* This article was excerpted, with permission, from the Chestnut Hill Local.
by Len Lear
Sara McCorriston, 32, who attended Mount St. Joseph Academy in Flourtown and later Chestnut Hill College for graduate school, is co-owner (with business partner Jason Chen) of Paradigm Gallery + Studio, a Queen Village art gallery (746 S. 4th St.). Touted in a Philadelphia Magazine “Best of” issue as “the place to discover up-and-coming artists,” we decided to interview this art maven, who is certainly one of the youngest art gallery owners in the city.
CHL: What did the “Best of…” designation from Philly Mag do for you?
SM: I think it helped us connect with an audience that hadn’t heard of us, or maybe did but never really connected or came to visit. We had so many people reference us winning Best of Philly. We continue to proudly display it in our window.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
It’s been a whirlwind adapting to what was an almost overnight major change to running the business. I’m proud of how all of our efforts have been put into stepping up to the challenge, instead of giving way to the creeping feelings of defeat. I’m grateful that we had two strong exhibitions/events open just prior to the shelter-in-place orders in Philadelphia, which helped give us at least a bit of a cushion before the floor fell out from under us. In late February, we had just opened our 10th anniversary exhibition, and in early March we were showing at an art fair during Armory Week in New York. We needed to shut off the exhibition, the largest one we’ve ever had at the gallery, to the public shortly after opening.
We’ve launched audio tours for the very first time, and we’ve continued moving forward with our exhibitions schedule and launched all of our exhibitions online through ticketed livestreams and live artist Q&As that have all sold out so far. Using these new tools has helped us connect more than ever to our international audience that rarely, if ever, has the opportunity to see our exhibitions in person.
To read the full story, please visit the Chestnut Hill Local's website at www.chestnuthilllocal.com/2020/07/30/former-mount-and-chc-student-now-best-art-dealer/.