Laura Vincenti is an architect with serious clout. Educated in Italy, Turin, and UK, Oxford, she’s been involved in the arts and architectural space worldwide. And she’s been doing it since the Nineties, so she knows her stuff.
She’s done some pretty impressive stuff too. Laura was the Project Manager for the Winter Olympic Games in Turin in 2006 , before returning to the art world as Principal Architect for ARTISSIMA, a world renowned Italian contemporary art fair, where she collaborated from 2007 to 2014. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. She tells GH about the journey…
Building a global brand
Laura has a long history of curating exhibitions in Europe and Italy. She’s the director and founder of AdArte Architecture, a South African architectural and art advisory company, and has been director for the Investec Cape Town Art Fair since 2017.
It’s a big task – but one she’s excited to have taken on. “My role is to make the Investec Cape Town Art Fair one of the not-to-be-missed appointments in the international art fair calendar; to develop and strengthen the collaboration between local institutions, museums and cultural associations; to find funds to nurture projects for emerging artists from South Africa and the continent to showcase at the fair; to promote the fair abroad to attract more international collectors, curators and art lovers; and to develop an educational programme,” she says.
Practical advice on how graduates can get into the arts
Keen on a career in the arts, but no idea where to start? Laura reels off a few ways you can get your foot in the door: Art Fair internships, Art Fair part-time work, gallery assistance, and museum and institution internships. “Vansa (Visual Arts Network of South Africa) has great practical opportunities for South African citizens [note that these are not necessarily courses]; and Design Indaba hosts emerging creatives to be mentored, showcased and put in a networking environment every year,” she says.
MoMa offers four courses on a free site called Coursera (including Modern and Contemporary Art and Design Specialisation). The Art Business Masterclass offers Art History courses, Art Market and Art Law courses. Harvard University offers a free humanities course that includes a brief overview of historical art practices, collectors and curatorship, museum curation approaches and critical thinking disciplines. For graduates:, Laura recommends an Honours in Curatorship at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts.
Just keep in mind that every industry has its hardships…
“My biggest challenges have been time management and the ability to prioritise tasks and duties,” says Laura. “I had very good mentors and I learned how to share and address issues in order to sort out problems. The mentorship and transfer of knowledge to my collaborators has allowed me to be able to delegate to someone else – or at least to share in order to ease my job and grow my team.”
Laura’s top career tip
“Travel more. It’s the only way of open your mind and get in touch with different cultures,” she says.
Words of wisdom for the next generation of female leaders and entrepreneurs
“Be brave and make things happen. Create a good network of people that can sustain and help you grow,” says Laura.
Connect with Laura