WASH July 2013 : Page 56

56 | the RADAR | Art Modern Law A DC attorney becomes a force for contemporary art as she collects and curates a new generation of visionaries. | By Michael McCarthy | Photography by Kate Warren | Schwanda Rountree is a runner. And when she glides through DC’s streets, the art collector thinks about beauty and its abstractions. “I adore jogging around the city and passing the gorgeous old churches, the intimate coffee shops near Columbia Heights and, well, everything—I love seeing DC and its neighborhoods in transition,” she says. The same can be said for Rountree’s views of the city’s art scene. Over the past couple of years, count her among those who have been most passionate about collecting and showcasing contemporary art in Washington. In addition to recently purchasing work by visionaries like Shinique Smith, Jamea Richmond Edwards and Andrea Chung, Rountree has plunged into art consultancy. Her firm, Rountree Art Consulting (rountreeart.com), connects artists worldwide to galleries and private collectors. She also serves on the Contemporaries steering committee at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and recently helped place Yinka Shonibare’s Fiberglas mannequin sculpture in the gallery’s Salon Doré. What’s striking about Rountree’s doggedness for contemporary art is her ability to straddle two completely different worlds. She’s also a public interest attorney. “I couldn’t have chosen two more dissimilar callings,” says Rountree, 36, who grew up in rural North Carolina. Rountree says it’s only recently that the city has fully blossomed culturally, which she attributes to the arts. “The face of DC—the face of who we really are aesthetically—is changing, and that’s exciting,” she says. “We are becoming less inhibited artistically, and more global influences and ideas —typically conveyed in New York and Paris—are popping up here. Plus, we now have our own contemporary art fair, Emerge, and that says so much.” Like the range of legal clients who stream through her world, Rountree’s collection is diverse and includes work from “living modern artists because they speak to contemporary social issues—they’re very much alive for me and in the moment,” she says. “For example, Shinique Smith mixes Japanese calligraphy and graffiti with other media, and she challenges us to think about issues like race and empowerment. I also collect contemporary video, as long as I can clearly see that the artists are methodical and committed.” Rountree’s summer will entail lots of travel to meet emerging artists. She’s also started working with Vogue and Vanity Fair photographer Renée Cox, a provocateur in many circles for her images of nudes in nontraditional settings. “I met Renée at a conference in DC. I love her work, and I want to introduce her to Washington’s collectors and galleries. We’re ready for it.” Art deAler Schwanda rountree connects modern artists with collectors and galleries in dC. | July/August 2013

The Radar Art

Michael McCarthy

Modern Law

A DC attorney becomes a force for contemporary art as she collects and curates a new generation of visionaries.

Schwanda Rountree is a runner. And when she glides through DC’s streets, the art collector thinks about beauty and its abstractions. “I adore jogging around the city and passing the gorgeous old churches, the intimate coffee shops near Columbia Heights and, well, everything—I love seeing DC and its neighborhoods in transition,” she says.

The same can be said for Rountree’s views of the city’s art scene. Over the past couple of years, count her among those who have been most passionate about collecting and showcasing contemporary art in Washington. In addition to recently purchasing work by visionaries like Shinique Smith, Jamea Richmond Edwards and Andrea Chung, Rountree has plunged into art consultancy. Her firm, Rountree Art Consulting (rountreeart.com), connects artists worldwide to galleries and private collectors. She also serves on the Contemporaries steering committee at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and recently helped place Yinka Shonibare’s Fiberglas mannequin sculpture in the gallery’s Salon Doré.

What’s striking about Rountree’s doggedness for contemporary art is her ability to straddle two completely different worlds. She’s also a public interest attorney. “I couldn’t have chosen two more dissimilar callings,” says Rountree, 36, who grew up in rural North Carolina.

Rountree says it’s only recently that the city has fully blossomed culturally, which she attributes to the arts. “The face of DC—the face of who we really are aesthetically—is changing, and that’s exciting,” she says. “We are becoming less inhibited artistically, and more global influences and ideas —typically conveyed in New York and Paris—are popping up here. Plus, we now have our own contemporary art fair, Emerge, and that says so much.”

Like the range of legal clients who stream through her world, Rountree’s collection is diverse and includes work from “living modern artists because they speak to contemporary social issues—they’re very much alive for me and in the moment,” she says. “For example, Shinique Smith mixes Japanese calligraphy and graffiti with other media, and she challenges us to think about issues like race and empowerment. I also collect contemporary video, as long as I can clearly see that the artists are methodical and committed.”

Rountree’s summer will entail lots of travel to meet emerging artists. She’s also started working with Vogue and Vanity Fair photographer Renée Cox, a provocateur in many circles for her images of nudes in nontraditional settings. “I met Renée at a conference in DC. I love her work, and I want to introduce her to Washington’s collectors and galleries. We’re ready for it.”

Read the full article at http://digital.modernluxury.com/article/The+Radar+Art/1446896/165980/article.html.

Previous Page  Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here