Founder and Gallerist at Ross-Sutton Gallery
25-year-old wunderkind curator Destinee Ross-Sutton opened her Wooster Street gallery in the midst of the pandemic. She opened hot on the heels of her Christie’s sellout show, “Say it Loud” in August of 2020. Working in a time when artists are demanding more equity and representation, Ross-Sutton is a crusader for artist-centered shows with a focus on artists from the African diaspora. 100% of the proceeds to “Say it Loud” went directly to the artists, and buyers signed a contract promising not to resell the artists’ work at auction for five years. This contract has now become known in the art world as the “Ross-Sutton Agreement.” She aims in this way to change the way that the art world treats artists, and particularly artists of color. Ross-Sutton told Artsy in January of 2021, “Legally, there are little to no protections for the artists. But if we want to change that, if we want there to be accountability, we have to make it so that there’s social accountability—that always has a heavier weight than law.”
Recently, the Ross-Sutton Gallery, which primarily showcases the work of Black and African artists, was home to an expansion of the I-54 Contemporary African Art Fair’s 2021 online edition, as curated by Ross-Sutton herself. Currently, the gallery is showing its first solo show: the work of Lance de los Reyes, “PAST is PRESENT is FUTURE.” Buyers of all work at the gallery are asked to sign the “Ross-Sutton Agreement,”which now includes 15% of the profit from a future sale goes back to the artist, continuing her crusade of equity and artist-centered sales.