Hoover’s Hosier Heritage

Gagosian Gallery, artist liaison Sarah Hoover (yes! that Hoover) spent her childhood growing up in Indiana before heading off to New York City to attend New York University. Although brought up alongside art, she never thought she would be working within the contemporary art world until post-grad. PATTERN recently caught up with Hoover about how her humble Indiana upbringing helped shape the woman she is today, how she manages her crazy busy schedule, and how traveling has influenced both her work and herself.

Allie Coppedge: You’ve been traveling a lot lately. Where have you gone? What do you look for when traveling?

Sarah Hoover: Most of my travel is usually work-related, but I’m super pregnant right now so I’ve actually been in town for a while. In the last year, I spent time in Japan, California, Colorado, Spain, France, and of course Indiana. My favorite places to travel are unique spots–I like a “comfortable adventure”. No extreme activities–just seeing things that are new to my eyes.

AC: What’s your all-time favorite place to travel to?

SH: Definitely Japan. Everything there is visually perfect and they have an extreme respect for materials and resources.

AC: You were raised in Indianapolis but eventually moved to New York City. What was the main motive for your move?

SH: I moved to NYC to go to college at NYU. I left for a couple of years during grad school and have been back in New York since 2006.

AC: What’s the best midwestern value you’ve taken away from your upbringing?

SH: Treat everyone with grace and kindness. Whether they’re rich or poor. Famous or not famous. It doesn’t matter.

AC: Was art something that you were exposed to from a young age? Or did your love for it come later?

SH: I spent lots of time at the IMA as a little kid. I remember being really little and visiting the Art Institute in Chicago too! I realized I wanted to study art history while taking a course in it at Park Tudor. I didn’t know I would want to go into the contemporary world until after grad school though.

AC: What’s your favorite art period?

SH: It’s hard to pick just one, but the ’60s seem like they were extremely fertile.

AC: Working as an artist liaison and salesperson for Gagosian Gallery is a coveted job. What about the gallery intrigued you to apply to work there?

SH I applied at Gagosian on a whim–I actually lived across the street. I hadn’t been in the gallery much because I had been living abroad for grad school (we didn’t yet have a gallery in France) and I wasn’t super interested in contemporary art in college. I just needed a job as I was finishing up my last semester of grad school. But once I was here I couldn’t leave. It’s so dynamic, and every day is different. I’ve been at the gallery almost ten years and I’ve never been bored.

My favorite places to travel are unique spots–I like a “comfortable adventure”. No extreme activities–just seeing things that are new to my eyes!

AC: What’s your key to juggling such a full schedule?

SH: Being really organized and regimented with my time. Also sharing a Google calendar with my husband’s office.

AC: What are some of the memorable experiences you’ve had because of your career?

SH: The travel has been fascinating. A really memorable time for me was the first time I visited the Venice Biennale. I love the idea that a whole garden with beautiful little pavilions on it exists just in the name of art. It’s supported by thousands of people who visit and make their “pilgrimages” every two years. Art magic!

Keep up with Sarah by following her Instagram, or Gagosian Gallery’s Instagram.

Photography by Jesse Winter

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