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In Person:| Armory Show director Nicole Berry keeps the show on the road

The director of New York’s homegrown art fair says she is ready to make some „radical“ shifts following last year’s venue upset
MARGARET CARRIGAN
via The Art Newspaper

“It’s always a risk for galleries, doing a fair,” says Nicole Berry. “And it comes down to the money—it’s expensive.” The director of New York’s Armory Show used to work the fair booths herself when on the staff of various Manhattan galleries, so she is well aware that it is not just the stand fees that can stretch a gallery’s budget, but also the expense of shipping and staff, not to mention the untold cost of exhaustion. “Burnout is real,” she adds.

Burnout is exactly what brought Berry to the art world. She started her career as an elementary school teacher, following in the footsteps of her mother. “I didn’t have any formal art history training, but I was always trying to incorporate it into my teaching plans,” she explains over gluten-free toast and green tea at Manhattan’s NoMad restaurant. But after six years of working in a state school, she says she needed to change. “It’s a very difficult job. There’s not a lot of support for teachers, financially or otherwise. It can be incredibly rewarding, but you’re ‘on’ all the time.”

It wasn’t just her career where she made a decisive break—around the same time she also divorced. “I thought, you know what, there’s nothing holding me back from trying something else,” she says.

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