The Association of Women Art dealers is pleased to welcome Ann Priftis, the Founder and Director of Clark Priftis Art, to AWAD’s Global Chapter. Ann though is not new to AWAD as she has been a longtime supporter of AWAD in the wider arts community. Her business was formed in 2005 and just re-branded to CP/Art this year. They specialize in creative problem solving for the art world.
As with all new members we were curious about Ann’s business and her background in the arts:
1) What’s your professional background?
I received a BA in Art History from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Certificate in Fine and Decorative Arts Appraisal from George Washington University. During college, while I was interning and later working at the 19th/20th century space, Guarisco Gallery in DC, I was introduced to the true business side of the art world and knew this was for me: The thrill of the sales, the relationships with clients, the immediate access to incredible works of art. Over the course of my ~ 25 years in the fine art world, I have held multiple positions including, Director of GINA Gallery of International Naive Art (NYC), Head of Art for the Faberge Big Egg Hunt in NYC, Interim Director for Over the Influence Gallery (Los Angeles) and Senior Manager of Business Development and Strategy for Amazon Art in Seattle.
2) What inspired you to take the leap and start your own business?
What I wanted to do in the art world, (and I think the current iteration of CP/Art reflects this) was offer a wide range of services to collectors, artists and art businesses. At the time I started my business, I didn’t see many examples of this hybrid model in the marketplace. There was an emphasis up until this point, on being a specialist in a specific genre of art or specific practices within the art world. What excited and inspired me most was being a generalist – the variety and sense of exploration that came with working across the various groups within the art industry: auction houses, galleries, art tech, etc. In 2005, I felt that many of these ideas weren’t always taken seriously by my colleagues who were more inclined to stick with the traditional art world models already in place. With the encouragement of two very supportive female colleagues and my friends, I decided to strike out on my own.
3) What services does your business offer?
Professional USPAP compliant fine art appraisals for individual pieces, institutional bequests and large collections.Temporary operation leadership to galleries art tech businesses and public art projects; ideation and implementation of comprehensive operational protocols, sales plans, supplier contract negotiation, marketing and e-commerce strategies. Advising on fine art purchasing, art commissions, deaccessioning and display for private and corporate clients. Guidance on artist estate management, legacy building and establishing recurring revenue streams through merchandise and licensing. Exhibition in global art fairs and events. Artist estate management and licensing.
4) What excites you about having joined the Association of Women Art Dealers?
Throughout my professional and personal life, my network of female friends, colleagues and mentors have made an immeasurably important impact on me. My time at Westover School, an all-girls high school in Middlebury, CT, exposed me for the first time to the power of leveraging the intrinsic assets we as women possess, to lift each other up and accomplish incredible things. Since this time, I actively seek out groups of women who are inclined to do the same: help, share and encourage … watching AWAD members in action over the years and seeing the membership expand its valuable professional programming offerings … I know this organization will be an incredibly exciting one to be a part of.
What brings you joy in your work?
For me joy comes from achieving something in the art world that helps someone else: getting a new gallery staffed and launched; raising funds for a non-profit through a public art initiative; helping to bring closure to an estate through an appraisal, etc.