an interview with D.K. JOHNSTON curator of Quin Arts

 Robert Christian Malmberg

an interview with D.K. JOHNSTON curator of Quin Arts

"Our work impacts an audience so great that it requires each of us to be competent stewards of culture..."

How did you develop your passion for art?

As a result of having the most amazingly devoted parents, I encountered many perspective-expanding experiences throughout my childhood at museums, camps, performances, shows, festivals, and the public library—my pre-Internet source for viewing my favorite art.

How would you characterize the art scene in New York City?

Vibrant, authentic, and infectious. Heat, fuel, and oxygen must meet in order to create fire. In creating an art community, a similar triangle is necessary for longevity: the union of artists, a marketplace, and patrons. NYC has these in abundance, and they are mixed together in the perfectly chaotic fashion that only this city could support. It is so very inspiring to contribute to a creative community of such global significance and sheer magnitude. Our work impacts an audience so great that it requires each of us to be competent stewards of culture—a responsibility I take very seriously.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start collecting art?

I recommend watching the critically acclaimed documentary film Herb & Dorothy before doing anything. The endearing love story of two extraordinarily regular New Yorkers, Herb and Dorothy were able to amass one of the most significant collections of Minimalist Art of their generation on the modest income of a postal worker and NYC librarian. By keeping consistent with acquisitions, and by getting close to the artists creating the work as well as to the critics discussing it, Herb and Dorothy accomplished something every collector should strive for. Gallerists often encourage clients to buy what they love, however at the values art collections are bringing in today's market, you can't really rely exclusively on your heart. You can definitely start there, but the savvy collector uses analytics and a consistent methodology to improve the chances of their collection growing in value over time.

What is your vision in curating the Quin Arts program?

I am always looking for opportunities to connect patrons with creators in their native habitat. When the creator's native habitat is too far afoot, then I strive to recreate a glimpse of this habitat in a location more accessible to patrons. The Quin Arts program provides an evergreen canvas to continually illustrate this moment of connectivity within. With Quin Arts, I am afforded the chance to present special connections I've made over the years to guests through the myriad of arts programming we've put into motion—beginning in earnest with Magnum Photos earlier this year.

The creative class demands more from their travel experiences. How does Quin Arts respond to this?

In order to rise above the luxury travel noise, a hotel needs to bring an immersive experience to the guest in a novel yet sincere fashion—such as a violin virtuoso from Carnegie Hall playing in the lobby one afternoon, or a renowned hyperrealist painter sketching out his next landmark show in the drawing room over coffee. Touchstone moments between patrons and creators are the fabric of the Quin Arts program. Before, during, and after a visit to the Quin, guests receive a thoughtfully curated experience that is not available anywhere else. Our artists do not only encourage guests to keep these poignant encounters as travel memories, they inspire them to live more artful lives at home, wherever in the world that might be.

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