Expert Profile: Art Curation Specialist

Kara Swami

Expert Profile: Kara Swami

At an early age, Kara Swami developed a unique perspective on and a strong passion for things and the impact they have on people. Kara’s one-of-a-kind approach to interpreting art enables her to shape Everything But The House sales with captivating innovation. She has always surrounded herself with all forms of art, and has spent time working at art galleries and museums such as the Taft Museum and Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center. After obtaining both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Art History, Kara went on to teach about her passion at Miami University and The University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program. Now, Kara carefully curates Everything But The House sales– guiding buyers to items of interest and helping sellers maximize the value of their goods.

Kara is a key member of a team of “Curation Specialists”, assembling premier sales and thematic sales on Everything But The House. In order to do this, she and her team will venture to an estate, scrutinize and estimate the value of items, and make decisions on which items a homeowner should sell with EBTH. Kara and the team then pack up the sale items themselves and transport them to a warehouse for further authentication and evaluation.

When piecing together together a sale, which is an artform within itself, Kara and her team, including EBTH Cofounder Brian Graves, work thematically to assemble items into groupings which they think will appeal to buyers. If a specific item might interest a buyer, the team loops similar goods together in a sale on our website, such as similar artists or genres of items. For example, they determine that people who like Mid-Century-Modern design might also be interested in a specific collection of International Folk Art within our catalogue, or, people who like Southwestern Jewelry could also be interested in our new inventory of American Western or Sporting Art. Kara organizes all of this information, then sorts the sale so it is aesthetically appealing making it more enjoyable to navigate, allowing EBTH users to quickly and easily find and bid on related items. Additionally, Kara reaches out to repeat EBTH users and lets them know about new paintings and items of potential interest as they pop up on our website.

Expert Profile: Kara Swami
Expert Profile: Kara Swami

She explains her work as “beyond rewarding” because she helps bidders discover one-of-a-kind items in order to help them build their collections. It is difficult to determine how a painting is going to perform on EBTH in terms of number of bids and sale price. Kara’s best skill is having the knowledge and the necessary eye to determine how to build a sale or an artist’s profile. This all comes with careful curation, hours of research, and writing artist bios and item descriptions.

“Art is not one size fits all. There are things about a painting that I’ll notice need to be pushed more in the description. Even if a piece is coming from an unknown artist, there’s a whole market out there for collectors of specific goods (i.e. pastoral landscapes, impressionist paintings, folk portraits, etc.). I think, ‘How can I beef up the value of a piece of artwork for the seller?’ It often comes down to the little things– the description, the frame, and the history of the piece, determined from tireless research,” explains Kara. As a result, she will go back into sales, edit the descriptions or add any additional details she deems necessary.

Kara loves what she does, which makes directing all of her energy to enhancing Everything But The House’s seller and buyer experiences come so naturally. Her passion for visual culture began as a young teen while flipping through a school textbook. Kara saw that textbook as much more than required reading– more than just a collection of stories. She saw her future in the images displayed– images that told their own story. Now, at Everything But The House, Kara’s unique vision, undying thirst for knowledge, and extreme level of care for the items that flow through the EBTH catalogue make Kara Swami a vital member of our team.

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