In this edition of Inside the Artist’s Studio we conduct a Q&A session with Alice Riot Curator & Co-Founder Kate Iverson, on the process of acquiring, collecting, and curating art.
Tell us about your style:
My personal style in general is a mishmash of minimalist black with pops of bright color. I'm a huge fan of earrings-the bigger and tackier the better. I love dressing for patio lounging in the summer, gauzy floral robes, statement jewelry, and bright lipstick. Peg Bundy crossed with a sassy Florida retiree, but make it ART.
Did you grow up around art/artists?
Yes, my mother was a painter and a fashion designer and my father a musician (who also held down a real job in medical technology to support us). My mom worked as a freelance designer as well as a costumer for major theaters when I was a child, so we were exposed to not only visual art but theater, design, and production. I was always in art day camp at the local museums and instead of big box store toys we were given creative learning toys and art supplies. I have good memories of my childhood, I was allowed to be pretty independent, running around south Minneapolis and exploring nature at an early age. I can't say I was particularly well-behaved, but I had fun and developed an appreciation for many things that inform my creativity and lifestyle today.
Left: Untitled by Kate Iverson, Right: Kate's home studio
When did you start collecting art?
My parents had original artwork growing up, so I knew I wanted my own from the very beginning. It naturally seemed like art was an important part of creating a cute home. When I was first moved out on my own I had very little money so I'd make my own art and decor, creating tacky lamp shades with fabric scraps and found objects, creating collages for the walls, etc. As I started making more money I'd buy prints and small pieces and eventually graduated to bigger works from both local and national artists. I am not rich, but I prioritize art in my life. Some people choose to buy fancy shoes, I choose to buy art!
Richard Prince 666 by
Jesse Draxler, Washi wall mural by Kate Iverson
Pyramid painting by Bryant Locher
What is the value of investing in art?
A piece of art is something you can basically own forever. It doesn't go out of style. If you love it, you love it. Art brings me joy on a daily basis and THAT is where the value lies, for me. I tend to buy art that I'm visually attracted to as opposed to buying strictly for investment. I imagine by the time I die, my collection will be worth quite a bit regardless. It can be handed down to my nieces and nephews and friends where it can continue to be loved. On the flip side, when you invest in art, you are investing in the artist that created it. You're stimulating the creative economy and helping that artist level up. It's so very important.
Popsicle Quality by Frank Gaard
What advice do you have for art collectors looking for new and fresh pieces?
I encourage people, wherever they are, to seek out local artists and galleries and immerse themselves however they feel comfortable. Whether it's checking out open studios or visiting gallery exhibits, digging into your local scene is both fun and inspiring. Also, the internet, despite all its toxicity, is a great resource for discovering new artists. I love going down the art rabbit hole on Instagram especially. I search hashtags, look at recommendations based on artists I already like, follow interesting projects, and keep my eyes peeled on art fairs and the global art world as well.
Nadia by Kate Iverson
How do you suggest new collectors begin the process?
If you are on a budget, buying prints is a great way to get your feet wet. Most artists offer limited-edition, signed prints that while affordable, can appreciate in value just like an original work. If you're unsure of your personal aesthetic and want to see mass volume, there are plenty of online companies that specialize in art print sales. For more affordable prints check out Society 6 or 20x200 or for more high end prints check out places like ArtStar, Absolut Art, and Artsy.
Multi-piece wall clockwise: Amina Harper, Philipo Dyauli, Star Wallowing Bull
Do you have any tips for curating?
Curating is more of a vibe than something I can give clear tips on. It also very much depends on what you're curating. In general, for me, it's personal taste but also thoughtful strategy. How does a piece tell a story to the audience conceptually and/or visually? What's the flow in any given exhibit design? For Alice Riot, I don't necessarily curate artists as a cohesive collection but rather as individuals who have different approaches, mindsets, practices, and styles. I look for work that translates well as a silk print and I pay attention to color richness and texture that will pop when someone's wearing it.
Kate Iverson is a painter, curator, and creative producer living and working in Minneapolis, MN. She's exhibited her work locally and nationally, often focusing on the parallels between nature and design. Her work tells vibrant yet thoughtful color stories that move between flat and dimensional objects, gestural brush strokes and clean lines. Kate is recipient of numerous awards and accolades for her work in the arts and community, such as a 40 Under Forty award from the Twin Cities Business Journal, a creative residency through the Jerome Foundation, numerous nods on "Best of" lists locally, and more. She is a partner at curatorial firm, Bishop/Iverson, as well as CCO of Alice Riot.