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Lawyer & Art Advocate Roshi Rahnmama: “The magic is in the uncomfortable and unfamiliar realm”

“I believe in a movement based on collaborations that bring out the best of possible potentials to each of the collaborators, with a shift to an abundance mentality so that all relationships would be planned to have a win-win outcome.”


“I believe in a movement based on collaborations that bring out the best of possible potentials to each of the collaborators, with a shift to an abundance mentality so that all relationships would be planned to have a win-win outcome.”


I had the pleasure to interview Roshi Rahnmama. Roshi is a lawyer turned art advocate, felt there was a need for more awareness of Iranian Comntemporary Art in Los Angeles and beyond. In January 2015, Roshi Rahnmama founded ADVOCARTSY. Her mission is now reaching beyond LA to a national and even global scale. After three successful public initiatives in Los Angeles, and now a permanent space dedicated to their mission in Downtown LA., ADVOCARTSY has extended their efforts and mission to San Francisco with ART BRIEF IV: Iranian Contemporary San Francisco. The work of the twenty-two artists in this exhibition, who are all of Iranian origin, seeks to explore the diverse ways in which artists of Iranian background in diaspora create and define ‘Iranian Contemporary Art. The exhibition speaks to the various artistic reactions and reflections to the realities of identity formation in diaspora, the pain and joy of exile, the call of nostalgia, and the fragmentation of the self.


Thank you so much for joining us. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path as the founder of Advocartsy?

After practicing law for 20 years, I started focusing on Iranian art and culture in Los Angeles, the largest community of Iranians outside Iran. As my philanthropic activities expanded, the need for bringing effective promotion and representation of Iranian Contemporary art became more and more obvious. I founded ADVOCARTSY to address this void and to bring awareness to and engagement with Iranian Contemporary art and have focused my skills and resources, full time, in furtherance of this mission.

What do you think makes your gallery stand out? Can you share a story?

We focus exclusively on exhibiting and promoting Iranian Contemporary art. This makes our platform absolutely unique in its mission and roster of artists represented. Our work is challenged by various legal limitations of engaging and representing artists in Iran. Till now, we have focused our roster of artists on artists of Iranian origin who reside outside Iran. We have however initiated measures to acquire permissions and the license to engage with artists in Iran. We are hopeful to be given the authorization so that we can expand our collaboration with artists in Iran.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

The magic is in the uncomfortable and unfamiliar realm.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a team?

Hire team members who believe on your ‘why’, communicate clearly, and celebrate and appreciate daily contributions.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Any success that we have achieved to date is due to the inspiration of, collaboration with and actual support of countless friends, artists, team members and friends who are now our collectors and are the core foundation of our work. The list is endless as we thrive and benefit from a countless number of supporters who believe strongly in our mission and are thus true stakeholders in our success.

What is the main leadership lesson you learned from experience?

We strongly believe in promoting diversity of expression. We believe art has no boundaries, but the diversity of expression brings about meaningful dialogue and understanding and thus make the world a better place. There is no time better than now to promote this mission.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

In the realm of my work, bringing trust and professionalism to the art market is a focus of our work. This benefits the artists, the collectors and our work and establishes a new standard of accountability and doing business in the art market.

In the more universal realm, I believe in a movement based on collaborations that bring out the best of possible potentials to each of the collaborators — with a shift to an abundance mentality so that all relations would be planned to have a win-win outcome.

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