This week in our Spotlight series we are featuring Nicole Calderón, Managing Director of Tina Kim Gallery located in Chelsea, New York. Nicole received her BFA in History of Art and Architecture and Studio Arts from the University of Pittsburgh. While pursuing her MFA in Painting and Drawing from Kent State University, Nicole had the opportunity to work with the Hirshhorn Museum where she helped develop the educational program for their Yves Klein retrospective. After graduate school, Nicole moved to New York and continued in museum education at the New Museum where she developed material to support programs and exhibitions of work by artists such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Charles Atlas.
Nicole joined Tina Kim Gallery in 2013. As Managing Director, she directs gallery projects and exhibition programming in the US and internationally. We recently caught up with Nicole to learn more about her path in the art world, and where she goes when it’s time to unwind.
Name: Nicole Calderón
Instagram - @nicole_calderon
Company: Tina Kim Gallery, Chelsea - @tinakimgallery
Role: Managing Director
What neighborhood you hail from: Kensington, Brooklyn
What advice would you give to your younger self entering this interesting world of art?
See everything. Get your hands on as much as possible. Meet everyone. Stay engaged.
What did your parents say when you told them that you were pursuing the arts? How did you respond?
Growing up my parents exposed me to art and culture frequently so it was no surprise that I would end up doing something in the art industry. They were always supportive in their own way but they had doubts about whether the arts could offer a steady career. I knew the arts was where I wanted to be so I took up the challenge of finding my place in the art world.
What is your go-to spot to unwind and why?
I have a whole unwinding routine that takes me to my favorite spots in Chinatown. First a pit stop at Foot Heaven for a back massage, followed by dinner at Joe's Ginger, and then ice cream at The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. It's no frills bliss really.
f you had to live outside of NYC which city would you live in and why?
In the U.S. probably an underdog city like Detroit or Pittsburgh. Both have great art institutions, galleries, and artists that we don't talk about enough. I'm also keen on cities in Latin America. I'm originally from Puerto Rico and see a big necessity in highlighting contemporary Latin and Caribbean artists.
What's your take on technology's impact on the art world and how is it affecting how you do your job?
Technology is great. In moderation of course. It's allowing the art world to not only connect but to expand its audience in a much broader and more efficient way than ever before. That's powerful.