Girl Crush: Tze Chun of Uprise Art

Tze Chun, Founder of Uprise Art. (Photo by Samantha Teich)

Meet Vixely’s latest Girl Crush, Tze Chun, Founder of Uprise Art, the new destination for anyone looking to buy amazing contemporary artwork. Uprise Art is an online gallery featuring contemporary artwork that offers members exclusive access to its curated collection at a ridiculously affordable price, letting you invest only $50 a month toward owning any piece of your choice. After you become a member, select your favorite artwork, which you can easily browse by medium (such as photography, print or painting) and artist. Uprise Art takes care of the rest, providing custom framing, hand delivery and installation. Whether you know a lot about art or nothing at all, Uprise Art’s expertly curated and trusted selection as well as affordable pricing model means almost anyone can now become a serious art collector. Membership to Uprise Art also includes special art events, giving members full access to the fascinating and fun art scene.

Vixely had the pleasure of meeting Tze at DailyCandy’s recent Big Wig Lunch at David Burke Kitchen in NYC celebrating the winners of this year’s Start Small, Go Big Academy, which included Uprise Art. Tze’s excitement for the future of Uprise Art was palpable, and we loved her vision for making the art world more accessible and efficient for consumers, regardless of whether you’re an experienced art connoisseur or completely new to the art buying world.

Learn more about Uprise Art and Tze’s background as an arts entrepreneur, and how she is tapping our creative side to change the landscape for artists and collectors alike. (Plus, get a complimentary consultation from Uprise Art for Vixely readers only—see details below!)

Vixely (V): What is your name and your company name?

Tze Chun (TC): My name is Tze Chun (@tzechengchun) and I’m the founder of Uprise Art, an online gallery that makes art collecting easier and more affordable. We bring exciting contemporary artwork into people’s homes through our “invest-to-own” service. Instead of purchasing the artwork outright like you would at a traditional gallery, with Uprise you simply invest $50/piece each month towards owning the artwork. You enjoy living with art while investing over time. Select artwork online and Uprise takes care of the rest; we expertly frame, deliver and install the artwork. Voila!

V: What is your hometown/ college/ age? Where do you live now?

TC: I grew up in Randolph, Massachusetts and went to Columbia University. I just turned 29 last week! I’ve lived in NYC for ten amazing years.

Charlie Engman’s “Sister Yosemite“ on Uprise Art.

V: What made you decide to pursue this path and start your own company?

TC: I wanted to use my entrepreneurial skills to change the way the art world works. The traditional models for art collecting leave out a lot of potential collectors, people who are interested in art but just don’t know where to start. The art world is so vibrant, fascinating and fun—and more people should be a part of it. The parties aren’t too shabby either! Similarly, there are many artists who struggle to support their artistic practices and don’t have access to established collectors. Uprise Art connects tomorrow’s contemporary art stars with the future generation of art collectors at an earlier stage in both their careers.

V: What has been the most fulfilling aspect of being a female entrepreneur or changemaker?

TC: Big problems often have simple solutions. For me, the most fulfilling aspect of being an entrepreneur is the process of problem solving and the series of “Aha!” moments that lead to change.

I’ve been a performing and visual artist ever since I was little, and have always been very fond of math and science, which in college transformed into a love of management and business. Being an arts entrepreneur keeps me motivated creatively and rationally, and has allowed me to challenge both the left and right sides of my brain.

Lauren Matsumoto’s painting “Bird Radio“ on Uprise Art.

V: What sort of women do you try to reach with Uprise Art?

TC: When we first launched, we thought our clientele was going to primarily consist of young professionals working in finance, consulting, law—people with little time to navigate the art world, disposable income, and great apartments desperately in need of artwork. We quickly realized that there was another group who were very much drawn to our services: people (mostly women) who work in auction houses, art galleries and creative fields. It was such a compliment to the curation of our site to see so many art-world insiders interested in our gallery. These women work around art all day, want to live with art AND know what they like!

V: Favorite public moment involving yourself or your brand: 

TC: Uprise Art recently won the DailyCandy Start Small, Go Big contest in the “Home” category. Having such a well-respected source interested in what we’re doing was amazing! Through their “Academy” for winners I met with over forty incredibly insightful mentors, including female founders: Alison Pincus of One King’s Lane, Haley Barna and Katia Beauchamp of Birchbox, Christiane Lemieux of DwellStudio, and Bryn Schuyler of Haus Interiors, to name a few.

V: Turn-ons?

TC: My boyfriend.

V: Turn-offs/ dealbreakers?

TC: Anyone who says “I’m the kind of guy who…”. If you are actually that kind of guy, you wouldn’t need to give yourself an intro. “I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t like bragging…” etc.

V: How do you see Uprise Art evolving in the future?

TC: We function very much as a traditional gallery in that we have close relationships with the artists we represent, and sell work to clients from all over the world through art fairs and online. Our invest-to-own service is currently open to collectors in NYC and Boston, and to individuals in other areas by request. We host a wide range of artist studio visits, art fair tours, and art parties in these two cities, too. Early next year, we’re planning on expanding our membership and events to San Francisco and L.A. and making our service available nationwide shortly thereafter.

See some of Tze’s favorite pieces on Uprise Art right now below:

Uprise Art: Tze's Featured Pieces

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Diana Delgado's "They Stare at it Like Television 2007/2010" in a penthouse dining room.

Check out Uprise Art on online (www.upriseart.com), on Twitter and Instagram @UpriseNYC, Facebook, and Pinterest

If you’re in the NYC or Boston areas, love art, and want to bring more of it into your home, Uprise Art is offering Vixely readers a complimentary on-site consultation. To schedule yours, message membersonly@upriseart.com and mention Vixely!

About Nora Bass

Nora is Vixely's Co-Founder and Lead Editor. She has over ten years of experience in women's health with Gen Y women for major brands. She is the author of Vixely's best-selling iBook and is a featured writer for The Huffington Post as well as other websites and magazines. She attended Hamilton College where she concentrated in Economics and Cultural Studies. She is a proud supporter of organizations around the world promoting women's education and empowerment.

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