An Art Business With A Humanitarian Mission
Lisa Cooper is the owner of an art gallery and art consulting company, which offers art consulting, curating, framing and installation. She works with emerging as well as more experienced art collectors in addition to interior designers, other art consultants and galleries. Her access to all types of art is limitless. Based in Riverdale, NY, her art business also follows a humanitarian mission. It represents a portfolio of emerging through mid-career contemporary artists, and are those “exploring and testing the boundaries of various media, techniques, materials and ideas about humanity, nature and our world.”
We are honored that Lisa recently served as one of the special award presenters in the Manhattan Arts International “The Healing Power of ART” exhibition and also agreed to do this interview.
RP: Lisa, what inspired the Elisa Contemporary Art mission “Changing The World Through Art”?
LC: I wanted a key focus of the gallery and the artists we represent to be about the healing and transforming power of Art. The first part of that is to connect with art and artists whose work has the ability to take you into another space or to feel a connection. The second part is our philanthropic element and that a portion of all gallery sales goes to charities helping underserved communities heal through art. We currently support Free Arts NYC and The Art Therapy Project. I think in both ways we change the world through art.
RP: Indeed! What other activities are you involved in within the art community?
LC: I’m also a member of the Saint Peter’s Church Art and Architecture Review committee, Bronx Arts Alliance, the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD), a London-based organization, the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County and Art Table.
Shown here is one of Kimber Berry’s Liquid Landscape paintings, 72″ x 48″, which was placed by Lisa Cooper in a dining room of a home on Long Island, NY. You can find more of Kimber Berry’s artwork on the Elisa Contemporary Art gallery website.
RP: What advice do you most often give to someone who is considering buying art?
LC: Buy what you love. The artwork should make you feel something when you stand in front of it. That emotion can be joy, sadness, wonder, tranquility… Based on each of our lives, that connection is different. An art buyer should choose what is right for them.
RP: What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a gallery owner?
LC: There are so many! We’ve worked with a range of collectors from the Tisch family to a first time buyer. One that stands out is a young social worker who fell in love with one of our artworks. Her budget was limited but you saw her face light up when she looked at the artwork. We worked with her on a payment plan over a few months and delivered the work to her. That was about five years ago and she comes every year to say hello! It is so important to make living with art accessible to everyone.
RP: What did you do before you became an art consultant and gallery owner?
LC: I spent over 20 years in key strategic roles directing marketing communications campaigns for some of the world’s leading consumer brands, including IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse First Boston, and also managing interactive and relationship marketing programs for Mercedes-Benz.
RP: You participate in several international art fairs international art fairs annually including those in New York, Miami and the Hamptons. Why do you feel art fairs are important for your business?
LC: We also want to be in places where there are art lovers and be able to share our mission and our artists with new audiences. Art Fairs in different locations tend to bring in new collectors and connections.
RP: What is your priority goal for the gallery in 2018?
LC: We have recently opened an Art Salon in Connecticut where people can experience seeing art in a home environment. My goal for 2018 is to continue to build that location with a series of public and private events. As in any business, we are constantly looking to test and evolve new ways of connecting with buyers.
RP: What advice do you offer artists who want to be represented by a gallery?
LC: It is so important for artists to find a gallery that they connect with. Artists should go to the art fairs walk around and see whose style may be a fit for their work, go to gallery openings and really try to find a common thread. Then, follow the submission policy of the gallery! I can’t tell you how many emails I get from artists to look at their work. On my gallery submission policy, I clearly state I don’t accept email submissions. http://www.elisacontemporaryart.com/SlideSubmission.cfm
RP: Lisa, when you’re not busy with your responsibilities as a gallery owner and art consultant, what do you enjoy doing most in your free time?
LC: In my free time, I do love to travel, do yoga and sit on a beach and read a good book. And of course, go to gallery openings, exhibits and art fairs.
Visit the Elisa Contemporary Art Gallery website at http://www.elisacontemporaryart.com
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