Terrill Warrenburg, C’16
Terrill Warrenburg

Art Fairs and Special Projects Manager, Sean Kelly Gallery

New York, NY

Fine Arts Major, French and History of Art Minors

In my current role, I’m responsible for overseeing all logistics and administration relating to Sean Kelly Gallery’s participation in about 10 to 12 art fairs per year. That includes coordinating with the sales team, operations and installation teams, marketing team, finance, and any external third parties. I’m the liaison that works between all of these moving parts to ensure that each art fair presentation runs smoothly and is successful. I also have the pleasure of working on special one-off projects for the gallery, which have ranged from charity auctions to curating major corporate art collections.

This professional role is the perfect balance between my organizational side and my artistic side. My dad is a scientist, and my mom is an artist, so I have a good understanding of how different people process information and how both sides of the brain think. Also, I’m an artist myself, so understanding how artists operate has positioned me well to do this kind of work.

This professional role is the perfect balance between my organizational side and my artistic side.

One of my most memorable career moments so far occurred at the onset of the Ukrainian war. My colleague Robert Spring and I were speaking at the gallery opening for the pioneering performing artist Marina Abramović. Our presentation included the actual chairs used in the acclaimed performance The Artist is Present. We thought, maybe we could use this opportunity to generate a fundraiser for Ukraine where people would sit across from Marina and reenact this moment, then donate the funds to provide humanitarian relief. We ended up doing just that and raised a lot of money for Ukraine. It was amazing to have this whimsical little idea in a conversation with one of your colleagues, then see it advertised on a massive billboard in Times Square and lead to real results and change.

I’m happy that I went to a liberal arts school and majored in Fine Arts. In addition to refining my artistic technique, I found it vitally important to learn about other areas of the curriculum, including business, history, and global politics. These courses broadened my horizons and encouraged me to leave my own bubble. I learned so much as an undergrad and was continually inspired by my classmates and other students who had unique, entrepreneurial ideas and just went for it. This sense of self-agency and initiative were something that I absorbed from my time at Penn.

I would encourage current undergraduate students to participate in various internships, and to be active in seeking them out. Even if you don’t think you’ll end up in one particular aspect of a business, having the real-life experience of seeing how different sides of an organization operates is invaluable. Although some of the tasks that you’ll do as an intern—or even an entry-level employee—aren’t necessarily glamorous, people notice if you are willing to help and don’t consider tasks to be beneath you. It takes a village to accomplish great things. — February 8, 2024 • Photo by Brooke Sietinsons