There is a new gallery in town. Kennedy Contemporary is based in Newport Beach and showcases emerging and established artists. Headed by Victoria Kennedy, who has strong roots in Orange County, her new gallery intends to break down traditional barriers by focusing on accessibility and connecting collectors with art that will enrich their lives. The Kennedy team also will support the community at large, by hosting educational events, partnering with nonprofits, and offering consultation services. The OC Art Blog had a chance to inquire more about Victoria’s background and programming for her new space.
Why don’t we start by having you tell us a bit about your art background and how Kennedy Contemporary came about?
Hello! My name is Victoria Kennedy, owner of Kennedy Contemporary. I grew up in Orange County (CdMHS Class of 2009) and pursued a B.A. at Stanford University in Religious Studies and a minor in Art History, focusing on medieval and early modern history and art.
However, it wasn’t until after college that I became more familiar with the contemporary art world through working at an art gallery in Park City, UT. I found it thrilling to connect with our represented artists and share their stories with our clients. This experience led me to a Masters in Art Business from the Claremont Graduate University and then Saatchi Art, where I was the Associate Curator for just over three years. As a young, online art gallery, Saatchi Art provided me with some invaluable experiences – such as traveling to art fairs around the world, selling to a range of clientele, and working with international artists. However, I missed the personal connection of brick-and-mortar galleries, finding I was looking at a screen more than I was looking at art!
Kennedy Contemporary was born from a desire to further the conversation surrounding contemporary art in Orange County and showcase a variety of artists, some of whom have never exhibited previously in Southern California.