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An art world start-up that grew in the pandemic
Socially conscious start-up that was founded with the intent of serving an international community o...
Feature 01 Mar 2022
Brendan Burns and Nerissa Bardfeld, directors of SeeMe Gallery, SCOPE Art Fair, Miami, Florida. 2021 

See|Me is a socially conscious start-up that was founded with the intent of serving an international community of artists and bringing visibility to their work via open calls, exhibitions, events, partnerships, and select economic opportunities. Over the past two years alone See|Me has worked with over 6,000 artists from 35 countries around the world including a significant portion from the LatinX community in North, South America, and the Caribbean.

Their digital gallery + open-call exhibitions at Art Fairs, and galleries in NYC, Miami, and beyond, showcase talented artists to thousands of gallerists, collectors, and purchasers each month. They exist to solve a major problem in the art world: helping artists succeed while encouraging enthusiasts & collectors to identify and support high quality and undiscovered talent. Their values are open access, excellence, social awareness, and quality.

María Suárez and Eleonora Morales, 2021

2021 was a year of uncertain reflection and ripe with new subject matter, motivations, and perspectives. In short, it was a time of personal exploration and one of resilience, renewal, artistic growth, and evolution.  When the curatorial team came up with the EMERGE concept, SeeMe sought to unveil what moved the creative industries to[re]surface and flourish. The past year undoubtedly represented a challenge, and they wanted to understand what shifted, evolved, or strengthened creatives during this time. Whether looking ahead seemed dark or hopeful, inward-looking or outward facing, delving into the unknown while building a sustainable company within the creative industries motivated their theme.

As a community-based company, they believe establishing rich dialogues in the art world begins by finding shared values.

Eleonora Morales and her mother Luz Marina Giraldo, founders of The Garage Sale

The team encountered Eleonora Morale’s project (Garage sale) along their path while seeking to reach a broader audience within Latin America. Hence, GS and SeeMe are women´s businesses, driven by creating collective awareness on the different alternatives to consume art, emerging talent, and design. Furthermore, addressing a big issue of our contemporary society by putting in the spotlight undiscovered art and enhancing the recognition of these creatives in healthy-sustainable markets. The intersection of art and fashion also drove a big part of both start-ups to come along. As agents of such a broad community, they are responsible for creating a symmetrical dialogue with a critical look at the processes involved in the curation and exhibition of the artists.

Image of Nerissa

“I feel exhilarated every time we launch a new exhibition open call – each has its own character, energy, and vibe. There is an element of the unknown that is exciting. Every show is an opportunity to live our values, while both highlighting the work of talented artists and to partner with like-minded entrepreneurs such as Eleonora, that share the desire to make art and design accessible so that living amongst beauty, whether visual art or fashion, is possible for all. In the upcoming exhibition ‘EMERGE’, the idea of bursting forth, or shaking off the dust and coming out into the light was a given – The joyful desire amongst creatives to be out in the world is palpable, and we’re excited to build on that energy to create a fantastic exhibition experience.” Nerissa’s Bardfeld SeeMe’s Director of content and curation

Scope Art Fair, Miami. Florida. Booth G11- SeeMe, 2021

The event proposes a form to a new artistic scenario, in which different trends praise the creative work of those who inspire us with their pieces daily.

Eleonora and her mother, Luz Marina, decided to open this Garage Sale platform; they make an exquisite selection of pieces by Colombian fashion designers from different closets of women fashion icons who collect and have unique elements. Furthermore, for EMERGE exhibition, Eleonora´s team will be exhibiting exquisite pieces from Johanna Ortiz, an internationally recognized fashion designer. She draws from the power of the feminine – allure of complexity, mark of individuality, and a celebration of the exquisite.

There is also an ecological benefit to this unusual setting for a fashion + art display, as the Garage Sale’s structure works within a circular economy model.

Nerissa Bardfeld, María Suárez, Sawyer Zehr, Angelica Pulido, Brendan Burns. SeeMe Team, SCOPE Art Fair 2021, Miami Beach, Florida.

 “For us it is an honor to be invited at an event in New York while forging an alliance with such a broad and international community of creators. I believe art and fashion are two disciplines that have always been considered to go hand in hand. This event`s forecast shows to be exciting and bold. In the Garage sale we are eager to share this space with SeeMe with whom we share the same values, being both family start-up businesses, rooting for sustainable markets.”
Eleonora Morales, CEO Garage Sale and LUXE by EM.

Moreover, with EMERGE, the fashion component will highlight the community’s ability to reinvent the traditional ways of consuming art, thinking outside of the box.

“We wanted something impactful that conveys resilience and excitement for what’s coming next and for people to have a good time while enjoying a creative space.”
María Suárez, Public relations associate for See Me

As high-end designers, entrepreneurs and creatives turn art galleries into runways, the connection between art and fashion is reinforced. Interestingly, when these two areas of creativity overlap, new meanings are being created in addition to portraying the unprecedented ways in which fashion and fine art complement each other.

Find out more information via the links below

IG: @seemecommunity

IG: @garagesalebyem


April 24 – 30th , 2022

All images via See|Me

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Curator – Public Programmes
Whitechapel Gallery - London, UK
Research Associate, Krasner & Pollock Exhibition
The Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, USA
Artist Liaison
Art Works Gallery & Advisory - Singapore
Artist Manager
Karimah Ashadu - Germany