What makes and breaks trust? Professionalism and relationships in the art world

9 Apr 2019

Event times


Cost of entry

£5 - £17

Cass Art

London, United Kingdom


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In an industry where 99% of business is based on human relationships, establishing transparency and trust for long-term prosperity is essential and to everyone’s benefit.
We will unpick the mystery of art world etiquette and address the thorny & important issue of professionalism in the art world.


What is professionalism in our industry? Why is it important? Whose responsibility is it? What can we ALL do to be better informed and up our own professional game?

Guest speakers artist/curator Chiara Williams, gallery sales director Chris Shake and host Susan J Mumford will reveal art business truths using real world examples to help you strengthen your professionalism.

The following points will be addressed: 

  • The importance of open, honest and healthy professional relationships – in combination with challenges of the real world;
  • How to establish solid written agreements / contracts;
  • How trust provides the foundation of all professional relationships (plus what makes it and what breaks it); 
  • Strengthening your people skills to overcome ineptitude and use common sense; and 
  • Top tips on handling difficult situations and conversations. 

The talk will be followed by a Q+A

As a result of the talk, you will… 

  • Have increased joy in working relationships; 
  • Have a better idea for protecting your professional activities; 
  • Be better informed to create a healthy art business; 
  • Be equipped to lead by example and attract new working relationships as a result; and 
  • Gain confidence and certainty on handling your side of the bargain. 


**The first 15 tickets to this talk are half-price!**


6.30 - 7.00pm: Arrivals, registration and networking*

7.00 - 8.30pm: Talk with Q&A

8.30 - 9.00pm: Open networking

9.00pm: Departures 

*Attendees to this BSAA - CASS ART talk receive a special 10% discount on in-store shopping at CASS ART Islington on the day, prior to the event starting. Put together your art supplies shopping list and arrive early to take advantage of this talk bonus. 

A Q&A session with the audience will follow the facilitated conversation.


Check out CASS ART Islington ahead of the event:

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Chiara Williams is an artist and curator with over 20 years experience working in the art world, having curated over 75 exhibitions and worked with over 400 artists.

Chiara is currently curator at LIMBO Project Space in Margate, Kent. In 2018 she co-curated 'At the Violet Hour', an artist-led takeover of the semi-derelict Nayland Rock Hotel in Margate, as part of Turner Contemporary's Journeys with 'The Waste Land'. Chiara has presented the annual winner of the SOLO Award™ (est. 2012) in Art Projects at the London Art Fair since 2014. She pioneered two collateral UK events at the 53rd & 54th Venice Biennales, together with Debra Wilson with whom she co-founded WW Contemporary Art (2008-2016). Her background includes 10 years as a lecturer, and she has an MFA & BFA from the University of Oxford (The Ruskin School of Art) and an MA in Audio-Visual Production from London Metropolitan University.

Connect on social media:

Instagram: @chiara_williams
Twitter: @chiarawilliams_
Facebook: @ChiaraWilliamsContemporaryArt
Instagram: @limbomargate
Facebook: @limboartsltd


Christopher Shake  Christopher owns a London based art consultancy working with major art collectors, corporations and institutions internationally and is currently Director of Sales at House of Fine Art, a global art gallery with locations in London, Los Angels and Mykonos. Before his service in the art world, Christopher studied and worked as a licensed Financial Advisor for a major investment bank on Wall Street, specialising in renewable energy and technology stock portfolios and derivative investments.  Christopher's passion is working with and discovering global artistic talent and creating value within the art market and for his clients by way of research and development into cutting edge technological and managerial innovations coupled with classical principles based philosophy. Christopher has held major exhibitions by world-renowned artists in both Eupore and the US and commissioned monumental artworks for both private and commercial projects in all major art markets. 

Connect on social media: @ctshakespeare


SUSAN J MUMFORD is a game-changer in the 21st Century art world. She’s an entrepreneur in the art, tech and training space. While running her own gallery in Soho, London, she founded the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD), an international non-profit membership network that facilitates business and collaborations with members operating to high professional standards. This was followed by the creation of Be Smart About Art, an online-accessible professional development platform based out of London that helps creative professionals thrive in a changing world. In late 2015, her first book was published: Art is your life. Make it your living. In 2019, she’s launching a start-up, Artyml, that addresses anti-money laundering legislation hitting the art market in 2020.

Based in Lewes, East Sussex, Susan works locally, in London, around the UK, the USA, Continental Europe and online, running workshops, lectures and courses, delivering 1-2-1 sessions, facilitating panel discussions, judging prizes and more.

Follow her on social media @susanjmumford 


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