Founder Kenro Izu, auction committee members Alice Sachs Zimet and Rick Wester, who has also frequently served as the event's auctioneer, and collector Marsha Askins talk about their experiences with the Friends of Friends Photography Auction.
Rick Wester, President and Director, Rick Wester Fine Art, Inc.
For over thirty years Rick Wester has had a diverse career in photography. After gaining his BFA degree in Photography as a Fine Art at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1979, he returned to New York and worked for LIGHT, the seminal gallery of contemporary photography.
Rick then spent a decade as a private dealer and consultant before joining Christie's Inc. as Specialist Department Head of Photographs, in 1992. In 2000 he became the International Director of Photographs, while also serving as the department's auctioneer. While at Christie's he authored numerous articles on photography, published essays, lectured, curated exhibitions, and organized benefit auctions.
From June 2001 until August 2002 he was a Director at Gagosian Gallery. After Gagosian came a return to private dealing, consulting and advising, which included a tenure as Interim Director of the widely respected Howard Greenberg Gallery, as well as incorporating Rick Wester Fine Art, Inc. (RWFA).
In 2004 he was hired as a consultant to the Chelsea-based auction house, Phillips de Pury & Company, heading their Photographs department. In January 2005 he joined the firm full-time as a Partner and Worldwide Head of Photographs.
After leaving Phillips in 2007, he fully launched RWFA and committed the company's efforts to a diverse business plan focusing on artist representation and exhibitions, consulting to private collectors and corporations, secondary market sales, and appraisals. The gallery has been located on West 25th Street in Chelsea since the fall of 2008.
Alice Sachs Zimet, President, Arts + Business Partners
Alice began her career in the museum world (Metropolitan Museum of Art, ICP) and then moved to the private sector where she ran the worldwide Cultural Affairs programs at The Chase Manhattan Bank (both philanthropy and sponsorship). Today, Alice is President, Arts + Business Partners, a boutique that specializes in corporate sponsorship.
As an expert in the sponsorship field, Alice works with nonprofit and for-profit clients and is an accomplished lecturer, speaking at conferences around the world. She teaches regularly for Americans for the Arts, New York University and for the U.S. Department of State, most recently in Hungary, Serbia, and Russia.
Alice is a member of the Collections Committee of the Harvard Art Museums, one of two non-photographers who sit on the board of the new Magnum Foundation and is a member of the International Center of Photography's (ICP) Exhibitions Committee.
Marsha Askins, collector