean, I've given conferences as well. One thing I'm a little bit disappointed with is that I've had a short stint in a private bank. And I was doing the art advisory then. We had this little department or section very ultra high net worth people. And the customers or the clients were super happy. But sometimes the bankers I tried to then on my own offer that service to different bankers and a lot of the Swiss banks are not they're not reacting yet. They haven't quite yet understood the importance of art and how they can improve their own banking service and financial advisory if they knew a little bit more or if they had a service with art. I always say the client, whether he's an investor in a bank, if he, you know, if he has a passion, it can be arched but it also can be vintage or a vintage cars or a wine or whatever it is. But if you're financial adviser, knows about your passion and can actually exchange with you on the subject, it makes all the difference. Sure. Definitely. You know, I wanted to ask you, I know you have organized various events. Can you tell us about that? Yeah, that was actually a funny story. When I came back from Australia, that's when I went to the bank because I wanted to change like have a bit of a different environment, as I send my first job was Jan cuisine and yeah, just coming back to Geneva. There was nothing else. And mister cougar didn't say come back. And I just needed to do something different. I have to say, as well, that while I was in Australia, I kept in touch with the gallery and I would come back to art Basel and do the fares with them that gave me also the opportunity to come home and visit my family. So I've always been in touch with cuisine. We even did an exhibition of Picasso prints in Melbourne, which was a good success as well. So we've always in touch. So when I came back, he said, please come back. And I said, no, I wanted to do something else. So I worked in the bank and then the bank that I worked for was taken over. So again, he called me and says, come back, so I did go back together, because this was in 2003. And we had signed up to do a show which is it's a contemporary art show called art mosca. And basically, mister Crozier had not been back to the east. He's originally Polish, but had not been back to the east since after the war. And so the Second World War. So he was very excited about going to Moscow and just had all this nostalgia going on. And I then saw an ad in the Geneva local newspaper to say that there was another show which was taking place a week after the one that we had enrolled for. And it seemed a lot more important as in modern work not just so much that we were doing contemporary, but this was more our league. So I went to see the guy who was organizing the show and he said, yeah, but we're full. They had like 27 exhibitors. And I mean, when you work with cujo, you're a bit pedantic. So I said, you know how? You organize the show, and you don't come and see us, et cetera and the guys said, okay, well, I see what I can do. And we got a I think we had like 35 m², which is nothing. We usually have a 150 m² stands. But I said to mister cuisine, look, we're ready there. We might as well take a just a few paintings, but we need to be in this other show as well. So we decided to do that. And while I was there, we then had to do this was in May and we had to do Basel in June. And I again I met with the organizer of the fair, and he said, why don't you come and work for me? And I said, well, I don't know how to run an art fair. I've got no idea. And he says, neither do I. So and I said, look, I mean, I'm like, I'm representing one of your top galleries here.

00:35:03 - 00:40:15

And then I'm going to art Basel. I really don't have time to think about this. And I wasn't really all that happy to be back at kuji is because I thought I'd sort of closed a loop. And I wasn't ready to do that yet. So I was quite tempted by the prospect, but I just thought, you know, I'm totally out of my comfort zone. Anyway, then I met the guy again. And I started to work for him on the 1st of August. And that was how we started running the show and we went from that was 27 or 28 exhibitors and the following year there was 56 and then after that, we got up to a 120 to well medium sized archery. I mean, it wasn't anything like art Basel, or no, but that's I mean, that's substantial. It is substantial. You can imagine a lot of work that went into it. You're not going to change the topic just a little bit here. We've read about and learned that you designed the NBA program for the Geneva business school. That sounds like a major project. I must say, but I suspect it's been very rewarding for you. How did all that happen? Well, that's another good story. All my stories sort of link into one into the other. So that your life's journey. That's your life journey. That's the activity that's an exciting one and you have to say, don't grass has grown under your feet. It's not at all. Yeah, and I suppose I've always followed my intuition and I'm lucky enough that I've always done what I've wanted to do. But you were able to define what you want to do. So many people bounce around and flow with different ideas and they never seem to coalesce any one. But you went from one adventure to another. They all connected the connectivity of everything that you're doing is so it's a flawless and flowing. It's wonderful. It's interesting. Yeah. Yeah, I suppose there's a focus with art, really. I mean, there's anything to do with culture and creativity. I'm interested in. And the rest I may be, maybe I just lock it out. But anyhow with the MBA, it's been a wonderful journey because I started so I did when I started at the bank, I obviously had no idea this was when I came back from Australia about finance and banking. So the bank employed me basically for this art advice division that they wanted to create. But I still had to have some basics about finance. So they sent me to a school called Geneva business school. This was in 1999. And I did the course and the deal was that if I pass, they will pay for the tuition and then I owed them two years after that to work with them. And if I failed the course, I would have to pay for the tuition. Oh. And so I passed and that was that. And then ten years later, the school was just starting. It was a new school that was actually supported and sponsored by the Swiss banking association. And I think I was like the third intake. Anyway, and then ten years later, they because I like to stay in touch with most of the people I meet. They asked me if I wanted to be a part of the ten anniversary as in the alumni and gather, do a table or two at their celebration, which I did. And so that was 2009. And then that's it. I'm sort of left to school. But I stayed and Friends with the owner of the school and 2019, he asked me again because it was coming up to the 25th anniversary, or the 20th anniversary. And would I do the same thing? And I said, yeah, sure. And they're celebrations where plans sort of in March, 2020, which of course, the whole world won't enter. And so I had contacted the alumni and all that, but nothing happened in the end. And I said, by that time, they had also for their own admin reasons. They had employed me. So I was quite happy because the culture side of things of the world. Like I had no projects going or anything so I was very fortunate and grateful to be employed. And I said, why don't we do something with the art? You guys do MBAs on sport management on oil and gas management and basically the art industry and the art market has been buoyant for 25 years. So you could use that as an anniversary synergy and you can and I'll get it all together for you. So I started calling up on all my network and we decided on 7 modules. Obviously, we had to follow the educational side of things. There's lots of parameters. You know, it has to be equivalent. And we have accreditation in the states and in Europe. You know, there's certain rules that you have to follow. So I worked very closely with the academics department, and we decided on 7 modules, which are history of art, art law, art finance, entrepreneurship, like a gallery, event management, museology, and logistics. And then I sort of started thinking, who are the top ten in the world that do these that have these activities? And so I pulled them up and I have to say 100% of the people I contacted followed me and said, yeah, sure, we'll teach.

00:40:16 - 00:45:09

Of course it's online and it's evening classes. So it allows both professors and students to keep on doing their professional activities. Was there was there are law involved in this? Yes, there is. There's a firm called la Liv in Geneva. They actually founded the art law foundation for the university of Geneva. And I have the lawyer sundry jihu who's designed the art law program. A very impressive. That's very impressive. And then we've got Adriano pitching out. He works for Deloitte and Luxembourg, and he's been running the art sector for Deloitte's for many, many years, and he writes the reports. He does all sorts of things. So he's going to be also one of our teachers. We've got my restellini who's got the restellini institute for forensics. He does lab studies on paintings. But he also wrote the catalog resume for a Madeira modigliani. Okay. You know, they're all very impressive people. So I'm really pleased and it's given me the opportunity to rekindle with everybody. And we've got Lorenzo Rudolph who's supporting the project. He's the one who founded art Basel Miami and he was one of the founding members of art Basel. I mean, we've got really, really top notch professors. So I'm really pleased. You're lucky they were lucky to know you so they had this opportunity. This is a pretty exciting opportunity for them to share the knowledge that they've gained over their life's experiences. Yeah, I think we're all feeling the same thing. It's like a little bit of loop like, you know, we're all sort of of the 60s or a little bit younger, but we, you know, like, all the expertise and experience that we've gained. We're sort of now sharing with these new students. I think the luckiest of the lot of the students to show us anybody that has the opportunity to go to the Geneva business school and take advantage of this program because there's such a force of you're not going to get that structure in the world. There's nowhere else in the world that you would have that opportunity. No. Yeah, honestly, I mean it's without patting myself on the shoulder, but I did do some market research. And I don't think there is another cause quite as informal because it's going to be fun. And that's what I wanted. So all these people are active, but they're also super creative and visionary. So I mean, it's going to be exciting. Anyone who's interested in the art industry even as a banker or as a lawyer, it doesn't matter, you know, it's going to be they're going to meet all the right people and the networking is going to be tremendous. True. And then you'll also be helping your client by having a better understanding if they have a considerable art collection or any kind of collection as you stated earlier that way. Yes, you know how to manage and deal with it. Yeah, no, I think even we've had, I mean, I've had some really good applicants like there's a guy in Germany. He's 40 years old. He's been in logistics and shipping all his life and he wants to specialize in art. And he's signed up to the course. I just think that's wonderful. It is wonderful. The logistics are a critical part of moving art around the world. It is. Some understanding there. It is. Now I'm going to ask you about something a little bit different. And it's the red pencil project. Tell us about your involvement in that and what that is. Well, that's been something that was very close to my heart. I'm no longer on the board due to lack of time, unfortunately, but I follow them closely. The red pencil was founded by a Belgium lady who's an art therapist in Singapore, but she's now back in Belgium. Her name is Laurence vandenberg, and she created a pool of qualified art therapists throughout the world who donate up to three weeks of their time on a cause and the red pencil operates in anywhere in the world where there's extreme poverty or pandemic right now. It's worldwide, but I mean, with or there's been a war disaster or anything. An earthquake or whatever natural disaster. And so they go there and it's a three phase program. They go there as the emergency and they stay about ten days. And they saw that they usually we started out by working with the children only in those areas when there was a tsunami in the Philippines. Because we felt that the children were the most lost because all the adults and the guys from the Red Cross and everything who are doing wonderful jobs, they're busy and they're not really taking care of the children and a very often the children who've lost their mom or their grandma or their home or whatever. And they just left there. So the red pencil moved in and started taking care of the children and then when we got to Lebanon one year, we were in a refugee camp and we found that the mothers would not let the children come to us because everybody was super frightened.

00:45:09 - 00:50:03

So then we started to include the mothers and the sisters, et cetera, and now it's the red pencil is really open to everyone. And they do great jobs. They work in India. They work in something like, I don't know, a hundred countries, 122 countries in the world. And obviously they work with donations. But a lot of it is just, you know, like people being volunteers and it's unbelievably successful as in it really helps our therapy is great. I can see why you'd be passionate about a marvelous thing. And also, so meaningful for people that are vulnerable. It gives children especially children and opportunity to kind of refocus their thinking. When you're sitting there drawing or sketching or playing with crayons or whatever, all of a sudden you're not thinking about what's going on around you so much to treat focusing or thinking. That's a wonderful project. And there's also the saying is, you know, when you've got when you've got no words left to say, well, it was just been going, we know what you're going through. You can do it in color and enjoying. And so the red pencil then goes back three months later and another time. So they go back three times and the second time it's to follow up and to see how the people are doing. And the third time it teaches people how to use the tools and what to make of it themselves so that we don't need to go back because people know how to use the functions of art therapy. And it can be art, but it can also be arts with a nest. It can be music. It can be dance. We've had in Nepal. We've had a lot of young women do story cloths like where they so patchworks of what goes on. Oh, yes. It really, really good. It's really interesting. I'm going to have to move on a little bit here because so fascinating to talk to and we're learning so much and we're very excited to learn about the red pencil project. But throughout your career, you touch on this a little bit earlier, you've been very passionate about art and creativity, is there one driving force that you think is behind that? I just think I'm very curious and I like, I like beauty, but not as in decorative beauty. I like, you know, storytelling or even if it's a violent message or I just like the way communicating through the image, I think. And so I'm interested in all of that. I'm interested in street art. I'm interested in if somebody is suffering that it comes out in that way. And I'm always curious wherever I travel, I'll go to the gallery or the museum and I don't know why. Maybe it's in the DNA, my grandfather was also an artist. I've had, yeah, he was in the watch industry, but he was an enamelist. So, you know, a very good draughtsman. So maybe it's in the DNA. I have no idea. I'm going to ask you a follow-up on that one, too. In 5 words or less, what would be your advice to people that want to live or be more creative in their lives? I mean, you certainly have managed that. Do you have a recommendation for others? 5 words isn't much. We're generous today. Today we're giving you extra words. Thank you. I think what's important is also not to renege on the past. I mean, if you're interested in learn your history of art and learn it over and over again and go through it, go to museums and go to gallery shows and whether it's, you know, traditional art or whether it's contemporary art or whether it's kinetic or now digital, but just go and see art and go and look at it and just immerse yourself and be curious. So that's two. Then I say remain open minded. Like whenever you go somewhere and I never sort of say, you know, are they saying art and everything has potential? And so just be open minded. And our show is based on celebrate what people love to do creatively and you are a great example of celebrating what people love to do creatively. Not only for yourself, but you've surrounded yourself with very creative people. That's very admirable. And exciting. I think it's exciting. And I have to tell you something when I speak like if I meet new people and it's happened a little bit when I was working with the NBA because I have to say, well, this academics and educational and, you know, they wanted people who had done research and whatever, and it was a little bit of a dry sometimes dry exchange. And then I'd call up someone to ask them if they wanted to be a professor for the MBA. And like immediately the conversation flows. So as I said earlier, sometimes I just seem to like if you don't interest me, I just shut you off. Well, thank you for being on our podcast. Oh my goodness.

00:50:04 - 00:55:00

But yeah, and then I'd say work work work, work hard, and believe in yourself. And that goes for anything, not just being creative, but I think if you believe in yourself and you work hard, you're going to be creative, whether you're going to be a scientist or an artist. That's very good. That's very good about advice. For sure. And now we're going to now ask you the question we ask all of our podcast guests and their answers are always fascinating. So if you could sit on a park bench and chat with anyone from the past, who would it be? Wow, okay. I'll start by saying I went to a party once and Darwin and they said come as your favorite dead person. And I went as Andy. I had to Campbell's soup can on a T-shirt and I had to blond wig, which I put on. And sit down tight. Nobody knew who I was. That's pretty well. But if I today, to be honest, and it's going to be very personal, but I have my grandmother's grandmother in Germany, who was born in 1831 was an actress on the stage in Dresden and Berlin. And as I understand it, she was a little bit of a strong personality. She had a very loud voice, which she actually, I think, in the early 20th century, she flew to New York to be recorded because that was the only recording studio that she, you know, where she could record her own voice. She was achieving took photographs in those days. I mean, she was not only was she a strong woman, but I imagine she loved gadgets and anything that was novel. And she ran a salon or a boudoir in Dresden and she met people like Richard Wagner. She, you know, and she held diaries. And so I've read those diaries. And I've researched a little bit about her. So I think if I met her on the bench part, I'd love to talk to her. You can see why what a vibrant woman. She had so much going on. Yeah. I also think she was a bit of a floozy because many more men than she did women in her entourage. But that's what made her interesting educated herself. Probably. But also back then, I think that women were mostly just in the home. They weren't doing so many things and being so vibrant like your great grandmother. And so maybe the men were more fascinating at this more interesting because other women wouldn't have been as interesting to her. Look at George sand, right? Exactly. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And they dressed up as then actually to be recognized. They thought and they also said, I think it was George sand said, I dress up like a man because I have more fun when I'm a man. You have probably had more interest in conversations. True for back then, that is so true. Yeah. So yeah, so I think kudos to my name was paulina Ulrich and I think she must have been a fantastic person, probably not very easy to get on with because she probably had a strong mind. But yeah, she must have been fascinating. Maybe you have some of that DNA in you. Yes. Yeah, that would be not. I'd be very honored if so many recognize that and 2016 they celebrated in Dresden the hundredth anniversary of her death. And they named the there's a square in front of the theater and Dresden in the old Dresden, which was totally rebuilt by UNESCO because it was bombed during the Second World War. And so now there's a square Palin and I was there, I was invited and with my other family members. And some guys said I looked like her. But I mean, I don't see it. I don't see anyone. That's interesting. They would say you look more like Andy Warhol. Yeah. I would have preferred that name. Crazy in the factory there. But no. Well, you know, you're fascinating to talk to my listeners are going to really enjoy hearing our interview with you. Both engine aren't really thankful that you've taken the time to speak with us. No, I was a pleasure. I loved it. And I'm really happy that you contacted me. It was great. I really enjoyed it. Yes, thank you so much for being with us. And I agree with rod and if our listeners would like to know more about you, 16, we will have links for her under our show guest tab at our website at thought rob podcast dot com. So everyone can learn more about her. And please connect with her on social media and check out her website. Definitely do dedicated listeners. This is somebody you should really check out and learn to learn to know more about 16 and that MBA program if you're interested. It's quite impressive what you've managed to accomplish there. We're excited for you. Thank you very much.

00:55:01 - 00:55:34

And everyone's welcome to contact me at any time. Okay, well, they'll have all of your info. So they'll reach out to you. Definitely. But thank you again. This has been wonderful. All right, goodbye. Have a nice day. Thank you, YouTube. Bye bye. I'm really glad you tuned in today. We hope you enjoyed the thoughts and ideas we shared with you. We post a new podcast every week so remember to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, so you don't miss an episode. So it's by for now from my husband rod and I wishing everyone a great day.


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  • What a fascinating and inspiring woman! Who knows? One day, there may be a bench erected in honor of Sixtine in the Square named in memory of her famous grandmother. GREAT INTERVIEW!

    All Fashioned by Nature on

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