The Association of Women Art Dealers would like to welcome new Global Chapter Member Gina Paula Figueira owner and co-founder of StArt Art Gallery StArt Art Gallery is an independent gallery with an online platform and a physical presence in Namibia and abroad through pop-up exhibitions, markets and art fairs. They opened their doors to the public in Windhoek, Namibia in late September 2017 and continue to closely work with artists to facilitate the development of their artistic and professional practice.
We wanted to get to know Christine a little better so we had a lovely interview with her about the gallery
What are your specialism/s?
Contemporary African (Namibian) Art & Postcolonial visual culture
What’s your professional background?
I started out as an artist myself, studying sculpture and visual culture at Rhodes University in South Africa. After my studies, I came back home to Namibia and volunteered in the Marketing department of the National Art Gallery of Namibia (NAGN). Eventually I became the Marketing Officer and later the Collections Curator for the NAGN.
What inspired you to take the leap and start your own business (however recently or long ago!)?
Based on our several years working at the NAGN, a colleague and I got to know the intricate dynamics of the art industry in such a small country like ours. We realised that many of the spaces for the arts were in some way state-funded and there were no commercial platforms dedicated to bolsterting the art market. This is why we started StArt Art Gallery in 2017. We are focused on building the art market as well as the writing and research about Namibian art to support our local arts industry and its dialogue with the rest of the continent, and the world.
What does your business offer, in terms of goods and services?
We showcase contemporary Namibian art to a local and international audience through our website as well as pop-up exhibitions and activities in Namibia. We also offer consulting services, including collection accessing, photography of fine art and visual culture related projects.
What excites you about having joined the Association of Women Art Dealers?
The possibility of forming bonds with other members and learning from their experience. I am humbled to be part of a collective focused on strengthening and celebrating women in our industry.
What brings you joy in your work?
Getting to work with artists and being able to pay out Namibian artists when we sell their work is one of the simplest ways to bring me down to earth and put a smile on my face. The artists we work with live off their work and it feels great to be contributing to their livelihoods.