We sat down with one of chashama’s Board Members, Cindy Scholz, for a Q & A about the role of art personally and professionally. Cindy is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at Urban Compass, and an avid art collector who started by finding pieces in the city’s underground art scene. She talks about the importance of forming a personal connection with both the artwork and the artists.
How did you start collecting? Do you have a certain theme in your collection?
I started collecting in college. Reflective of my budget, or lack thereof. I started by picking up street art downtown. I would love to shop on West Broadway. My collection expanded as I got older. Mixed in with my street art I have wonderful Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Keith Haring prints. My taste in art is definitely modern; I tend to gravitate to pop art and graffiti art.
What do you look for when purchasing art?
I like pieces that can solicit a conversation among mixed company.
What influences your decisions?
Being ADHD my thoughts are all over the place. Often times the memories and feelings I associate with a certain piece are not abundantly apparent. I like pieces that can elicit a certain feeling or bring back a fond memory.
How important is it for you to meet the artist who created the work?
I find meeting the artist, or having studied them, plays a major deciding factor what I purchase. I think knowing the artist’s personality, brings energy to a piece. Artists that I have been fortunate enough to meet have only added to the appeal of the art.
Can you give our readers your take on the role of the arts in real estate?
Art has become a major marketing tool for new developments. Developers are commissioning artist to build custom pieces for their buildings, since it helps to create and portray the personality of the building. It is not uncommon for artists to be part of a design team commissioned by a developer. Modern Art is just another connection to the world of luxury buyers. When selling luxury properties you are selling a lifestyle. You want your product to be relatable and feel like home.
Sales offices are often like galleries. You enter an open space with beautiful renderings of what will be constructed. A vital part of the visit is being able to elicit certain feelings from a buyer and help them develop a vision. You must create an experience for them. I often say selling Real Estate is very similar to selling art. In having experience in both I can speak to the broad similarities.
Why is your role as a chashama board member important to you?
I truly feel it is one of the best charities in NYC. Art is the heartbeat of NY. It is not just in galleries or on canvas. As real estate prices continue to soar we need to keep art and artists here at home. I could not believe a charity existed that married two things I love so dearly; art and real estate. In the past year I moved my team to Urban Compass. It was the best decision I ever made. I was guided by fellow board members, who are prominent figures in NYC Real Estate. I feel very lucky to sit beside them. In turn the collaborative environment of Urban Compass has allowed me to cultivate relationships with major developers that have potential to donate space to chashama.