With the next sessions of Online courses fast approaching we want to introduce you to another of our Course Instructors. Meet Eleni Markopoulioti, Course Instructor for the ‘Art as an Alternative Investment’ 6-week Online course starting January 2016.
Where did it all begin for you? How did you develop a passion for art?
It all began at home in Greece. My father is a cultural buff so from a young age instead of playing on bouncy castles I was going to museums, plays, or visiting ancient sites. It didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to embed my life in the art world.
Tell us about your career trajectory and how you came to work for Sotheby’s Institute of Art?
Following my MA studies in History of Art at UCL, I realized I was mainly interested in the art market, so I decided to complete the MA in Art Business at Sotheby's Institute in London, where I now consult. During my initial career years, I took on London based art projects that primarily focused on strategic client communications and management. My MA in Art Business along with my entrepreneurial nature landed me a position as the Client and Business Development Director at Right Capital, an art finance start-up, which is now one of the leaders in the sector. My knowledge of MA teaching and ground-level experience in the art finance sector brought me back to Sotheby’s Institute of Art where I am involved in the MA Art Business and the Online courses.
In your experience as the Online Course Instructor of ‘Art as an Alternative Investment’, how do the Sotheby’s Institute of Art - Online courses lend themselves to learning about the art world?
The Online courses are a perfect introduction to the art market. They have been built in such a way that teaches both core principles to a novice and also exposes more well-versed students to specific art topics that allow for a detail-oriented analysis. In the 'Art as An Alternative Investment' Online course we extensively discuss each week’s assigned topics as well as current art market news which prompts students to apply taught principles to the everyday realities of the art market. The Online courses are fully structured, which helps students to engage in a constructive way at their own pace. All Online course instructors are successful art market professionals with hands-on market experience which means that students get to share in their first-hand knowledge.
“All Online course instructors are successful art market professionals with hands-on market experience.”
What can students expect to learn on the ‘Art as an Alternative Investment’ online course?
The 'Art as an Alternative Investment' Online course introduces students to the key concepts and the important developments formed at the intersection of the art market, finance, and investment. Commencing with a discussion of the global art market framework, participants examine opportunities and risks, art investment characteristics, art funds, art backed loans and also get an insight on art law, insurance, and other good business considerations. The course explores important auctions from Old Masters to Contemporary Art and analyzes specific top works by Raphael, Monet and Oscar Murillo. Also explored in detail are the principles underlying art pricing, art valuation, and proper due diligence. By the end of the six week course, students are familiar with the nature of art investment and can critically assess art finance structures’ successes and failures while also projecting future changes and developments in the art market.
How does being an Instructor for an Online course differ to the classroom?
I really enjoy teaching the Online courses and engaging with students on a daily basis. Having taught the 'Art as An Alternative Investment' Online course for several sessions now, my perception is that students are highly engaged and purposeful in their discussions. The length of the Online course and the fact that responses in our discussion boards are written, requires a degree of critical assessment that makes for a higher and more focused level of discussion.
In your opinion, what advantages are there to studying online?
I believe one of the major advantages is the targeted and concise nature of an online course that translates both to the teaching of the material but also in the constructive student discussions. Online courses at Sotheby’s Institute of Art also work like an art market microcosm with students from all over the world: some looking to become an art market professional, others starting their art collections or providing ancillary services like legal consulting on art matters. Of course like any Online course it allows participants to be flexible in how and when they engage with the course.
What advice would you have for someone starting out in their career in the international art world?
They are already on the right track if they are engaging with Sotheby’s Institute of Art. The art world is a rather closed entity which requires a targeted effort in order to enter it. Educating oneself through the Online or other courses the Institute offers is a sound way to take those first steps. A career in the art world is slow paced, as it takes time to develop expertise and connections but it is also a field that is personally rewarding as you get to participate in the world of art and culture. It is a very exciting area to be in, as it is changing very quickly with established businesses adapting to the contemporary world and new ideas taking business form. In terms of practicalities, I would advise anyone who is interested in a career in the international art world to take advantage of any chance they get to visit exhibitions, auctions, and galleries so that they can build their visual vocabulary.
Eleni became the Client and Business Development Director at Right Capital in early 2012, realising the company's potential to define the financial services sector for the art market. Since 2013 she has been working with Sotheby's Institute of Art as the Course Leader for the ‘Art as an Alternative Investment’ Online course and as a consultant on the MA in Art Business in London. Previously, she worked as the Communications Director for the innovative e-commerce art company Fabulous Noble and also handled the PR strategies for contemporary London artists. She has two Master's degrees; one in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art with a specialisation in art market research and another in History of Art from UCL. She holds a BA in History of Art from the University of Warwick. Eleni is also a member of PAIAM.