We caught up with Sarah Pépin as she was preparing to leave the CLEARING gallery to focus on her own art consulting business. Not exactly a household name just yet, Sarah is a member of a new generation taking charge in the art market. And not just any art market! Sarah has her sights set internationally, and works regularly with some of the top artists and galleries in the U.S. and Europe.
Even before her studies in art history, Sarah had dreams of an international career. First, during an internship at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, she met the man who would become her mentor: Stéphane Aquin, then Curator of Contemporary Art at the museum. Later, through Aquin, she met René Blouin, another key contemporary art dealer in the city, and spent five years as co-director of his downtown gallery.
Finally, in 2016, she made her dream a reality by completing a master’s degree at the world’s largest auction house. As she says, “If you want to operate in the global art market, you have to leave Canada.” So, she moved to New York and earned an M.A. in Art, Law and Business through Christie’s Education. During the process, she met some of the most influential people in the world of contemporary art, which opened doors for her in New York and worldwide. “Networking is everything in the art world, and Christie’s is a goldmine for contacts.”
Those contacts led her to join the team at New York’s Clearing gallery. This gave her the opportunity to work with first-rate artists, whose creations appear in major international collections at the MoMA, the Met, and the Tate Modern in London, among others. She has also worked with major private and corporate collectors. Not bad for someone who grew up in the Saguenay! Sarah’s father was the one who introduced her to art and culture, when he took her to the Jean Cocteau: Enfant Terrible exhibit at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2004. That experience was a revelation, instilling the teenager with an abiding passion for the arts. She still has the exhibition catalogue!
Sarah owes her success to her easy way of connecting with people, and her talent for turning every experience and every encounter into an opportunity. This is a determined young woman whose consistent process and decisions have led precisely to where she is today, poised for a promising future. Next year, she’ll be dividing her time between Montreal, New York and Miami.