MAW Volunteers ‘Where are they now?’
Each year since our first edition of Mayfair Art Weekend in 2014, a group of art enthusiasts volunteer over the Weekend, assisting the galleries, auction and fashion houses taking part and acting as guides for the visitors. These aspiring artists, art dealers and auctioneers are a vital part of the Weekend. Many of these volunteers are arts students who wish to work in this industry following graduation, so it’s the first step on the ladder to a career in the art world. Easily identifiable in their bright MAW green T-shirts, our volunteers are always available to help, so do make sure to strike up a conversation with them!
Leading art world recruiters and Mayfair Art Weekend Partner, Sophie Macpherson Ltd, have supported the Weekend since its founding by selecting and providing our volunteers. As we enter our fifth edition, we felt it was time to look back at where all these wonderful and passionate volunteers are now.
Of the 145 volunteer alumni, 63 are now currently working in the London art world, for employers including auction houses, galleries, private collections and artist studios. A great many of the volunteers found these roles as a direct result of connections made during the weekend. We wanted to share some of their stories.
Karen Naya – Consultant, Freelance, London
I used volunteering at Mayfair Art weekend as a springboard for a career shift into the Arts. My background is in national strategy and development of public services, so I’m an expert of a different kind but not your typical Sotheby’s or Christie’s MA student looking for a gallery job! I wanted to use my passion for the arts scene into something that I could do every day and love. Volunteering for MAW turbo-charged my knowledge about the amazing art and expertise all around me and helped me to connect with some incredible galleries and people. It also gave me confidence to launch myself as an arts guide and art finder, for people who want to explore all that Mayfair has to offer and maybe own incredible pieces, but feel intimidated and want someone who’s knowledgable, relatable and trustworthy to guide them. So for me, volunteering at MAW really was a life-changing experience, even if I’m only just starting out on the journey.
India Pearce – Project Manager, Crush Creative, Brighton
Following Mayfair Art Weekend I had a work placement at Christie’s auction house in the Chinese Art Department, which was spectacular! Shortly afterwards I graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art & History of Art at the University of Leeds, and moved onto a position in Textile Design at Forest Digital. I am currently theProject Manager at Crush Creative – a design agency in Brighton, working with clients all over the world from Disney to Budweiser and MTV.
Octavia Taylor – Paralegal, B P Collins Solicitors
I first volunteered at Mayfair Art Weekend during the summer of my second year studying History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art. I had decided by this point that I wanted to pursue a career in law after graduating, but I was still very keen to remain in the art scene. It was while volunteering that I met Simon Fitzpatrick, Partner and Head of Litigation at Boodle Hatfield, who kindly gave me the opportunity to work at Boodle Hatfield for a couple of weeks that summer. Since graduating from the Courtauld last year I have been working in a law firm currently as a Paralegal and will shortly begin my legal studies. Mayfair Art Weekend is an invaluable opportunity to network and meet people from all sorts of industries who all have an interest in and passion for art.
Sonia Severnio – Events Organiser Assistant, British Academy
After I volunteered at Mayfair Art Weekend, I had an opportunity to work as front of house at one of the Mayfair galleries over the summer period. In September 2016 I started working at the Museum of London as visitor host and tour guide, and it’s here that I consolidated my customer service skills and my passion about English history. After one year an half, in January, I left the museum when I was offered a job at the British Academy as Event Organiser Assistant.
Olivia Williams – Creative Director, Independent, London
Olivia Williams is an independent creative director, with a graphic design background and expertise incorporate branding. As an art enthusiast, she voluntarily joined the MAW team in 2017. “Mayfair Art Weekend brought to my global knowledge of art a relevant local perspective of cultural identities that intersect in a historic neighbourhood,” said Olivia who directed the re-branding project of The British and Colombian Chamber of Commerce in 2017-2018 in London after her experience with MAW. “The role of Victoria Luxem, head of Mayfair Art Weekend, inspires me and other young women in the art industry to keep following our career paths.” Williams recently returned from Colombia where she was commissioned to re-design and launch a corporate branding project, and she looks forward to being part of the 2018 MAW family.
Volunteer positions for MAW2018 are now closed, but please keep in touch for 2019!