An entertainment industry veteran, speaker, and author with 20 years of media experience, Kiki Somerville is the founder and CEO of Fearless Artist Media and the executive producer of TFAPOPUP Gallery, one of the most popular pop-up galleries in the country.
After working in the business and legal affairs departments of major companies such as MTV Networks, Sony BMG, Austin Nichols, Kiki Somerville took a sabbatical to reside in Paris and live, write her first book, and travel the world, visiting the great museums and galleries of the world to cultivate her love and knowledge of art.
In 2009, Kiki produced her first art exhibition “Spirits of Haiti” with renowned artist Jude Papaloko ” Thegenius”, and discovered her passion for providing support and promotion for artists who needed a team of professionals with business skills. Kiki found a niche and created Fearless Artist Media/ The Fearless Artist in 2011 and began providing business services to major artists, writers, and media personalities like Kerry Lutz, Danny Simmons, David Sena and Kenji Jasper.
In 2014, Fearless Artist Media produced the first TFAPOPUP (The Fearless Artist Pop Up Gallery) to serve emerging and undiscovered contemporary artists who wanted access to exhibit during Art Basel Miami/ Miami Art Week, the biggest art fair in America, which attracts over 200,000 people annually to Miami, Florida to see hundreds of exhibitions and art fairs. Since it’s debut in 2014, TFAPOPUP has consistently grown in size and popularity, having featured over 200 international artists and regularly attracting over 2000 visitors daily.
We had the chance to speak with Kiki to talk about The Fearless Artist and the business of art in 2020.
The Knockturnal: Where does your love for art come from?
Kiki Somerville: I was born loving art, but I also know my mom exposed me to art and used to host these art parties in our home as a kid. Her friends would come over and buy different prints and artwork and have a good time. It’s something I’m now actually telling people to think about doing! It can really work!
The Knockturnal: What inspired you to create and build The Fearless Artist?
Kiki Somerville: After working in the media and culture space for years, I realized that art was due for a change, and after I started in 2009 actually working with artists on their business, I saw my chance to make a big impact in an industry that was closed off to a lot of people.
The Knockturnal: How do you feel about art and the business of art in 2020?
Kiki Somerville: I feel more excited than ever to be a part of the new changing landscape of the art world. Change is inevitable and it’s possible these current Social changes were meant to level the playing field and open more opportunities for different artists to participate and provide new visions of the future.
The Knockturnal: Do you think being an artist is still valuable in a post-pandemic world?
Kiki Somerville: It’s always valuable and every day Art is being seen and shared every second! It’s being used to sell things, as well as teach things, and make people think, feel, and connect.
The Knockturnal: How has the pandemic affected your business?
Kiki Somerville: The pandemic has kept me very busy being in school for my Masters in Fine Arts in Social Practice which is the intersection of Art, Public Policy, and Community Engagement. I’m using the time to learn more ways to help artists!
The Knockturnal: What do you think is the future in how artist sell their art?
Kiki Somerville: The immediate future will see less shows and smaller galleries closing because of the public health crisis! So people will have to be more creative, and connect with their collectors and fans. I’ve advised people to learn how to share their work on social media and online.
The Knockturnal: What is your advice for anyone thinking of making art their fulltime job?
Kiki Somerville: Join a community where you can find mentors and others who keep you in the loop of opportunities and can share things with you!