Updated: Mar 23
I am thrilled to announce the launch of My Petite Gallery, an online platform at the intersection of art and advocacy. My name is Sophie Federspiel, and I'm the founder of this exciting new project.
Get to know me
Before I tell you more about My Petite Gallery, let me share a little about my background. For the past 17 years, I worked as a humanitarian staff – both with international NGOs and the United Nations. I worked and lived in Sudan, Central African Republic, Nigeria, Mali and Yemen and went on missions to so many fascinating countries including Cameroon, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, South Sudan, Syria and Venezuela. It was an incredibly fulfilling and interesting job, but over time, I began to feel like something was missing. While I was indirectly helping people in need by negotiating access or liaising with military and armed groups, I couldn't shake the feeling that I wanted to do something more creative and personally rewarding.
The "lightbulb moment"
That's when I began to explore my love for art. I've always been passionate about art, and I wanted to find a way to use my skills and knowledge to help others. As I settled in NYC for my job at the United Nations headquarters, I dove deeper into the art world, and got the chance to visit some NYC art galleries and art fairs.
One day, I had a lightbulb moment. What if I could bring together artists who have worked in conflict areas, as well as refugee and asylum seekers artists, and provide a platform for their work to be seen and heard? That's how My Petite Gallery was born.
My Petite Gallery is a space for artists who have experienced or witnessed conflict, displacement, and other difficult situations to showcase their work. We believe that art is a powerful tool for advocacy, and we want to use our platform to raise awareness and support for these artists and the causes they care about.
While the project started to take shape, I discovered that many former humanitarian colleagues were now pursuing careers as artists. It is fascinating to see how they are using their experiences to inform their art and I am delighted to represent some of them at My Petite Gallery.
Our next step is to find artists from conflict areas, as well as refugee, stateless and asylum seekers artists. We're excited to connect with these talented individuals and provide them with the opportunity to share their work with the world. If you recognize yourself in the above description, reach out to us.
We're just getting started, and we have big plans for the future! Starting September 2023, we will organise quarterly pop-up art shows in NYC. All our events will have a specific focus on human rights and/or humanitarian issues and a portion of our sale will be donated to charities and local organisations (including some supporting artists worldwide). We believe that art can change the world, and we can't wait to see the impact that My Petite Gallery will have on the art community and beyond.
This blog section will be open to artists we represent, and I am excited to get to share with you their work and their voice.
Thank you for joining us on this journey. We can't wait to see where it takes us!