Landing Contemporary Art’s nomadic concept supports emerging artists and communities, making it easier than ever for the public to connect with a contemporary narrative.
“Art is a forever thing I believe,” says Kristie Landing, owner of Landing Contemporary Art. “It’s something that you should be able to pass on to the next generations.”
As she builds her roster of emerging contemporary artists and visual narratives, Kristie looks forward to making contemporary fine art more accessible.
What Is A Nomadic Art Gallery?
Kristie knew from the start that she didn’t want a brick and mortar art gallery. “While I loved [working on Broad Street as a Gallery Director], I also love to travel and move around and I felt that, after living in London for 3 years while working on my Masters, I didn’t want to be confined to one place.”
“The main part of our mission is to support emerging artists. I want to go to cities where artists are living and working, and engage with them – have a dialogue with different communities,” says Kristie.
Landing Contemporary Art opened in December of 2019, just months before the pandemic hit. “I really wanted to be able to have the freedom if I wanted to do a pop-up in NYC or work with an artist in Savannah,” says Kristie.
“So I decided on the concept of a nomadic, online gallery. The intention was to have one [in person] exhibit per month. I was able to do three and some online exhibitions last year, but I’m really happy I originally chose to do an online gallery.”
The timing for Landing Contemporary Art’s nomadic/online concept was spot on, as brick and mortar galleries all found themselves moving online due to the pandemic.
“I think that in the future a lot more people will be buying art online,” says Kristie.
What Can You Expect To See From Landing Contemporary Art?
“I think my role as the curator is to present the work in a way that both honors the artists as best I can but also helps people connect [with the art],” says Kristie.
“Sometimes art isn’t super accessible to people who haven’t studied it – especially contemporary art – because a lot of it has to do with ideas rather than aesthetics. While I do choose artists who have a good blend of both, I try to write and create a story around the exhibition that
everyone can connect with on some level.”
Landing Contemporary Art’s online exhibitions are structured to make viewing and purchasing art online feel like an experience.
“Most of my online exhibitions will be a month or two long to give people an opportunity to see the work, think about it, ask questions,” says Kristie. “I try to give people as much information as possible because I know they can’t see the work in person.”
“My job is to present as much information on the work as possible – but also to metaphorically frame it [the art] in different ways so people can imagine it in their life. One interesting thing that I’ve found is that with individual clients [looking to purchase art], they can see a work multiple times and it’s not until they see it the 5th time presented in a different way do they go ‘Oh, what is that, I love that!’” explains Kristie.
Landing Contemporary Art’s exhibitions feature artists from their curated roster as well as emerging artists that respond to Kristie’s call out for special exhibitions. “I like having special exhibitions where I can choose artists from certain areas and showcase [their work] in a way that fits within the context of their environment,” says Kristie.
Her partnership with Art Money makes her artists’ work even more accessible. “Essentially, Art Money provides a loan for your art,” says Kristie. “I ship the art to the client, they pay it over 10 months time. It’s a 0% interest loan, so there’s no downside to the client.”
Traces Of Being at Landing Contemporary Art
The gallery’s current online exhibition is titled Traces of Being. It’s a perfect example of the abstract narrative you can expect to see from Landing Contemporary Art.
“Nicki Klepper was in my online Charleston/Savannah art show over the summer. In early fall, she came to me with the idea of doing an online exhibition about alternative processes of photography – camera-less photography, with works like lumen prints,” says Kristie.
“Then she said she had friends [Kyra Schmidt and Julia Wilson] who would be interested in showing with me and in the end, I decided that while the alternative processes was a really nice link, I felt that we could pull something more evocative out of their works being shown together.”
“I actually created the concept of Traces of Being because all of their works in the show have some type of mark made by either the artist or organic matter like flower or plants, the water or soil.”
“It made me think about the traces we leave behind and in this terrible year we’re all thinking about what we’ve lost. The work made me think about that but also, they’re really beautiful [works] with different meanings.”
“All in all,” says Kristie, “I felt really hopeful looking collectively at their work and what they present. [Each artist is] extremely talented. I love representing women artists because they’re still so underrepresented in the art world.”
“In a year where nearly everything has gone digital, it is a breath of fresh air to re-discover age-old processes like lumen prints that use natural forces, rather than technology to create an image.”
You can view the Traces of Being exhibition online through January 31st, 2021.
Landing Contemporary Art Events
Part of Landing Contemporary Art’s concept is having nomadic pop-ups. While 2020 only allowed for three events (one in February pre-covid and two socially distanced events), Kristie is looking forward to starting the new year off in the company of art enthusiasts.
January 22nd, 2021 marks their first in-person event of the year. The one night only pop-up will take place at the Harbour Club at WestEdge in Downtown Charleston.
The event will be 1970’s themed, running from 5pm – 8pm. “I’m showcasing works of art with a psychedelic aesthetic and bright colors reminiscent of the era,” says Kristie.
You can also anticipate local vendors, customized drinks, and vinyl records spinning throughout the evening. Local vendors will include Beau & Ro and Woven Script.
“The Harbour Club has been really great about [being COVID safe]. It’s a brand new space, very large, and they have an outdoor section that overlooks the harbor. Everything will be spread out, masks will be required, and hand sanitizer will be readily available,” says Kristie.
Landing Contemporary Art’s Curated Roster – And How You Can Apply
Kristie’s process to building a curated roster is highly intuitive. “I don’t want my artist roster to be 200+ artists. I want to keep the number low to better showcase the talent of each artist.”
“What I’m looking for as far as a good fit,” says Kristie, “it’s a lot of personal taste and what speaks to me, and also what I think my audience would like. I look at the background of artists and their training – a lot of the artists I represent have come out of great art schools like SCAD – but formal art school is not necessarily a requirement if I like their work.”
“Emerging artists – I think that it’s a very exciting time to work with an artist because they’re just starting out in the world, career-wise. Emerging artists are generally more flexible than a mid-career artist, so we can be a bit more experimental with the shows that we do.”
Overall, it comes down to having a good ratio of selection.
“I also think about a balanced roster – where I have good representation of painters, photographers, etc. – making a more evenly balanced [roster] rather than focusing all on one type of art,” says Kristie. “At this point in the business, I’m just trying to instinctually go about it and see what happens.”
If you’re looking to join her roster, simply go to Landing Contemporary Art’s website and scroll to the footer of the page where it says Submit.
“I’m definitely open and always looking to find more people to work with. I’m looking for contemporary work with a little bit of a story telling aspect, but I don’t want to limit it because some artists might not think of their work in that way,” says Kristie.
Advice To An Emerging Artist
When speaking about up and coming artists, Kristie says “I would tell them to start thinking about places they want to apply to. Make a folder of all their dream galleries – just like applying to schools. Think of where their work might fit, and when they apply be really professional and organized.”
“It helps to have a website with your work on it,” adds Kristie. “It’s just a better presentation and adds a level of professionalism.”
“Ultimately, it really does come down to your work and whether it’s the right fit. Don’t give up. If you have the ability to get more training – learn from as many people as possible. Having a mentor is also really great.”