We work collaboratively together in sharing resources, expertise and well-established relationships to ensure an outstanding result for all our projects. Through our network, we curate prestigious art collections, market and brand estates, which contain those same curated collections, and share them with our global clients. Through our international collaborations, we are able to provide an exemplary service for our clients and their clientele.
THE COLLABORATIVE FORCE BEHIND THE VELVENOIR NETWORK UNLIMITED ART RESOURCES. GLOBAL EXPERTS. EXTENSIVE KNOW-HOW
FOUNDER / MANAGING DIRECTOR - VELVENOIR
Alexandra Schafer, the driving force behind the international brand – VELVENOIR. She brings her passion for contemporary art and experience within the hospitality sector into the company. Through her entrepreneurial and hands-on approach, she has built a firm that breaks the boundaries of today´s art and real estate development world. To make art acquisition a personal experience and an exciting journey for her clients. Alexandra has been acquiring, curating and installing contemporary art from emerging to established career artists sourced from leading art galleries and art fairs as well as from artists to place within various residential, hospitality and commercial projects to create unique art experiences around the world together with a global network of experts, she selected and vetted to join her on the journey to transform her clients collection and spaces.
A clear understanding and passion for international collaborations have led Alexandra to partner with the best in class experts across the globe, who share believe that there is a unique connection only original art can contribute to the property! A network, which allows her to bring in experts when needed but also supports her to curate and grow the outstanding art collection VELVENOIR has to offer for their international partners and clients.
Alexandra´s exposure to richly diverse cultures informs her entire approach and unique ability to translate each client´s desire to acquire contemporary art with a personal service allowed her to offer global access for her HNWI to acquire top-notch art for their private collection or project. She gained invaluable experiences and insights throughout the last 10 years while living in London and Sydney. Throughout the years, she worked for companies such as Four Seasons, David Jones, Merivale, HSBC, Sportsworld, The Star Sydney and many other boutique firms.
Art Advisor Europe
Claire Alliot Soto
Claire Alliot Soto,has worked extensively in the art world since 2010. Since completing a BA in Culture, Curation and Criticism at Central Saint Martins, College of Art and Design, London and a BA in History of Art at the Sorbonne University, Paris, she has engaged with the contemporary art scene, working both for the private and public sector. First working at the FRAC Ile-de-France / Le Plateau (Regional collection of contemporary art in Paris), she gained her consultancy experience at Laurence Dreyfus Art Consulting in Paris, managing a number of high profile private collections and dealing with blue-chip galleries and established artists.
Back then, she engaged closely with the work of internationally acclaimed artists Olafur Eliasson, Anish Kapoor, Anselm Reyle, Robin Rhode and Tomás Saraceno among others. She also collaborated with respectively British and Romanian art magazines Art Review and All Hollow. Since 2016, Claire supports VELVENOIR with her expertise and know-how on various projects.
Art Advisor / Blue Chip Brokerage
Widely experienced arts professional and former gallerist, with an academic background in Art History, extensive international travel and residency and, encompassing in excess of 20 years working within the Australian art market, and latterly, the Asian art market, across both the primary and secondary sectors, Catherine Asquith Art provides bespoke art advisory services to a private, corporate and institutional clientele. The focus of Catherine Asquith Art is facilitating acquisitions for private, corporate and institutional collections. With a vast and importantly, reputable, network of arts professionals, commercial galleries, art consultants and advisors, Catherine Asquith’s clients are availed an impartial and educated selection of premium quality artworks with impeccable provenance, making for a sustainable and curatorially-sound collection.Expertise rests with a working knowledge of contemporary art practices inclusive of painting, sculpture, photography, and works on paper, in addition to a nuanced understanding of the unique Australian Indigenous art practices.Specialist areas include Australian Art (Colonial, Impressionist, Modernist, Contemporary), Aboriginal Art (Pintupi / Papunya Tula), and Asian Contemporary Art.Catherine Asquith is a member of the Art Consulting Association of Australia (ACAA).
Catherine Asquith manages the Blue Chip Art Concierge for VELVENOIR – further details here
Managing Director Middle East & Branding Director V AGENCY
Magdalena is an Austrian Dubai-based design and art consultant specialized in creating and implementing corporate interior experiences. As a brand management specialist and design leader, she successfully implements brand and design projects in the retail, automotive and hospitality industry for start-ups as well as large companies at international levels. With a strong background in corporate design management, Magdalena focuses on authentic and integrated design development – strengthening brands in redesigning their showrooms, creating art and interior concepts and implementing design strategies. With a proven track record within the marketing and design business sectors and her Masters in Design and Product Management, she brings over 15 years of experience as a design management professional. Magdalena worked several years for Porsche, shaped retail design projects as Managing Director of a design and brand communication agency and had the lead of versatile retail consulting projects.
Magdalena manages the V-Agency for VELVENOIR – more here
Art Advisor - Singapore & Paris
The advertising business takes you where you want to go – as long as you get out of it! Formerly an artistic director, Lydie Blandeau quit the advertising world in 1998. AQer 6 years, she decided to go out on her own and develop her creative consultancy. As an agent, advisor and mentor to artists like Patrick DEMARCHELIER. She managed the productions for his client around the world and her production with Fred Wang Salon Films in Hong Kong. Her philosophy is to respect the creation, aesthetic and artistic first. Exhibiting her artists since 2005, Lydie Blandeau opened Visionairs Gallery in Paris in 2009, to provide them a dedicated space. Her mission is to restore creative values to contemporary art and act as a shield to protect artists from the speculative machinations of the international art market.
She has also been the representative for the Visual Arts at the French Ministry of Culture, Managing Director of the National Center of pedagogic Documentation CND, as well as working closely with the Arab Instiute in Paris (IMA) and the Minister of Culture, Jack Lang. Since 2010, Lydie has been the leading agent to Claude Mollard, the former chief counsel at the court of Auditors Secretary General of the Centre Pompidou. Lydie is now in charge of bringing IMA’s exhibitions to Asia to promote the cultural crossovers between Europe and Asia and doing cultural engineering with Claude Mollard consul0ng (CMC).
Lydie manages all our clients in Singapore with regards to their private collection, upcoming hospitality and commercial projects.
Art Advisor - US WEST COAST
Alexandra Ray gained a BA Honors Degree in Fine Art at Central St. Martin’s in London, England, and an MA in contemporary art at Sotheby’s Institute in London. Born in Los Angeles, her family moved to London where she grew up and received her formal education. After college, she went on to have a successful career as an editorial photographer for magazines worldwide. In 2002 she launched Five Senses Interiors, an interior design company, with an art advisory add- on service, whose guiding philosophy was to stimulate the senses through color, visual art, texture, sound and customized scents.
Due to her earlier training in Fine Arts she began to focus on projects that would integrate contemporary art into both corporate and residential spaces. Alex Ray also began dealing privately in art in London at the pinnacle of the exploding British Art scene in the late 90’s and dealing has been a passion ever since. She has been responsible for contemporary art acquisitions for numerous corporate art collections and individual purchases of blue chip and emerging works, both in Europe and the USA. Having relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, she set up Five Senses Art Consultancy on the West Coast, focusing primarily on European Contemporary art and emerging American art. 2016 saw the change of her consultancy name to Alexandra Ray Art Advisory. She currently serves as a member of San Francisco MOMA’S SECA (Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art) BAMFA, Artadia, and is a board member for StART Up Art fairs in L.A and San Francisco.
She currently hosts and curates pop up exhibitions, showcasing new talent every few months in the Bay Area and supports VELVENOIR throughout various hospitality, residential and commercial projects within the West Coast Area.
Art Advisor - New York City
Christine Lee obtained a BA in Comparative Literature, a Masters in Communication Design from Pratt Institute, and a Certificate in Modern and Contemporary Art, Connoisseurship and the Art Market from Christie’s Education in New York. With over ten years of experience in contemporary art, art writing and design, she is an art consultant to private collectors, corporations, hospitalities and architects, nationwide, and internationally. She provides comprehensive guidance for her clients in selecting artwork/s or building collections for their residences, offices or public environments–tailored to specific interest or goals of each collector or collection. Christine works on all aspects of the collecting process including research, identifying and accessing artworks, negotiating acquisitions, curating, framing, installations and deaccessions.
Prior to, Christine worked as a gallery director, art consultant, art writer, and held various positions in international art galleries such as Haunch of Venison of Christie’s, Arario Gallery, Martos Gallery, SUN Contemporary and Galerie Richard based in New York, Seoul and Paris, which allowed her to experience modern and contemporary art from around the world. She is also a contributor to three publications, Art Radar, The Culture Trip and Forbes, writing about art, Asian contemporary art and investing in art.
Christine Lee manages as part of our NYC based advisors’, clients with hospitality and commercial projects – for VELVENOIR.
Art Consultant - Atlanta
Denise holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Applied Behavioral Sciences from National-Louis University. She has studied with the Node Center for Curatorial Studies in Berlin. Denise has had an art consultancy in Atlanta, Georgia (US) since early 2008. She has consulted with individual and corporate clients to secure art for their spaces, and worked closely with interior designers on their design projects. She was an Art Consultant with Restoration Hardware (RH) Contemporary Art, when they were dealing in original art. She assisting in opening the contemporary art component of four new RH design galleries across the US in 2015. She founded and ran an art gallery, initially in the Fulton Cotton Mills in 2009, and in Castleberry Hill in downtown Atlanta from 2010 to 2013. She featured new art exhibits every month, worked with a myriad of artists and was instrumental in the vibrancy of the area’s monthly Art Stroll. She served as Curator for the Movement Gallery of Art in Brookhaven, GA from 2014 to 2015. Denise has curated more than seventy-five art events in the last ten years. These included art events for developers in condo and loft developments, and art event in hotels, restaurants and showrooms. She has collaborated with the likes of the High Museum of Art, the Woodruff Arts Center, the Atlanta Opera, Arts on Atlanta, and has appeared in the Piedmont Review, Atlanta’s Finest, Delta Sky Magazine.
Her most recent project involved bringing Quebec artist, Marc Seguin, to the US to screen his film about an art dealer. Past projects include bringing Barcelona artist, Martin Frias, to the W Atlanta Downtown and the Atlanta Design and Arts Center (ADAC) with a feature on CNN and the Huffington Post, and showing Julie Ross at Fridge Art Fair NYC during Frieze Week. With an earlier career in banking and finance, she is also savvy in corporate matters. business development and relationship management. She has chaired events for charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the Georgia Transplant Foundation, served on numerous non-profit boards and hosted local television.
Denise Jackson, manages activities and projects within the Atlanta Area for VELVENOIR.
Art Consultant New York & Seoul
Liz Yisun Kwon
Liz Yisun Kwon is a curator and writer based in New York. She is a Founder / Director of LYK Art Projects LLC, a curatorial agency working for public and private sector clients on a variety of international art and design projects. Liz studied Art Education from Korea University, and holds Master’s degrees in Art Theory from Seoul National University, and in Arts and Cultural Management from the Pratt Institute. She has developed many research projects on art museums and has gained experience in both the curatorial and management areas of art organizations. Her exhibitions and writings on contemporary art have bridged the New York and Korean art worlds.
Working as a gallery director in Chelsea NY for the past years, she organized numerous exhibitions and educational programs. In addition to consulting the private and corporate collections, she is an avid art writer whose publications include ‘Art for All: Public Art in New York 모두의 미술, 2017’, ‘Museums make New York Peculiar 뉴욕의 특별한 미술관, 2012’.
Liz supports our VELVENOIR NYC advisors with various residential, hospitality and commercial projects with her curatorial expertise and know-how.
Art Consultant - Asia Region
Jules Lambe works with various art and design consultants together to curate, source, budgets, design – develop & facilitate bespoke public art programmes including lighting & tile installation,Studies @ Sothebys Institute London covering 20th Century Design. She curates more than 30% of her annual workload such as Venice Biennale 2013, 2015. Furthermore, Jules sits on board MOCA Museum Beijing. In decorative Arts, she has a strong interest & works with NGO’ & Artisans to contemporize traditional Crafts within sustainable development. Jules brings over 14 years of experience as an Art & Design professional throughout the Asia Pacific Region & America and has developed strong relationships with other art professionals including Art Law to assist Corporate & private clients.
Jules supports VELVENOIR with her know-how in the hospitality industry as well as manages all enquiries from the Asia Region with regards to our services.
Art Consultant & Museum Curator - Toronto
Marla Wasser is an independent museum curator and art consultant heading Pursuits Inc., founded in 2007. With three decades of collecting experience, Marla is passionate about it’s rewards and sensitive to its complexities. Compelled by art’s unique ability to impact the many layers of today’s culture, Marla believes that art’s crossovers with technology, fashion, design, and politics create a stage of opportunity and conversation. As an art specialist, Marla’s expertise is wide-ranging, with projects from pop to contemporary and new media art. Pursuits Inc. combines Marla’s business savvy with her intellectual perspective. She has written on the business of collecting as well as on topics in art history and has curated three museum exhibitions in Canada. In early 2015, Marla explored new media art for the second iteration of the award-winning museum exhibition ‘RAM: Rethinking Art and Machine’ at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Curating is the foundation of Marla’s consulting practice, and it is her long-standing relationships with top international galleries and Foundations that create unique opportunities within all of her projects.
Marla is also an Arts Contributor at the Canadian publication the ‘Bay St Bull’, reaching one of the most influential, diverse and powerful market segments in Canada. She shares perspectives and in-depth analysis of contemporary art, events and trends. Dedicated to both the local and international art communities, Marla has supported the Art Gallery of Ontario’s smART Women and the National Gallery of Canada. She has also held positions with the Canadian Art Foundation Art Advisory Committee and the North American Acquisitions Committee for the Tate Museum in London. Whether working with public institutions or private clients, Marla is committed to connecting others with art.
Art Advisor - London & Milan
Equipped with an academic curriculum in Art History and Art Business developed between Italy and the U.K. and after successful, relevant experiences in both major international auction houses (Christie’s and Sotheby’s) as well as private galleries in London, Enrico subsequently decided to set up his own company and founded Hippeus Art Brokerage in January 2016. With a specific focus on the Italian secondary market, spanning from Old Masters (17th and 18th Century, in particular) to the Post War period (artists such as Fontana, Bonalumi, Castellani, Burri and Scheggi) Enrico proficiently advises his clients on every delicate aspect surrounding the purchase – or sale – of valuable, high-quality artworks.
Art Advisor - France
Art Consultant - Texas
Karis Murray earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Painting and Art History from The Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. At SCAD she was encouraged to develop relationships across all creative disciplines and quickly saw the benefits of using fine art and commercial design to inform each other. Upon completion of her degree, she moved to New York to learn more about the industry around fine art. Working next to the director at a prominent gallery in Chelsea, she gained experience managing artists and matching clients with the artwork best suited to their aesthetic. Returning to her home in Dallas, TX, Karis began her career in corporate art consulting as part of a team that provided artwork for hospitality and healthcare facilities. Evolving from a coordinator to project manager, she learned all aspects of identifying and delivering art to clients that satisfied their time and budget constraints, while exceeding their expectations of quality. From there she expanded into the high-end residential market, working for the largest gallery in Texas to place blue chip and emerging artists from around the world in private and corporate collections.
Over the past 8 years, she has worked with clients like Samsung, CBRE, Baylor Scott & White, Bell Helicopter, Copart, Reliant Rehabilitation, Structure Tone and a variety of healthcare providers, hotels and law offices to ensure the artwork reflects their branding and elevates their clients’ overall experience.
Karis currently manages projects throughout Texas for VELVENOIR.
ART CONSULTANTS - BERLIN / GERMANY
Natascha Dallwitz & Inga Rück
Our professional collaboration, Natascha as an architect and Inga as an art historian, is the optimal combination for the targeted professionally planned art projects in the corporate and architectural context. Inga already examined the function and significance of art in the corporate context in her thesis of art history. In addition to professional experience in art marketing for world sports events and classical activities in the gallery and exhibition industry for private collectors and gallery owners, she focused in her collaboration with her professional partner on the integration of art in companies and construction projects. Natascha completed a profound and extensive education as an architect with international experience in Buenos Aires and New York. After her activity in architecture offices through all design and engineering phases, she used her knowledge mainly in private construction management and interior design. The combination of the fields of architecture and art history enables the professional integration of art in every phase of planning and in every architecture.
Inga Rück and Natascha Dallwitz, are managing all VELVENOIR enquiries in Germany with an office based in Berlin.