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From Teen Curators, Shaina Levey and Vionnie Khong and Ryan Schroeder
As part of their in-depth engagement with A body, revealed, our Teen Curators had the opportunity to interview artists, curators, and gallerists about Kevin Beasley’s practice. Veronica Levitt is a director at Casey Kaplan Gallery. This interview excerpt has been edited for length and clarity.

Good Afternoon, my name is Shaina and these are my partners Vionnie and Ryan. We are working with the Hill Art Foundation this year as we display Kevin Beasley’s work. We are here today to talk with Veronica Levitt, a director of sales and artist relations at Casey Kaplan Gallery. This conversation with Ms. Veronica Levitt will help frame a better understanding of the finances and relationship needed with Kevin Beasley to keep his work in the gallery. 

Shaina: Going into the length that you work with artists and talking specifically about Kevin Beasley, a big part of  artist relations is maintaining a good connection with the artists that you’re working with. So can you describe as much as you’re comfortable with about your relationship with Kevin Beasley as an artist and how that helps influence how you put together his exhibit with regard to his intentions and what you wanted it to do for the gallery and the public?

Veronica: The relationship is everything. I like to think about it as a partnership. With any partnership, whether it’s in business or in friendship, there needs to be mutual respect, honesty, and transparency. In that, it’s incredibly vital to foster a good relationship or the whole thing crumbles. Kevin, in particular, is unique because I joined the gallery shortly after he joined. And we kind of grew up together. In a lot of ways [we’re evolving] together. And because I have worked with Kevin now for seven years, I have intimate knowledge of the work, as well as Kevin’s preferences, which allows me to proceed in kind. The gallery’s detailed understanding of the practice and evolution of his work, and the history of his acquisitional and institutional developments leads to more conversations and opportunities because we’re collaborating on an intrinsic level. 

Vionnie: To follow up with the relationship with the artist, some artists can have work that might be difficult in terms of physicality to move and to get into spaces to set up and curate. Also, as we spoke about, galleries are institutions that are meant to appeal to the public, and that you want to be approachable. So how do you feel like Casey Kaplan work to make sure the artist’s work can be represented in the best way possible and in the truest way that they intend it, whilst also compromising with the needs of the gallery? 

Veronica: There are often parameters, spatial and financial. However, there is always a solution as long as there is open communication about those boundaries. 

In situations where we say okay, we love that idea, but the feasibility of that isn’t possible, we work together on an alternative or variation. Conversations around budgets are necessary, whilst maintaining and serving the artist’s best interests. 

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