2022 - Year in Review
Happy holidays from all of us at Sugarlift! We hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with lots of fun, laughter, and love.
We wanted to take a moment to thank you for being part of our community and for your constant support. Together, we were able to achieve great things and further our mission of breaking down barriers in the art world to support more artists.
One of the most important highlights of the year was growing our team. Full-time Sugarlifters doubled from three to six, as we welcomed Siobhan Donnelly, Sophia Rizzuto, and Kate Keery. We approach everything as a team, and with these new teammates we feel more confident and capable to take on bigger, more challenging projects, support more artists, and give more back to the community as we go forward.
Our gallery program was quite active this year, hosting eleven exhibitions in our Chelsea gallery space (508 W 28th Street) including solo exhibitions by Valeri Larko, Lucas Bononi, Nicolas V. Sanchez, Peter Van Dyck, Yedidya Hershberg, Esteban Ocampo-Giraldo, and Zoey Frank. A notable three-person abstract show, Infinite Thread, premiered three new artists with Sugarlift - Maja Dlugolecki, Kenny Nguyen, and Thorbjørn Bechmann - who already feel like part of the family. We participated in five art fairs around the country, including New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and the Hamptons. We were honored when the Affordable Art Fair unanimously selected our booth as their favorite of the fair with an award for Curatorial Excellence in March.
In addition to our gallery practice, Sugarlift is focused on creating as many high-quality opportunities for our artists as possible. We have expanded our commercial art consulting capabilities this year and executed some really incredible projects. Among many highlights, two I would like to call attention to are the following:
Sugarlift curated the permanent art collection for The Set, New York City’s most exciting (and highly publicized!) luxury residential building. Located in Hudson Yards, The Set and its art collection features work by Carla Cascales Alimbau, Thorbjørn Bechmann, Maja Dlugolecki, Kenny Nguyen, Rachel Mica Weiss, and so many more. The Set’s art collection brings with it perspectives as dauntless as they are diverse and reflects the concept of the building itself: Bold, unique and cutting edge. No corner is left untouched by art. Unique pieces are featured everywhere from the resident restaurant’s cellar speakeasy to the crowning Staircase on the 44th Floor.
One of the more visible, and certainly the heaviest, paintings we have hung to date is the Zhu Junshi painting in the Deutsche Bank lobby at 60 Columbus Circle. This painting is a prime example of Jinshi, who is an eminent Chinese contemporary abstract artist. He is widely collected by leading museums around the world, with some of the best examples hanging at the Rubell Museum in Miami. The Sugarlift team was able to safely export this 1,500 lb painting from Beijing (while in lockdown) and hang it delicately on the irreplaceable sandwich-cut marble in the lobby. This painting is worth a visit when you are at the Deutsche Bank Center (formerly Time Warner Center).
We are continuing to build and innovate with our online Platform, which now supports almost 500 artists from around the world. The purpose of the Platform is to help artists more easily connect with a larger audience of buyers who can support their careers. Nothing makes us happier than playing a small part in helping someone discover a new artist they love and then facilitating their ability to collect their work.
Giving back to the community is a big priority at Sugarlift, and we find ourselves in a unique position to bring together the talents and resources of our broader artist community to make an impact. This fall, we partnered with WIN (Women In Need), a not-for-profit organization providing housing and services to help homeless women and their children. We produced a series of art classes for children at the Harriet Tubman building in Far Rockaway taught by contemporary artists CHIAOZZA, Lydia Baker, and Lucas Bononi. Each member of the Sugarlift team joined one of the weekly sessions and came away with the feeling that this is among our most important work. We are in the process of framing the artwork created in the program and will host a reception this spring in Far Rockaway with our young artists to honor their work.
Finally, we want to thank the members of our broader team: the artists, art handlers, our partners in business development, framing, delivery and logistics (specifically Christina, Laura, Tom, Anh & team, Oleg & Liza, Rienzi, Ziggy, Andy, Kevin, Sean, Ian, Pedro, Al, and Xolo. It takes a village and we could not be more thankful to work with all of you!
Wright Harvey, Hannah Foster, Sylvie Kuvin, Siobhan Donnelly, Sophia Rizzuto, & Kate Keery
P.S. We also took a moment to enjoy a team trip to Miami for Basel. No responsibilities, other than seeing lots of art, connecting with friends and getting on a boat!
See you in 2023!!!