About

Black and white photograph of Susan J Mumford, Founder of Be Smart About Art

Our story…

In early 2012, our Founder, Susan J Mumford, was contemplating quitting the art world to become a barrister. She decided to try an experiment first: Would individuals running their own businesses invest in their own careers beyond 1:1 support, i.e., with workshops, courses and networking events? The resounding answer, much to the relief of Susan as an American expat who had multiple ventures as a kid, was a resounding YES. The first event was held in a gallery in London on the 27th February 2012, and the rest is history.

The idea had been sparked by running her own gallery in London’s West End between 2006-2011, followed by founding the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD) in 2009. It was clear that the internet was changing the industry fast, and players in the sector were desperate for insight, bored with the lack of transparency.

After running a busy offline & online program until 2019 – having run the first ‘hybrid’ professional development workshop in October 2013, Susan decided to pursue the opportunity of a lifetime. She co-founded ArtAML, which is a full-circle technology-based solution for AML in the art market. Her sneaking suspicion is that it would push her to the next level as an entrepreneur with more to give than ever to Be Smart About Art.

Her inkling was correct, and she’s bringing the combined experience of the art world and business alike. This uniquely positions Susan with up-to-date experience running a fast-moving enterprise and being actively involved in the industry, working with one-person start-ups to ‘mega’ galleries and auction houses.

In 2022, she’s building the Be Smart About Art Team while actively overseeing three businesses that support professionals in the art world. With Be Smart About Art, she most enjoys seeing members and bootcampers take action from the program that positively impacts their careers and livelihoods. That could be YOU!

If you want to build your art business, you’ve come to the right place, with one caveat: Taking action is your responsibility. We’re here to inform and inspire action. 🙂

A big WELCOME!

The Team

Susan

Susan

Founder & Managing Director

Susan J Mumford is a sector-supporting entrepreneur for the art market. Having arrived in the UK from the USA in 2000, she ran a gallery in Soho, London, then founded the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD). This was followed by the creation of Be Smart About Art. In her spare time, she speaks and writes on gender equity; does far too much gardening in a tiny, dark space; and dives down the rabbit hole of researching local history. 

Beatrice

Beatrice

Head of Content & Comms

Trained in art and communications, Beatrice has been making digital comms her job for 12 years, working in Italy, Germany, Austria, and the UK across different industries, to then join forces with purpose-led arts and culture institutions. Amateur actor too, her main role to date has been acting to have-it-together. 

Richard

Richard

Finance Manager

Richard is the one making sense of all the numbers here at BSAA.

As a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers and FRS 105 qualified, he has a wealth of experience working with small businesses in the Brighton & Hove area, and over the last few years, he’s been bringing additional value to this artsy bunch.

When he’s not chunking numbers, you can find him taking good care of his East Sussex garden.

Alex

Alex

Web Developer

A specialist in bespoke WordPress and web development, having worked in the web industry for over 15 years,  Alex is our go to for anything website and IT related.

Alex keeps our websites, members and web systems ticking along—as well as helping to bring our new features and online member benefits to the digital world.

“Susan is extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable about presenting. She makes everyone feel they can do this and be successful in the art business!”

Emma Broughton
Artist