CEO Spotlight: Q&A With Martha Weidmann of NINE dot ARTS
When you’re born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, genteel grace and charm are just a natural byproduct of your upbringing. But Martha’s deep understanding of the art business and tenacious drive for business success are something all her own. Martha serves as the Co-Founder and CEO of, NINE dot ARTS, a company that bridges the gap between arts and business. They are an award-winning art advisory firm known for their curatorial creativity, management of large-scale, multi-phase projects, and forward-thinking vision. With knowledge and experience, they curate inspiring art collections that show beauty, creativity, and purpose. Martha left Alabama at 18 to expand her horizons and graduated from Colorado State University with a dual major – Communications and Fine Arts – to launch her journey. With her two diplomas in hand, she started her career with Walker Fine Art gallery in Denver, then moved on to the most prestigious art consulting firm (at the time) in the region, McGrath and Braun, from which NINE dot ARTS was born.
What was the original idea or pain point that inspired you to start your business?
We began as a bootstrap business in 2009 that emerged from the ashes of the 2008 recession. Our philosophies were simple: Relationships are paramount. Supporting living, working artists is central to our narrative. Teaching the next generation of curators is our calling.
What is NINE dot ARTS?
We're art consultants and curators, creating art experiences around the world for the hospitality industry, mixed-use developments, municipalities, multi-family residential developments, and healthcare environments. High-profile, large-scale projects in which we creatively express a brand narrative through connection to the arts is our expertise.
What aspect of your team or company culture are you most proud of?
Accountability, Collaboration and Creativity.
Each “dot” is driven to take responsibility for their actions, and we do so by sharing ideas, tactics, and experiences with one another. Because the art world is like the wild west with little uniformity, consistency, or centralized systems, a successful business must be ready to grow, pivot and change with market opportunities.
What is the most important thing you're working on right now, and how are you making it happen?
We are working to expand brand awareness in four strategic regions – Seattle, Chicago, Boston and Atlanta. We chose each target region based on a multitude of factors including competition in our industry (mid to low), projected growth in commercial construction (high) and availability of publicly accessible NINE dot ARTS projects that can showcase our portfolio to target clientele.
Internally, we are developing efficiencies and automations in order to make more time for our curators to focus on the most human aspects of their job: creativity, service and ingenuity.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received as COO?
In order to make a forward leap, you need to trust yourself.
Richard Branson says that bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death. Over the years, I’ve been trained to use technical tools to run the company - KPIs, forecasts and proformas, which provide evidence, metrics and grounding for our work - then there also come moments when you simply must take action with only the limited knowledge available to you. In those moments, bravery is key to making the leap.
What has been the most meaningful aspect of your engagement with the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network?
Time will tell. So far, I’ve enjoyed the accountability of the advisory group with a bias towards action. I look forward to the months ahead!