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How to Build a Lasting Art Collection

Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice Presents an informal panel discussion on How to Build a Lasting Art Collection. Panelists: Aileen Agopian, Yelena Ambartsumian, Esq., Steven Eckler, Dr. Avo Samuelian, Milica Perovic.

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How to Build a Lasting Art Collection
How to Build a Lasting Art Collection

Time & Location

Apr 11, 2024, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

New York, 227 E 24th St, New York, NY 10010, USA

About the event

Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice Presents an informal panel discussion on How to Build a Lasting Art Collection

Panelist Bios:

Aileen Agopian is the principal of AGOPIAN inc. / art advisory and has worked at the highest level of the Contemporary Art World for over 25 years.  Before establishing her art advisory, Aileen had an acclaimed auction career at Sotheby's as the International Senior Vice-President of Contemporary Art in NY and the Co-Head of Contemporary Sales in Doha, Qatar.  Her career highlight was negotiating the acquisition of Andy Warhol's Liz #3 for $32million in November 2014, which became the catalyst in the donation of 42 major contemporary works with a combined value at the time of $500million by the Edlis Neeson Collection to the Art Institute of Chicago; the Institute's largest historical gift. Prior to this role, she was the North American Director of Contemporary Art at Phillips Auction House for 10 years.  As was an accomplished auctioneer at Sotheby's and Phillips, she continues to conduct charity auctions today.  Aileen started her career at White Cube Gallery in London, where she rose to the Director of Sales after five years.  Aileen is also a passionate collector of Post-War Contemporary to emerging artists of today.

Yelena Ambartsumian, Esq. is of counsel at Amineddoleh & Associates, where her law practice involves business litigation and IP counseling for clients in the arts and entertainment industries. She is also the founder of the Armenian lifestyle brand and monthly digital magazine, QAMI JAN. Yelena has authored several publications relating to art law, including "Courts Find Art Dealers Are Not Your Friends: Due Diligence Requirements for Purchasers of Artwork," and assisted Judith Prowda, Esq. with Visual Arts and the Law: A Handbook for Professionals for Sotheby's Institute of Art. She collects with her husband Miroslav Grajewski and is passionate about highlighting women and SWANA artists, such as Sanam Khatibi, Meri Karapetyan, and Muriel Ahmarani Jaouich.

Steven Eckler became besotted with contemporary art after picking up an early issue of Frieze magazine on a newsstand in the 1990s. It was the heady time of the young post-punk British artists, and Steven was fascinated but also intimidated by that world. He started a modest collection of British studio ceramics and carried on with his work life of opening and managing restaurants for Wolfgang Puck and Danny Meyer. Fast forward ten years, and he and his wife Laura Belgray had developed a case of chronic Art Obsession Syndrome. As in many cases, the fever started mainly via one gallerist — in this case, Miguel Abreu — and one artist at that gallery, R.H. Quaytman. Since that initial infection, in recent years Steven and Laura have nurtured an eclectic collection of artists, including Tala Madani, Thornton Dial, Leidy Churchman, Mary Beth Edelson, Lucas Blalock, Tyler Mitchell and Sanya Kantarovsky. Recently, they’ve started to donate to institutions: the Whitney Museum, The Met and Wadsworth Atheneum.

Dr. Avo Samuelian and his husband, Manuel Gonzalez, have collected art for over twenty years. As with many collectors, their connection with art began with their first purchase, which was of an Andy Warhol artwork. Since then, Avo and Manuel have added pieces to their collection from emerging to established artists including: Robert Gober, Ron Nagle, Sigmar Polke, Etel Adnan, Emily Mae Smith, Dana Schutz, and Ambera Wellman. They have supported the careers of over one hundred emerging artists by donating works from their collection to various museums, including the Whitney Museum of Art and the RISD Museum. Part of their collection can be found on the walls of Avo's private dental practice, Gotham Dental, in the Flatiron District.

Milica Perovic is a former professional athlete with 15 years of experience in marketing, strategy, and partnership development in healthcare technology and pharmatech. In addition, she has a Masters in Art Business from Sotheby Institute of Art. An art collector and patron, Milica began collecting in 2017 and has largely focused on young female artists who live and work in New York. Milica lives in New York City with her husband, Dr. Evan Rieder, their daughter, Maxine, and a curated selection of works by artists, including Issy Wood, Tourmaline, Dominique Fung, Liz Glaessner and Baseera Khan.

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