First in Service News

Agent Spotlight: Dewey Seid, Artist in Residence




“Stickman” in shadow

Dewey Seid, our resident fine arts travel specialist, is a pro at transporting odd shaped objects around the world. Working with classical musicians and dance companies, he is used to unique logistical challenges such as getting a cello on a flight. He explains, “They’re treated like a passenger, so they get an actual seat, window only. The tricky part is assigning a name and date of birth on the passenger ticket.”

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A lifelong sculptor and painter himself, Dewey has a special affinity to his clients. In fact, his role as a travel specialist grew from his work as an artist. After finishing his fine arts degree at prestigious Cooper Union in New York, the Mississippi native headed to Spain and France to soak up inspiration and hone his craft. As he began traveling the world, he developed a reputation as the go-to resource for fellow artists needing travel expertise.

In Paris, he lived in an artists’ colony known as La Ruche (the beehive), a pagoda-shaped complex built by Gustave Eiffel. La Ruche was the famous home to artistic luminaries including Brancusi, Soutine, even for a period, the Communist leader Vladimir Lenin. Dewey explored every corner of France, even living alone in Moet & Chandon’s “most spectacular” Abbey Saint Pierre d’Hautvillers where Dom Perignon invented his eponymous champagne. More European adventures followed. A fascination with Islamic geometric art compelled him to travel to Turkey, North Africa, and the Middle East.

One of his proudest moments was in 2008 when Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake asked him to create a piece for an exhibition called 21st Century Man in Tokyo’s 21_21 Design Sight Museum. Over a 3-month period living in Japan and juggling his travel agent work, Dewey unveiled Stickman, a 10-ft figure of a man created entirely of mulberry sticks.

His work has also been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world alongside that of Keith Haring and Robert Mapplethorpe.

In 1993, he joined First in Service as a corporate affiliate specializing in the arts. He still travels once a month. This winter, he’ll escape the New York City cold and hit Hawaii and Thailand. He’s quick to point out that he can work from anywhere. “I’m used to doing 10-destination schedules. It’s like a giant puzzle that needs to be put together. And because I’ve done it for so long, my clients have become my friends. It’s the best reward imaginable.”

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