Meet Olivia Lundberg-Carr (27) Director/Owner/Founder of Greyscale Productions

Tell us about how you chose your career/business and what your responsibilities include? 
After completing my studies at McGill University, I began working for Christie’s auction house. I started in their San Francisco office and then eventually transferred to the New York office.  It was during this time that I learned a great deal about the business of art but also became increasingly interested in the contemporary art scene specifically new and emerging artists. It was through the one-on-one relationships that I developed with these artists that allowed me to understand the struggles and exposure issues they faced in order to gain gallery representation and other outlets to build a career for themselves based in their passion for artwork. I suppose that was the spring board for Greyscale Productions.

Tell us about the company?
Greyscale Productions is an art lending business, situating itself between the emerging artist and the new buyers market.  Essentially, Greyscale manages the consigned artwork of its roster of artists and places it within private and semi-private venues and events with an option to purchase the artwork at any time.  At the end of the loan period, the artwork is either purchased, returned to the artist or may find itself in another venue for a new loan. 

What are some of the most fulfilling projects you have been involved with so far?
By far, my experience with the Touch Foundation serving as a member of their Executive Committee of their Young Leader’s group as well as co-chairing for their most recent summer event which raised over $20,000 has proven to be the one of the most fulfilling. 

The Touch Foundation is a nonprofit focused on the shortage of healthcare workers in Tanzania, where there is ONE doctor for every 30,000 in comparison to NYC were there is one for every 200. They do this by supporting the expansion of a medical university and teaching hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania, which serves an area of 15 million people as well as support aspiring doctors, nurses and other health workers with scholarships, and provide management expertise and infrastructure development to the university and hospital.

Touch provides the group with solid organizational structure but also the flexibility to incorporate the ideas brought to the table by its young professionals. As one of them and more specifically, I have the opportunity to cross over Greyscale’s function into fundraising, especially during the event planning process. 

By connecting artists with the Touch Foundation and working to build the silent auction items by including their artwork adds considerable value to both parties. Seeing the ideas develop into fully actualized programs and access points for new volunteers is a testament to the follow-through that Touch Foundation is capable of creating; not just within the limited scope of New York City professionals but most importantly overseas in its healthcare endeavors in Tanzania.

 Are there any people in your field you would like to meet and/or work with and have not yet had the opportunity?
Countless numbers!  However, one of the greatest aspects of my volunteer experience with the Touch Foundation, and I apply it to Greyscale as well, is its focus on the individual, regardless of prestige or their levels of access and exposure. The Touch Foundation emphasizes the lack of corporate hierarchy wherein each person/volunteer has equal and valid input thereby enhancing the opportunities of finding fresh and always current methods of communicating the desired message.

What are some of your favorite ways to network?
Volunteering!  Choosing the type of organization and cause that you care about not only gives you a sense of fullness in being able to give back, it broadens your exposure to the different paths each person takes. It increases not only your professional network but also keeps your mind open to additional ways to evaluate and go after new routes in finding career success.

Do you have a mentor – if so how did you choose one another?
I don’t have one mentor overall, although there are elements to many co-workers and superiors I have learned a great deal from.  Mentorship is something I would certainly advocate but in my travels I have yet to come across that single person for me.

What’s been the most surprising thing that has happened to you so far in your career?
The most surprising element I’ve come across in my career is the limitations people tend to place upon themselves and/or their ideas within a corporate structure.  A refreshing surprise to this common experience was when a prior volunteer co-worker in another (similar) organization began working for Touch Foundation and recruited me to become involved.  Not to restate the earlier response, but the lack of boundaries in exploring the best methods of communicating and advocating Touch’s mission allows for a liveliness within the group dynamic that otherwise might be suffocated in the day-to-day workplace. 

What do you do for fun/relaxation?
Fun? Huh… Just kidding.  I love to garden and cook, especially elaborate and time consuming recipes for a single meal.  Traveling is an absolute must, not only for my business endeavors with Greyscale, but mostly to keep my mind open and receptive to new challenges.  And reading is perhaps the most relaxing, both non-fiction and fiction – I’m currently in the midst of Tai-Pan by James Clavell and thoroughly enjoying it.

Any parting advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Keep taking risks that better your life – whether it’s finding more free time for yourself, better headspace, etc. those will rarely backfire.  And to remain secure in taking a chance – not allowing your peers’ successes to impact how you perceive your own. By being persistent and giving back, you would be surprised how large your community grows in a relatively short space of time.

How can our readers connect with you?
Best manner would be through the website www.greyscaleproductions.org