artVentures Launch Party

Launch Party, April 25, 2012 7 p.m.

artVentures launch party celebrated the inauguration of a new Toronto arts club that focuses on providing essential services and education to emerging collectors. With installation pieces from Braden Labonte’s Alternate History as a backdrop, it was an evening of intimate gathering where art collectors, friends and patrons of the partner galleries, and art enthusiasts mingled over a glass of wine. Also in attendance were Christine Platt, founder of artVentures; Marianne Katzman, owner of  Katzman Kamen Gallery; Yan Wu, programme director at Gendai Gallery; and York Lethbridge, director of operations and development at Mercer Union.

From left to right: Marianne Katzman, owner of Katzman Kamen Gallery, Christine Platt, organizer of the collector’s club, Yan Wu, Programme Director of Gendai Gallery

This new exciting venture is a brainchild of Chrisitine Platt, who has studied contemporary Chinese art and completed Museum Studies before taking her career in Netherlands, China, and UK. While some galleries and arts organizations sporadically host few workshops/lectures on collecting or visits to studios, artVentures is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on the emerging collectors and cater to their budget and style, provide education on conserving and commissioning, as well as facilitate building relationships amongst the collectors and with the artists. For someone who is just starting out on building a collection, this kind of service would be most welcome.

Installation view of  A Complete History of Modernism by Braden Labonte

Yan Wu shares Platt’s enthusiasm and vision when it comes to engaging young collectors and nurturing young artists. “It’s kind of like an ecosystem,” says Wu animatedly. “Especially with the cuts to the public funding of the arts, it’s so important to engage the patrons, rouse some genuine interest.”

Installation view of  A Complete History of Modernism by Braden Labonte

And genuine interest, they got. Throughout the evening, small crowd of art lovers chatted and networked, and many expressed interest in the program.

At $500, a membership to artVentures will get you access to invitation and discounts to partner galleries’ events (Birch Libralato, Diaz Contemporary, Katzman Kamen Gallery, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Gendai Gallery, Mercer Union), and a membership to one of the public galleries. Plus, members are provided with private consultations, “social-learning” events, studio tours, lectures, workshops, and more. For more info, visit their website:

Text by Seowon Bang. Photo: Nicholas Liang

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