Marianne Boesky Gallery is committed to driving diversity, equity, and representation in the field of contemporary art. We actively prioritize presenting a diversity of perspectives, representative of the breadth of artistic voices in our immediate community and beyond. We are invested in navigating this work with transparency and accountability, recognizing and embracing its challenges with humility and perseverance. Mindful that we may, at times, fall short, we are determined to address missteps proactively, centering those most affected.
We reaffirm this commitment to diversity, equity, and representation in our program, our staffing, and our business relationships.
Black Women in Visual Arts
Marianne Boesky Gallery is participating in an ongoing workshop called The Work, conceived and organized by Black Women in Visual Arts as an in-depth anti-racism, DEI program facilitated in the workplace but designed to stimulate a progressive and inclusive approach to life.
Anti-racism work is necessary to foster access and create authentic changes in the art ecosystem and beyond. The Work practically incorporates fundamental theories of diversity, equity, and inclusion with a resource kit that includes TED Talks, literature, art, humor, improv/dramatic plays, and memes curated to offer an expansive program. Much like social justice practice, collaboration is key and The Work works with DEI stakeholders to bring a holistic experience to the program.In 2022, Marianne Boesky Gallery and Black Women in Visual Arts successfully:
- Completed four modules of TED talks, podcasts, readings, and videos covering a range of topics related to diversity and inclusion including workplace dynamics, unconscious bias, race, privilege, and more.
- Completed a two-day in-person seminar where staff reworked the gallery’s inclusivity statement, discussed staff diversity, and summarized the course modules through lively discussions and activities.
- Discussed personal thoughts, questions, and ideas in individual sessions with BWVA staff to improve individual understandings of diversity and inclusion goals as well.
Marianne Boesky Gallery made the below pledge in the Fall of 2020 to acknowledge its weak points in the areas of racial equality and environmental sustainability. We published this pledge to hold ourselves accountable in our efforts. Over the past year, I am proud to share our accomplishments and acknowledge that we have more work to do.
Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Goals Accomplished in 2021:
- The gallery embraced its commitment to Own, Measure, Report, and Refine its status concerning equality, diversity, and inclusion. Our first step was to execute a staff-wide survey at the beginning of 2021 to identify critical issues of concern.
- The gallery formed an Antiracism Committee that meets periodically to ensure continued action to foster a more inclusive and equitable workplace.
- Management reviewed opportunities for the advancement of current employees, which resulted in several promotions.
- Management sourced new hires through a broader range of inclusive platforms such as LinkedIn, Art Frankly, ArtJobs and did strategic outreach for candidates to organizations such as Black Women in Visual Arts.
- The gallery successfully implemented “blind recruitment” practices to fill five open positions.
- We established Martin Luther King Day and Yom Kippur as permanent company-wide holidays.
- We increased staff diversity. Currently, of our 23 full-time staff, five identify as BIPOC and 11 as women, which brings our percentages to 21% BIPOC and 47% women. And all executive leadership is female.
- We increased diversity among our artist roster. Currently, of or 33 artists, we have 9 BIPOC artists (27%) and 15 Women (45%).
- We reviewed salary practices and audited equal pay ensuring equity.
- We decided to support like-minded vendors, such as the Freize Fair, that have consistently shown their commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in its fairs. For this reason, we also made the decision to suspend our applications to certain fairs where we feel more progress is needed.
Goals to Improve Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in 2022:
- Audit our vendor-related spending toward BIPOC and women-owned businesses.
- Actively track and record the diversity of our applicant pool, hiring decisions, and client base.
- Give preference to BIPOC and women-owned businesses when procuring vendors.
- Develop a paid Scholarship Program in parallel with our Intern Program to encourage low-income applicants and students to enter the gallery field.
- Engage in a seminar or series of seminars developed and implemented by the leaders of Black Women in Visual Arts (Thank you, great ladies!) on sensitivity and advancement for BIPOC in the workplace. Our first such program is scheduled for March 2022.
We partnered with Galleries Commit, and we committed to audit our emissions and reduce our carbon footprint.
In 2021, we accomplished the following:
- We tracked carbon dioxide emissions to calculate the carbon footprint of exhibitions and projects on and off-site.
- We executed our first carbon-neutral exhibition with Allison Janae Hamilton.
- Implemented a mandatory $35 Climate Change Contribution charge on all transactions, raising funds for Art for Acres, and organization that has created the Chuyapi-Urusayshua regional conservation area in Peru with the goal of conserving 200,000 acres of vulnerable land. With two donations thus far, and many more to come, we’ve conserved a total of 14,720.6 acres!
- We conducted an energy survey with the aim of reducing overall heating consumption.
- We recycled all unused electronics and equipment by Donating to Materials for the Arts, a non-profit organization in need of electronics.
- We ensured that staff members have what they need to make climate-conscious decisions, and we encouraged paper advertisers to convert to digital or investigate introducing carbon offset fees.
- We did away with single-use kitchen items such as disposable coffee pods, cups, and plates.
- We did away with printed exhibition materials and sales materials, opting for QR code technology.
- We made a significant dent in bringing the gallery to a paperless state by scanning existing files and recycling them.
- We replaced halogen lighting in our main gallery with low-energy LEDs.
- We worked with local vendors to use sustainable food sources for opening events.
- We reduced travel gallery-wide.
- We no longer publish in-house catalogues, instead supporting books published by museums and outside book publishers.
- We significantly reduced our print advertising.
- We resisted one-off crating and shipping orders and wait to accumulate works headed to a similar destination.
Climate Conscious Goals for 2022:
- Implement the use of only digital advertising and create business cards with QR codes.
- Do a better job of recycling.
- Reduce Amazon and Uline orders.
- Replace re-ordered products with sustainable options.
- Offer an eco-option on all shipping quotes to clients.
- Commit to prioritizing ocean freight over air freight.
- Pack artworks with an intent to re-use materials.
- Reduce art fair participation.
There is so much more we all need to do to combat the history of mistakes we have inherited and perpetuated. I really feel grateful to have begun this important process, and I hope you will join us in whatever ways that you can. Have a wonderful holiday and we look forward to seeing you in 2022!
- Marianne Boesky
Letter from the FounderFall 2020
To our community,
In the wake of the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, and many, many others we been left grief-stricken and angry. Unequivocally, we'd like to state:
BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Boesky Gallery has been a longtime proponent of social justice and has worked to give a platform to progressive issues, but we also acknowledge that we can and should do better.
I can and should do better.
Over the last few weeks, our leadership team has been reflecting on how we can increase and sustain our efforts to support the Black community and hold ourselves accountable for the actions and choices we make surrounding our support for BIPOC, diversity, and climate justice, issues that are very important to all of us. These changes are not meant to be quick fixes-- they won't be easy or painless. Progress is an ongoing, long-term commitment and it's a commitment that we are prioritizing and discussing on a daily basis.
In the interest of transparency and accountability, we want to publish the pledges we are making to show you, our colleagues, patrons, artists, and staff, that we're turning our discussions and learning into concrete actions. With this public pledge we encourage our colleagues to take similar stock and reflect on what they can do within their own spaces to further these causes and transform the art world into one that is just and inclusive.
We will continue to communicate on the topic of social change and environmental action.
We will continue to keep you updated about diversity & inclusion at Boesky Gallery.
We will continue to support the Black community, POC, and all other marginalized groups.
We will continue to use our platform to fight for racial justice.
- Marianne Boesky