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Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento, Esq.
Adjunct Professor of Law

The Law Offices of Sergio Munoz Sarmiento
1027 Grand Street
3rd Floor, Suite 16
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Email: sms@artlawoffice.com
Telephone: 347-763-2023

Experience

Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento is an artist and lawyer who practices art law. He is interested in the relationship between contemporary art and law, with a focus on copyright, moral rights, free speech, deaccessioning, and nonprofit arts organizations.

From 2006 to 2012, Sarmiento was Director of Education and Associate Director for Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York City, where he advised and represented visual and performing artists and arts organizations. In 2010, Sarmiento founded the VLA Art & Law Residency Program, the first residency of its kind, as well as the Law School for Visual Artists. His legal experience includes advising artists, galleries, and arts organizations on matters involving copyright, trademarks, moral rights, free speech, and artist-gallery disputes. He has recently worked on an important appeal under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 on behalf of the Swiss installation artist Christoph Büchel in the artist’s highly-publicized dispute with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. He has also co-written amicus briefs for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court regarding another high-profile moral rights case, Chapman Kelley vs. Chicago Park District, in support of artist Chapman Kelley.

Sarmiento has taught in a number of universities and art schools, including NYU, Harvard University, the University of Southern California, University of California-Irvine, Occidental College, CalArts, Hofstra University, and Brooklyn Law School. He has presented talks and participated in panels and symposiums at a number of institutions, including The Drawing Center, The New York State Bar Association, NYU School of Law, McGill Faculty of Law, Dia:Beacon, Fordham Law School, The International Center of Photography, Pratt Institute, SUNY-New Paltz, The Bronx Museum, The Yale School of Management, The School of Visual Arts, The Vera List Center for Arts and Politics at The New School, Creative Capital, Columbia University School of the Arts, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Parsons The New School for Design, the El Paso Museum of Art, The El Paso Bar Association and Federal Bar, Columbia Law School, Cornell Law School, Harvard University, and the Centre Sociologie de l’Innovation, Ecole des Mines de Paris. He was a mentor with the Kennedy Center’s Arts in Crisis program in 2009-2010. From 2008 to 2010, Sarmiento served as a New York State Council on the Arts panelist for state and local partnerships.

His art projects have been shown in international exhibitions, including Mexico, Germany, and Spain, and nationally in Dallas, New York City, and Los Angeles. He has published essays and projects in Five Continents and One City Exhibition (catalogue essay, Mexico), Capital Art: On the Culture of Punishment (catalogue essay, US), Cabinet Magazine (US), Law Text Culture (Australia), Unbound: Harvard Journal of the Legal Left, and Art Asia Pacific (Asia, The Pacific, Middle East).

He also maintains an art and law website, available at Clancco.com, and a website on deaccessioning, The Deaccessioning Blog. 

Education

  • University of Texas – El Paso, B.A., Art, 1995
  • California Institute of the Arts , M.F.A., Art, 1997. Philip Morris Fellow
  • Whitney Museum of American Art, Independent Study Program, 1998. Van Lier Fellow
  • Cornell Law School, J.D., 2006

Professional Affiliations

Admitted:
  • Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Memberships:

  • Art Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association
  • The Nietzsche Circle, Advisory Board
  • The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, Advisory Board
  • Denniston Hill Artist Residency, Advisory Board