International Women Art Collectors Club – Interview with Hayat Jmammou
Could you please explain in detail how the idea to establish your association dedicated to women in the world of art collecting originated and what vision inspired its foundation?
The idea to create "The International Women Art Collectors Club" (IWACC) originated from my own experience as an art advisor and collector. I noticed a male dominance among art collectors, which prompted me to reflect on the disparities in this field. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I had the opportunity to delve deeper into the geopolitical aspects of art and the role of women in this context.
I identified a significant lack of resources, tools, and networking opportunities for women in the art collecting world. Male networking clubs offered easy exchanges on numerous topics, but there was no equivalent for women. This struck me and led me to ponder the reasons behind this absence: was it a lack of interest, or rather a lack of opportunities and support?
Our vision, through IWACC, is to create a space where women art collectors can explore, learn, and share their passion in an environment that recognizes and celebrates their unique contributions. We aspire to an art world where women are not only acknowledged for their exceptional contributions but are also encouraged to positively influence the evolution of the art market. We believe that women play a fundamental role as patrons, collectors, and investors, and it's crucial to provide them with an environment conducive to expressing their expertise and passion.
Can you tell us more about how your vision has evolved since the creation of the association?
How have you adapted your services and activities to meet the specific needs of women in the world of art collecting?
Since the inception of "The International Women Art Collectors Club" (IWACC), our vision has adapted and evolved in line with the needs and feedback from our members, as well as the changing dynamics of the art world.
Initially, our aim was to create a space for women passionate about art to meet and share. This mission has been successfully accomplished.
However, by listening closely to our members, we realized that their needs were more varied and profound. In response, we have expanded our offerings to include customized workshops and seminars on topics such as art history, conservation, collection management, including financial, legal, and logistical aspects.
These initiatives provide our members with in-depth knowledge and practical skills in various art-related fields.One particularly well-received aspect has been our mentorship program. It allows our members to benefit from the experience and advice of seasoned art collectors and industry professionals, offering practical learning and privileged access to valuable advice and experiences.
How does your association enrich the local or international cultural landscape? Do you have specific examples of your impact on the artistic community?
Our association uniquely enriches the art world by valuing and highlighting female voices and perspectives, thereby influencing artistic currents with a distinct sensibility.
Historically, the press and cultural events have often spotlighted male collections. By emphasizing the female perspective, we bring a unique enrichment to the art world and enable women to influence artistic currents with their sensibility.
In our events, we strive to combine these two aspects to offer an enriching and meaningful experience, both for our members and for the artistic communities we interact with.
This approach allows us to support local artists and highlight issues specific to the region. For instance, at a recent event, while addressing a global theme, we dedicated part of the event to promoting artists from a particular region, thus creating a link between global and local issues.
What are your aspirations for the future of the association? How do you envision its development and influence in the coming years?
The future of the Club is exciting and promising. We aspire to play an increasingly influential role in the evolution of the art market by emphasizing visibility and recognition for women in this field.
We plan to further develop our mentoring and expert initiatives, providing women with essential tools to take center stage as collectors, patrons, or investors, thereby amplifying our impact on the art market.
We also aim to expand our global presence, creating local branches to better meet the specific needs of our members in different regions of the world.
We are working to strengthen our partnerships with cultural institutions and other key sector organizations, and we continue to actively promote diversity and inclusion in the world of art collecting by supporting initiatives that enhance the representation of female voices. We believe this will lead to a more dynamic, innovative art market that reflects the richness of human creativity.
In summary, our vision for the future of the Club is based on our ongoing commitment to catalyzing change, creating meaningful opportunities for our members, and positively influencing the evolution of the art market towards greater equality and diversity. We are eager to see the lasting impact we can create as an association dedicated to women in the exciting world of art collecting.
How would you describe the commitment and role of your members in the evolution of the association? Are there any experiences or notable achievements of members that you are particularly proud of?
From the beginning, my role and that of the team were more focused on assistance and sharing experience. We aimed to create a space for exchange with art experts. However, the evolution of our association has been marked by an increasing and remarkable involvement of our members. They have moved beyond being mere participants; they have become key players in the realization of our projects.
We are particularly proud of the many individual achievements of our members.
For instance, some have achieved remarkable success at international exhibitions or through influential artistic projects. Collaborations between members have led to philanthropic initiatives that have had a positive impact beyond our community.
These initiatives, born from the commitment of our members, reflect their passion and dedication to art. We have transitioned from a structure whose aim was to support, assist, and inform, to a horizontal and participative collaboration.
In summary, the engagement and active role of our members are the cornerstone of our success. Their passion, commitment, and collaboration inspire the constant evolution of our association.
What are the major events or initiatives that you organize? Do you have exhibitions highlighting the collections of your members?
We organize several events and initiatives throughout the year to invigorate our organization and showcase the exceptional talents of our members.
We have two major annual events. One always takes place in Monaco, planned for spring 2024, and the other occurs in autumn in a different country each year.
These events are key moments to gather our members, discuss future directions, create connections, and invite experts for lectures. We cover various themes, for instance, we are working on an event focused on art and addiction, involving psychiatrists and artists to approach this significant subject from a different angle, and we create a report following these two major events.
Between these two major gatherings, we organize visits to collections, which are not necessarily those of our members, but which fit into our program of activities.
We are also considering private tours in prestigious locations like the Louvre in Paris. As for the idea of creating an exhibition with works from our members, it's an ambitious project that we would like to realize. It involves considerable logistical and insurance challenges, but we are exploring the possibilities.
Finally, we are soon to launch a recognition award for the exceptional contributions of our members.
Do you participate in art sales as a group ?
We are considering incorporating group participation in auctions as a new initiative for our club. This would provide a perfect opportunity for members to meet directly in the field, allowing them to discuss together the artworks presented and their potential interest. Although joint acquisition is not feasible, the club plans to organize group trips to attend these events, thus fostering exchange and discussion among members around specific catalogs.
Furthermore, as part of our two major upcoming events, we plan to include charity auctions, thereby reinforcing our commitment to the artistic community while offering enriching experiences to our members.
While we are in the process of setting up these initiatives, we already offer individual support to our members in their acquisition efforts.
Currently, we are individually assisting some of our members.
Is your association open to the public for certain activities or events? How can the public engage with your association?
Our events are exclusively for members. We have considered the possibility of welcoming guests, including members' spouses, but for now, events remain strictly members-only. It is possible for our current members to sponsor new members, but these individuals must become active members in order to participate in our activities.
Regarding broadening your club's audience, are there any specific strategies or plans in place?
To invigorate our club, we invite experts and speakers to our events, their key presence contributing to enriching the club and extending our visibility beyond our members. We also participate in local and international cultural events to diversify our connections and promote our association.
In the future, we plan to strengthen our presence on social media to reach a global audience and launch awareness campaigns focused on the equitable representation of women in the art collecting world, thereby raising awareness among a wider audience about our issues.
How do each of your members express their passion for collecting art? Are there any particular stories of discovery or acquisition that symbolize this passion?
Our members express their passion for collecting art in very personal ways. For example, one of our collectors was passionate about the art of her native village. For her, this represents a return to her roots and a way of rediscovering and reconnecting with her culture. This approach goes beyond the aesthetics of the works; it explores a profound connection with her personal history. It is an emotional quest that is evident in their collection.
For my part, being of Moroccan origin, I was inspired by this approach to explore the art of my parents' region.
Many of our members seek these connections to their origins, which go well beyond the simple aesthetic appreciation of the works.
So you're talking about an emotional and cultural connection with art?
Exactly. There is an emotional, almost maternal, dimension in the way our members connect with art that is different from what we see in men's collections.
Although the investment aspect is present, it is less pronounced among our female members. They show a deeper interest in the history and origin of the works.
How do members of your association interact with each other? Can you describe how your meetings take place, whether in person or online, and how these interactions enrich the experience of the members?
Currently, the main interaction between our members takes place during the events we organize. These meetings are special moments where our members can exchange and share their experiences and knowledge in the field of art collecting. After these events, members tend to exchange contact information to stay in touch.
However, we are aware of the importance of further facilitating these interactions outside of our events. We are in the process of thinking about more structured solutions for this.
Our objective is to find the right balance so that our members can interact easily while maintaining the quality and exclusivity of these exchanges. We want to create an environment that fosters authentic and meaningful connections between members.
How many members do you currently have? How has the size of the association changed over the years?
Currently, we have around 20 members in our association. My goal is to reach 50 members by our next event.
Initially, membership was mainly through word-of-mouth, often via acquaintances encountered at artistic events such as Art Basel. But recently, I've been looking to expand our network beyond my personal circle to include members I don't know. This is in order to diversify our group and make it more representative.
So you focus on the quality of the members and the exchanges within your club?
Exactly. We want to maintain a certain discretion and want to maintain the quality of interactions between our members. That is why we have chosen to be relatively selective in the membership process. Our aim is to create an environment where each member can fully express their passion for collecting art and benefit from shared experiences.
How can our readers who wish to join IWACC?
Just reach out to us through the contact space available on our new website.