Jenny Garber specialises in bespoke contemporary art tours. With a passion for art and through her extensive art networks, developed over many years of personal interest and professional pursuits, Jenny offers clients private introductions to the leading galleries, exhibitions, gallery directors, artists and curators who define Sydney’s vibrant arts scene.
Please explain a little bit about who you are and what you do?
My company, inART, specialises in private and unique art experiences in Australia and Internationally. With an extensive personal and professional network of global art world contacts, I’m able to provide private introductions and personal access to leading galleries, gallery directors, artists, curators, public and private collections as well as VIP guest status at art fairs.
I have conducted tours to Art Basel Hong Kong; MONA in Hobart, Tasmania; Sydney Contemporary, Canberra and Melbourne as well as hosting many international visitors on contemporary art tours in Sydney. Next year I’m including the opening of the Venice Biennale and a trip to Rome.
What got you started with your passion and what do you find most interesting about it?
I have had a lifelong interest in art and would always visit the public art institutions and museums and commercial galleries whenever and wherever I was travelling. I wanted to have a more formal basis to my interest in art, so attended the University of Sydney as a mature age student and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Art History & Theory and Literature.
Initially I started doing local contemporary art tours in Sydney and that expanded into the international tours as well. The art world is a fascinating world in which to work, not only do I have the pleasure of constantly viewing wonderful collections and exhibitions but also meet the most fascinating and interesting people. Dream job!
How do you bring contemporary art to life on your tours?
In the run-up to a local or international tour, I spend a lot of time researching the exhibitions, and artists, at the galleries I will be visiting so I can provide background information. Also, having the gallery director, or the artist, talk about their work provides a level of depth and expertise that is always insightful and knowledgeable. Contemporary art can sometimes be difficult to understand and its important that people feel relaxed in being able to express their opinion – I don’t want them to be intimidated, I ensure they are relaxed, engaged and interested.
Why do you think it’s important that people learn about contemporary art?
Many visitors to Australia are not aware of the rich cultural life we have here and it is a privilege for me to be able to take them on an art tour to show them the diversity of our visual artists, from traditional and contemporary Indigenous art to our contemporary Australian artists. When I am on an International art tour, it’s very exciting to be able to provide access to some of the world’s greatest galleries and art museums that teaches us so much, not only about history but also our contemporary view of the world.
If people wanted to find out more about contemporary art are there any particular books, documentaries or websites you would recommend?
That is a book in itself! There is a lot available online about Australian and Indigenous art. Also, the institutions such as The National Gallery of Australia, The National Gallery of Victoria, The Art Gallery of New South Wales all have excellent websites.
What’s your favourite Australian animal and why?
The Tasmanian Tiger – which is supposedly extinct. I grew up in Tasmania and there was often passionate debate about whether it was actually extinct or could still be living. If it is still in existence, then it’s certainly a wily little creature that has managed to elude all those who have been tracking it for many years.
What place is Australia’s best-kept secret?
The west coast of Tasmania
What haven’t you seen / done in Australia that you’d like to and why?
Ayres Rock – it’s a sacred and symbolic place and everyone I know who has been there has been moved by the experience.
Finally, how can people follow you on social media?
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/inartsydneyarttours/
Twitter – @inartsydney
Instagram – @inarttours