Photo by Pimentel Photography
Photo by Pimentel Photography

When Erin Lang, a 31-year-old art aficionado and entrepreneur, stumbled upon a LUMAS gallery in New York, she fell in love with its cool and approachable concept. And she instantly knew that Canada needed one, too.

Originating out of Berlin, LUMAS is a group of curated, limited edition photographic galleries with locations dotting the globe across North America, Europe, and Asia. And thanks to Lang, Canada now has two locations to boast—one in Vancouver’s Gastown district, and a brand new spot in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood (with Calgary and Montreal locales on the horizon). “I believe, for many people, buying art can be somewhat intimidating, and I loved how LUMAS caters to everyone,” says Lang, who is LUMAS’ Canadian managing director. “Whether you are a seasoned art collector or someone who has great style and taste and wants to reflect that in their home, we have something for you.”

Keep reading to get the details on the perks of Lang’s job, the power of art, and which photographers should be on our radar.

What is your favourite part of your job?

My favourite part of my job is definitely interacting with clients and helping them find the perfect pieces for their spaces.  You need to buy art you love and want to look at every day; it’s so rewarding to see the customer’s excitement when they leave with works they’ve really connected with.

What does success mean to you?

LUMAS is now in its second year in Canada, and we are really focused on building awareness and growing the business.  Success, to me, is when I’m out and I hear people who don’t know me unexpectedly mention or talk about their positive experiences with LUMAS.  I guess the next step in success for me is for LUMAS to become a well-recognized name for everyone and a destination for art, home décor, and corporate and personalized gifting.

What inspires you?

I am lucky and feel inspired every day being around an amazing collection of international artists.  A great part of the job is getting new work in and learning about any new additions to the portfolio, artists, and works.

If there was one artist (dead or alive) that you could have tea with, who would it be?

In terms of photography, Vivian Maier would be extremely interesting to have tea with as her story is one of the most remarkable in American photography. The way she was able to capture everyday life is incredible.

Why do you think art is so integral to the strength of a culture or community?

Art tells a story and is a powerful vehicle for communication and cultural expression. Art is not supposed to be intimidating, and I think it is important to experience different artists, mediums, and points of views.  And when you think about it, art exists in so many aspects of our lives, and having art in your every day is both inspiring and opens our minds to creativity and different perspectives.

There’s something very powerful about connecting to a piece of art and selecting to look at it every day, whether in your home or in your workspace.  Art can both blend in with décor and help set the desired tone for the space, but it can also provide moments of joy or a break from reality when people stop to look at what surrounds them.  That’s why public art is so powerful.  Art has the profound ability to conjure the full spectrum of emotion and can help people communicate in a way that may not be otherwise accessible.

How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is a mix of contemporary designer with classic pieces.  I love luxurious accessories, like a classic handbag and silk scarves.  I was especially thrilled when LUMAS launched a selection of works in the form of Italian hand-rolled silk scarves from Austrian artist, Thomas Zeitlberger.

What do you do to unwind?

Family and friends are extremely important to me.  The past two years have been pretty hectic, and their support has been integral.  I’m also a pretty avid skier and golfer.

What are your favourite dining spots in Toronto / elsewhere?

There are so many.  I recently had the opportunity to dine at Alo, which was amazing, but some of my regular go-to’s are Campagnolo, Harbord Room, and L’Unita.

Tell me about a book you read that inspired you or changed your way of thinking.

Keeping in the theme of art, I really enjoyed 33 Artists in 3 Acts by Sarah Thornton.  I appreciate the fact that it is written in a way that is light but incredibly informative, and you don’t need to be involved or working in the art world to appreciate it. I particularly enjoyed how the book was almost a dialogue between some big selling, well-known artists (such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Maurizio Cattelan, Ai Weiwei), providing insights into how they think about their work and art in general.

What advice would you give to other aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Don’t doubt yourself, go with your gut and don’t be afraid to ask questions.


5 Artists on Erin’s Radar

Flamingo Kids 1 © Sebastian Mader | Trunk Archivewww.lumas.com

Sebastian Mader

 No. 13 © Bence Bakonyiwww.lumas.com

Bence Bakonyi

Bloom v7.3 © Rene Twiggewww.lumas.com

Created with GIMP

Birkenwald8 © Andre Wagnerwww.lumas.com

Andre Wagner

Frank Sinatra Residence (E. Stewart Williams) 1 © Stephanie Klosswww.lumas.com

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