HomeNFTsMeet Our Curation Team | MakersPlace Editorial

Meet Our Curation Team | MakersPlace Editorial

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MakersPlace operates on two levels. On one level, we act as a gallery where the best artists and artworks are curated for inclusion in online drops and physical exhibitions at art fairs and live activations and matched with our highest level of service and promotion. We are also a marketplace platform where artworks from thousands of artists are represented and new artists apply for the ability to mint or import their work for sale.

This document formally introduces our talented Curation Team responsible for managing our Onboarding and Exhibition Curation program and the process they follow. 

The Curation Team is composed of a set of experts bringing an extensive range of experience to the program from traditional fine art to the leading edge of digital art with deep resumes built through work at galleries, auction houses, art advisory firms, and in some cases, becoming successful digital artists — and they already have over 15 years of combined experience working in the amazing new world of digital art on blockchain. 

By meeting our curation team, you will understand that a commitment to art is part of the fabric of MakersPlace.


Onboarding & Exhibition Curation

There are two curation processes that the Curation Team is responsible for managing: Onboarding Curation & Exhibition Curation.

Onboarding Curation is working through the applications of those artists who have formally applied to be able to offer their artworks for sale on MakersPlace while also reaching out to talented up-and-coming artists whom they think would bring great artworks to MakersPlace. 

When making decisions about onboarding artists, the team looks at the artist’s background, the style of art, the social footprint, whether they’ve been previously represented on other marketplaces and whether they have been careful to build their career through measured releases of new work.

The team will also look at a wide range of the artist’s work focusing on the quality of the art from both a visual and conceptual perspective, looking for work that is original, aesthetically compelling, meaningful, and innovative. All of this input goes into a final decision whether an artist will be welcomed to onboard into MakersPlace.

Exhibition Curation represents the highest level of curation at MakersPlace. Artists approved by the Curation Team will be featured in an online exhibition (or drop), provided with our best homepage promotion and the execution of a fully developed marketing plan. Some of the artists approved for exhibitions may also be featured in an art fairs or live activation.

Artists qualified for this program generally have already built success in the industry, have an established collector and social base, have had successful exhibitions (either with MakersPlace or others), have properly managed their portfolio and career, and have unique, interesting and valuable new works to offer in exhibition.

During the process of building a final exhibition plan, MakersPlace will bring range of white-glove services to the process to help in ideation, optimal drop construction, pricing, storytelling, art fair or live activation planning (if appropriate), social/email/press strategy, and collector outreach to best ensure success. It should be noted that not all white-glove services are applied to every exhibition. 

Both of these curation processes are managed by the Curation Team and run in parallel. The step we are taking today to formalize and introduce the team more is another in our transformative process to become a more premium brand. 

With this in mind, it’s time to meet the team!


Meet the Curation Team

Our curation team comprises a diverse group of artists, web3 natives, and experts with former careers at Sotheby’s and well-known NYC galleries. 

Each member brings a unique perspective, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of the applicant’s work. Evaluations are often quite drawn-out conversations interspersed with looking at work outside of the artist’s submitted portfolio in order to make the most well-informed decisions. 


Jessica Marinaro 

Jessica Marinaro (née Davidson) is a seasoned art business and creative tech professional with over 17 years of experience within the New York City art scene. She has held positions in prominent New York City galleries, including James Graham & Sons on the Upper East Side and Lehigh Heller Gallery in Chelsea, where as a Director she worked with over 30 contemporary artists, producing their exhibitions and placing their works in some of the world’s top private and institutional collections.

A sought-after speaker and panelist, she has shared insights on the digital art market, collecting contemporary art and art as an alternative investment for groups like the Lehigh University Wall Street Council and the Montclair Women’s Club and has been a featured panelist for Niio, LiveArt and Portraits of Women in Web3 (PWW3).

Jessica launched Davidson Art Advisory LLC in 2017 as a boutique fine art consulting firm that provided advisory and acquisition services to private collectors and art consulting services to corporate clientele. Passionate about championing artists and art businesses engaged with new technologies, she served as the lead Art Consultant for Artrendex, a VC-backed startup focused on artificial intelligence solutions for the art market.

In 2019, Jessica curated New York’s first solo gallery exhibit devoted to an AI artist (AICAN) at H.G. Contemporary Gallery in Chelsea. She has produced dozens of pop-up exhibitions at commercial and private venues in the US and Europe, and has curated presentations at art fairs including: Art Dubai Digital, Digital Art Fair Asia (Hong Kong), SPRING/BREAK (NYC); SCOPE (NYC & Miami); Market ART + DESIGN (The Hamptons) and the Frankfurter Buchmesse (Germany). 

In 2021, Jessica joined the Business Development team at MakersPlace, where she currently serves as a Senior Director and Curator, working with artistic luminaries such as Sasha Stiles, Brendan Dawes, Perry Cooper, Marco Santini, Jenni Pasanan, David Ariew, Hideki Tsukamoto, and Sarah Meyohas, among others.

Jessica earned her B.A in Economics with a dual minor in Philosophy and Museum Studies from Lehigh University and her M.A in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She sits on the Director’s Advisory Council for the Lehigh University Art Galleries and serves on several philanthropic boards and committees, including CITYarts and White Wave Dance Company.

“Partnering with Jessica and being a beneficiary of her passion and purpose is a true privilege and joy. She sees beyond what is, and envisions new, meaningful ways to expand the bounds of a creative practice and its place in the wider world. I deeply respect and appreciate the vital work she does to help digital artists and their hybrid endeavors flourish.”

Sasha Stiles, poet, AI researcher, artist

“Jessica is a visionary in creative tech. With an unwavering finger on the pulse of cutting-edge technologies and expertise in fine art, she navigates the traditional and digital art worlds with finesse. Her professionalism and sophistication set the standard, while her innate ability to connect with artists and amplify their potential transcends expectation. With an expert curatorial eye, Jessica doesn’t just lead, she illuminates the path forward.”

Leila Heller, gallerist, Leila Heller Gallery


Caitlin Cruickshank Sutherland

Caitlin Cruickshank Sutherland is a curator and business development professional based in New York. She joined MakersPlace in 2021 to manage major accounts and bespoke projects in the digital art space. 

In her role as Senior Director at MakersPlace, Caitlin focuses on developing a pipeline of major releases for leading artists in the digital art world. During her tenure at the company, she has curated exhibitions for various international exhibitions and art fairs, collaborated with major artists to launch incubator programs for emerging talent, and partnered with agents, managers, and brands to create sought-after collections and releases across a wide variety of aesthetic movements and styles. 

Previously her career was concentrated in the traditional fine art market, having worked for various auction houses in Edinburgh, London, Amsterdam, Denver, Chicago, and New York. As the digital art market continues to slowly merge with more traditional fine art institutions and collections, Caitlin has carved out a niche working with multimedia artists who are balancing sales and desirability in both areas of the larger art markets. 

Prior to MakersPlace, Caitlin was a Business Director at Sotheby’s New York headquarters. During her time there as an Assistant Vice President, she managed multiple departments’ annual finances and led dealmaking for guarantees and irrevocable bids, while also acting as a project manager and leadership liaison across the company. She worked with various specialist departments including the company’s single-owner sales, furniture, antiquities, decorative arts, and various global fine art departments. With a keen interest in overarching business strategy, she also worked with many of the Sotheby’s corporate departments, including acting as the Business Director for North and South American regional offices and Museum Services. 

Caitlin regularly travels to give lectures at events and conferences on the topic of digital art, including web3-specific events such as NFT LA, NFT NYC, and NFT Paris. She also works on presentations for financial firms with investments in web3 companies, such as participation in the Pantera Blockchain investors summits in San Francisco and Singapore. She is also a regular guest lecturer at the New York Sotheby’s Institute of Art masters program and will be a keynote speaker at the International Society of Appraisers annual conference for the 2024 year. 

“Caitlin has strong expertise in the traditional fine art market and great enthusiasm for creative collaboration on bespoke projects. This drew me to MakersPlace to launch my incubator program Africa Here in 2022.”

Osinachi, artist

“Caitlin has been a guest lecturer in my courses for many years. Her extensive knowledge of the auction industry, combined with her recent engagement in digital sales and an innate talent for communication, makes her an insightful and engaging speaker.”

Maria Sancho-Arroyo, Faculty Art Business at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art


Katherine Zielinski

Kat Zielinski is a Client Relationship Manager & Head of Concierge at MakersPlace, specializing in art advisory services, collection management and acquisitions for HNW Collectors. With over a decade of experience in the traditional fine art world, Kat brings a deep love and understanding of art to her role. 

Notable clients and projects under Kat’s purview include Urs Fischer’s CHAOS #1-501, the launch and oversight of the Concierge Program and its services, and the representation of many top collectors from both the traditional art space as well as the crypto art world. Over the last two years she has successfully placed numerous works of digital art, totaling in over six figures in value, with notable private collections.

Kat holds a BA in Art History from Sewanee and an MA in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York. She previously worked for Sotheby’s in New York, where she held roles in the Global Fine Arts division as well as the ecommerce team.

Prior to joining Sotheby’s, Kat worked for a fine arts & interiors ecommerce company, handling HNW clients, as well as Gurr Johns Appraisal & Advisory firm, where she managed the appraisals team.


Hernán Ortiz

Hernán Ortiz is a curator, community builder and web3 OG. He started collecting digital art in 2019, when the space was only a tiny community with few collectors. With a newfound love for digital art collecting, Hernán became highly involved in the space interviewing and writing about artists, marketing their works, and assisting artists in being discovered and onboarded to various digital marketplaces and platforms. 

For his work in the web3 space, Hernán was recruited by Manta, a known art collector, to work in the digital art scene on an early pfp project titled Artvatars, the first to debut on Polygon OpenSea when it launched and successfully sold out. As community manager and artist liaison, he developed great relationships with top-tier artists. From this opportunity, Hernán was recruited to serve as an art advisor for the Raini Studios team, currently a web3 gaming company that is backed by Merit Circle and Leonardo.ai. 

In 2021, Hernán joined theMakersplace team, where he currently serves as Director of Business Development, Production Manager, and Curator. Hernán specializes mainly in working with web3 artists. His expertise involves providing advising services on narrative crafting, optimizing go-to-market construction, marketing, pricing, and navigating market structure and dynamics. He has worked directly with notable artists such as Trevor Jones, José Delbo, Reylarsdam, Jon Noorlander, Javier Arrés, and the Thelonious Monk estate, among others. 

With an eye for emerging artists and contemporary figurative and abstract work, Hernán has written articles and spoken at large about marketing, growing your network, curating your community, and strategizing on how to release artwork. He has been a speaker at NFT NYC and has been invited to lecture on the power of technology and how it is changing the art market.

Hernán earned his B.A. from Dartmouth College, M.A. from Columbia University and J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.


Parin Heidari

Parin Heidari is a Multidisciplinary Artist from Iran, drawing inspiration from her diverse background. She began creating art in childhood, holding her first exhibitions at just 11 years old.

She holds a BA in Industrial Design from Polytechnic University in Turin, Italy, and a BA of Fine Art from Art University in Tehran, Iran. With over 20 years of experience, she has collaborated with brands like BMW, Phillips, and MoonPay as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and Art Director.

Her unique one-line drawings, often made with both hands simultaneously, have gained wide recognition. Parin embraces digital platforms, participating in exhibitions and NFT shows.

She’s known for groundbreaking projects, including being the sole artist featured in all Time Pieces collections and collaborating with Timbaland, Deepak Chopra and Christian Burns. She was also among the select artists chosen for a project for the Galaxy launch by Mike Novogratz.

Beyond her own art, Parin has curated exhibitions like NFT Liverpool organized by Mondoir, showcasing her diverse talents. Through her creativity and global collaborations, Parin Heidari continues to leave a lasting impact on contemporary art.

“​​Parin’s kind personality, combined with her distinctive artistic style, places her in a unique position within the industry, allowing for genuine connections with artists and audiences alike. Her deep understanding of the art world and its dynamics equips her to curate content that is not only visually compelling but also resonant with the current trends and timeless themes. This blend of personal warmth, artistic insight, and industry savvy makes her ideal for the role of content manager and art curator.”

Mondoir


Jarid Scott

Jarid Scott is digital artist, curator, community builder, web3 OG, and the Community Development Marketing Manager at MakersPlace. His love of arts was born when he first saw the work of Salvador Dalí at the age of seven. This first spark of inspiration began a lifelong journey of creative endeavors including drawing, painting, music making, podcasting, poetry, photography, etc. Eventually he landed in the realm of digital art and glitch art. To this day he continues to pursue his solo artistic career under the name jrdsctt as well as working hard to build and grow MakersPlace.

In early 2019, Jarid joined MakersPlace as an artist and quickly became their first dedicated ambassador because of his dedicated involvement in the MakersPlace community. As an ambassador he onboarded new artists and answered questions in their rapidly growing Discord server. In March 2021, Beeple released a $1 limited-edition NFT on MakersPlace that not only crashed the website but also led to a raid of the MakersPlace Discord server. While the extremely small staff were trying to get MakersPlace back online, Jarid single-handedly kept the community Discord server afloat, answering questions and helping angry users. Shortly after that historic weekend, Jarid was brought on as an official MakersPlace staff member.

Also in early 2019, Jarid was brought on as one of the full-time curators for the Glitch Artists Collective, the largest and most dedicated glitch art community to date. On top of working with the over 100K artists who are part of this group on Facebook, most of his time is spent scanning and handpicking select glitch artworks to curate and showcase on the Glitch Artists Collective Instagram page.

Jarid brings a unique perspective to MakersPlace being both an artist and a curator for the company. As an artist, he was selected to participate in Sotheby’s Glitch: Beyond Binary glitch art auction alongside XCOPY, Patrick Amadon, JakNFT, Rosa Menkman, Dawnia Darkstone/LetsGlitchIt, and Empresstrash. Jarid has collaborated with LA Noise Rock Band HEALTH on their first NFT (minted in March of 2021) as well as Rob Sheridan (former Art Director of Nine Inch Nails). One of his biggest curation strengths is the vast network he’s built with creators of all disciplines over the years which has allowed him to keep his finger on the pulse of the constantly changing digital art space.

Jarid holds a BFA in Studio Art with an Emphasis in Digital Art & Photography and dual minors in Philosophy and Business Management from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

“Jarid was an early enthusiast to art NFTs and has witnessed the scene growing from an obscure corner of the internet into a worldwide phenomenon. As a curator, Jarid is something like an A&R person for a record company: he knows the cool scene artists and the cultural underground that produces some of the best and most enduring work without having to wait for the critical elite to discover them. Jarid not only finds places in the release schedule that will favor the underdog luminaries, but he also knows when to pair artists together or to look for outsiders he can bring under the magnifying glass of art curation.”

sgt_slaughtermelon


Aisha Arif

Aisha Arif is a trailblazing figure in the digital art world, known for her pioneering efforts in curating and nurturing the web3 community since early 2020. As a key member of the early team at MakersPlace, Aisha has played an important role in shaping the landscape of digital creativity as we know it.

With a fervent commitment to fostering community growth, Aisha dedicates herself to identifying and addressing adoption barriers, organizing impactful events, and championing emerging artists. Aisha has played a key role in historic milestones within the NFT space, having worked behind the scenes on such as the record-breaking Beeple’s Everydays: the First 5000 Days, Jose Delbo x Trevor Jones’ Who is the Creator record breaking collaboration, Hackatao’s Remix Me, Pak’s The Creation, Leonardo da Vinci x The Holoverse’s La Bella Principessa, amongst many others.

Throughout her career, Aisha has conducted thousands of interviews with acclaimed artists, ranging from Beeple to Urs Fischer to Snoop Dogg. She has shared her expertise at panels for NFT NYC, NFT LA, and the Pantera Blockchain Summit.

Aisha has curated exhibitions and art activations in both physical galleries and the metaverse. Her contributions include exhibitions at renowned galleries such as Allouche Gallery, Superchief NFT Gallery, Chase Contemporary Gallery, MOCA Cleveland, Nolcha Shows in NYC & Miami, Scope Art Show Miami Beach, as well as virtual events such as the first-ever red carpet Movie Premiere in Decentraland with David Bianchi, NFT for Good by Worldwide Walls, Beyond the Streets, the Thank You exhibition in \collaboration with the $Whale Community, the official Jerry Garcia 80th birthday celebration/art show in Decentraland, and the Venus of the Metaverse exhibition, an all-woman art show spanning three metaverses and eight galleries. 

Driven by her passion for democratizing NFT art and fostering community empowerment and inclusion, Aisha Arif continues to push the boundaries of digital creativity online and within her local community in the Bay Area through her work with Endeavors* Oakland and previously with Bay Area Crypto Art. She holds a Psychology and Public Policy Degree from U.C. Berkeley and has been practicing art (privately) her whole life.


Header image credit: INSIDE A DRESS_M_IMG_V1 by ACCIDENTAL CUTTING_ Eva Iszoro


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