We had the good fortune of connecting with Liza Shapiro and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Liza, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The concept for CURA Art began in 2012, when I met my business partner, Georgia Powell, while both working at the Redfern Gallery in London. We believed that there was a gap in the market for a service that concentrated on the care and management of art collections. More focus tends to be on the acquisition process, with not as much available support geared toward the long-term preservation or management of artworks and collectibles. This is how the idea for CURA Art was born. While I lived in London for over a decade, I decided to return home to California and move to LA. It may sound strange to start a company while living so far from each other, however, it has turned out to be a great advantage as we have access to a wide range of clients and a varied network of specialists.

What should our readers know about your business?
CURA Art supports and encourages those that collect and display works of art. Based in Los Angeles and London, we offer specialized advice and services with a focus on long-term preservation and legacy.

What sets us apart is that we are not focused on the acquisition of an artwork but rather what happens to works of art before or after they are purchased. I am very proud of the fact that we are a small business; we do everything behind the scenes as well as client facing and that enables us to offer a personalized and focused approach to each of our projects.

I got to where I am today by having a large support network of family and friends and a lot of hard work. It has definitely not been easy, and some weeks feel more challenging than others but being my own boss is so rewarding! I have learned so many lessons along the way, including when and how to ask for help (still learning this actually).

I want the world to know that the art sector is more accepting and approachable than it may seem. I have made so many wonderful connections and met some extremely inspiring people who are creating unique and exciting initiatives in the arts. Also, CURA Art is always open to new collaborative projects; we welcome that.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh wow this is so hard! My husband is a chef, and food is a very big part of our lives, so I would start by experiencing all the different cuisines that Los Angeles has to offer, making the city so vibrant and fun. If friends visit who have never come to LA before, we usually drive along Sunset Boulevard from Malibu to Echo Park and stop at many places in between. Hiking in Griffith Park and going to galleries are some of my favorite weekend activities. I can not even begin to think about my favorite place to eat and hang out but the patio at Salazar in Frogtown is one of my favorite outdoor spaces.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The first person that comes to mind who deserves a lot of recognition in my story is my business partner and dear friend, Georgia Powell. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for her, and I could not do this alone.

I grew up in Ojai, about a two-hour drive from LA. I started taking art classes when I was very young with an incredible local artist and teacher, Sharon Butler. My earliest memories relating to art developed from spending many afternoons in her workshop. This chapter of my story influenced my decision to move to Florence, Italy, when I was 17 to study Art Restoration at the Lorenzo de’ Medici Institute, which lead me to London to pursue a degree in Art Conservation.

Another person who has greatly championed me since moving back to California is Nancy Escher, founder of Escher Associates. As an appraiser, she connected me to some of my first clients in LA and really helped me get started here.

Website: www.curaart.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cura_art_

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/curaart

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CURA_ART_

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/collectwithcura

Image Credits
Main Image: Liza Shapiro with Sterling Ruby’s “SP20,” private collection. Additional Image: Liza Shapiro at “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” at The Broad.

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