SHE EMBODIES FEMALE INDEPENDENCE IN THE ART WORLD: ANJA GROESCHEL STUDIED ECONOMICS AND HISTORY OF ART, IMPLEMENTED THE IDEA OF A POP-UP GALLERY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE WORLD, AND EXPERTLY CREATES BRIDGES BETWEEN THE WORLD OF COMMUNICATION AND ART AS A CORPORATE CONSULTANT. THE ART LOVERS CLUB IS HER BRAINCHILD AND AIMS TO PROMOTE NETWORKING AMONG WOMEN IN ART AS WELL AS CREATING SOLID TIES ENABLING THEM TO ACT INDEPENDENTLY.
How did your passion for art come about? Was there a specific moment, an experience, or a meeting that sparked your love for art?
Let’s say art called me up one day. I’d studied economics and, by then, had become a successful strategic communication consultant. And yet… the wish to learn history of art came out of nowhere one day. I applied to a course and was accepted in one out of two of them. Everything else is history, as they say. I studied and was asked if I wanted to work in an art gallery, which I did. After that I created the first ever pop-up gallery in the world, the SALON anjagroeschel and exhibited with young artists across a series of locations.
Where did the idea of creating a club dedicated solely and exclusively to art come from?
It all goes back to a chance encounter with an amazing woman, namely Christina Scheublein, during a collector’s dinner in Basel and the following improvised dinner with her and two of our respective friends. The six of us had a great evening talking about art. We were all involved with art somehow, although worked in different fields. During the evening, an incredibly fruitful one if I say so myself, we realised that up until then there was no intradisciplinary platform for art and, as such, the beginning of an idea had started to coalesce in our minds.
Why is the Art Lovers Club exclusively for women?
Because most of the main shakers in the art world are women.
What range of activities are offered to the members of the ALC?
We visit private art collections, ateliers, hold talks on different topics from the world of art and the art market, attend film screenings, have directors guide us through institutions, go on art trips, host private dinners and so much more.
That sounds like a lot of organisation going on behind the scenes. Yet running this club isn’t your job, rather your passion. What do you do professionally, then?
I’ve united both my passions: strategic communication and art. I counsel companies when they want to include art, in one form or another, in their company. They may want to acquire an art collection, use art as a tool to strengthen internal communication, develop or sell products, or even retain their existing clients by hosting exclusive events. I also advise companies, institutions, and people working in the creative industry and who need support when it comes to implementing viable communication and marketing strategies for their corporate goals.
It looks like you’ve been working with art for quite a while now. What kind of works of art catch your collector’s attention?
I collect ‘young’ work. There is neither a medium nor a style I favour. It’s the themes that move me. Ideally, art reflects current times or picks up on universal themes. I possess work reflecting current events and that are related to my own life such as the fall of the Berlin wall, the technological shift and its resulting possibilities, like Google Maps and our shift of perception for landscapes. I also have works tackling themes such as beauty, nature, and death. They all move me and, another element they share is that I personally know nearly all the artists that created the works of art in my collection.
During our research, we discovered that one of the beliefs behind the Art Lovers Club is to create experiences you can’t purchase with money. Why is that so important?
We care about meetings and experimemberences that are special, that will stick in your mind, moving moments. During our reception on New Year’s Eve I said that we care about ‘gloss with meaning’.
Networking and exchange of ideas play a big role. What value does personal networking have in the times of social media?
Solid and robust relationships come about only on a personal level. This applies to everyone. The art market is different from other commercial markets. Having a personal connection is key.
What are the prerequisites for someone interested in joining the Art Lovers Club?
Every woman can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org We’re happy to answer every question. We only accept women who are professionally involved with art or who have a true, and I mean it, passion for art. Our members come from all walks of life, both in terms of their background and region. We’ve held events in Berlin and Munich so far, but our trips take us all over the world.
The theme for this edition is ‘independence’. What do you think about independence relating to women, art, or women in art?
The Art Lovers Club thrives on spiritually independent and motivated women. We’re here to support them as active, independent participants in the world of art. They need reliable information, extensive knowledge and solid contacts in the world of art if they want to be able to create independently, regardless of their medium or style. As far as women in art are concerned, we’re experiencing a slow yet steady change. There is a growing number of female art collectors, with collections ranging from small to big, there are always more top-notch gallery owners like Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers, and female museum directors like Angelika Nollert or Eva-Kristina Kraus. Yet, even though the nominations for the Prize of the National Gallery in Berlin consisted of solely women this year, we recognise there’s still plenty of work to do.
TThis year is a special one for art: the documenta in Athens and Kassel, the Biennale… you can feel that people are open to new art and everything involving art. What do you think is so attractive about it all?
Art right now serves different needs: the search for answers and the opportunity to find one’s own path, it creates a social scenery, it can be a lifestyle component and fixed asset. Sense, surroundings, world, money. In the past, certain things where a necessity, but now people are so independent in this developed world that we can choose those components on our own. Art is an answer to all those needs.
Are there any key themes the Art Lovers Club will focus on this year?
We develop a key theme every year. Last year it was photography. This year it will be ‘Art and Food’. We’ll have riveting talks on the topic such as ‘How do you restore and collect Food Art’ and there will be the chance to take part in artistic performances focusing on food. You can sign up to our newsletter to keep posted on the events. Moreover, we’ve also planned some exciting trips to strengthen the ties among our members, visiting places like Paris, Tel Aviv and Warsaw.