4 Women, 4 Cities, 4 questions

4/4/4      4 women/4 questions/4 cities

Four women in the Arts in four East Coast cities shed some light onto their planning, programs, and the ups and downs of working behind the scenes.

Name:  Christine Pfister
Position:  Owner/Director
Duration of time at this gallery:  22 years


What do you feel is unique about your gallery space and the location in which you are working?
Pentimenti Gallery is a white cube model gallery. The experience of viewing art in a clean, white space, where the artwork is the central focus is very important to me. No distractions, just art!
In recent years, Philadelphia has increasingly grown into a bustling center for the arts. My location in Old City, originally built as a candy factory, is now an integral part of what many are referring to as Philadelphia’s Design District. The local art scene in Philadelphia as a whole has seen tremendous growth since the gallery’s inception, as some of the city’s finest art galleries and museums continue to garner national and international acclaim.
When planning programming and working with artists, what aspects of the work or the relationship take top priority?
The program at Pentimenti aims to hit a balance between internationally established artists, alongside up-and-coming young talent. We place considerable emphasis on the artists’ process, materiality, and content. A part of our program is to focus on innovative works made from unconventional materials, such as packaging tape, plexiglass, and more.
What are the hardest and most rewarding parts of running a gallery?
Through the years, the most rewarding parts have been the many close relationships I have formed with the artists, collectors, and critics that I work with. These people come in every month to see the new exhibitions, at times braving bad weather conditions and long distances, and still call to see how everything’s going if they are not able to make it. There are artists who are not simply represented by the gallery, but committed to supporting the program as a whole. These personal relationships are most important to me.
I am grateful to the collectors who have believed in my vision for Pentimenti, and have supported the program throughout the years. Their appreciation for our artists work is very rewarding. For example, one night I was still working at midnight at the gallery when I received a phone call from a long time Pentimenti collector. He has essentially created a gallery within his own house, and after having spent the night entertaining friends and showing them his collection, he just wanted to call and express his appreciation for having the art in his home”.
The hardest is completing all the administrative work needed to keep the gallery strong and healthy.
What do you have upcoming that you would like to promote?
I am excited to have the opportunity this spring to introduce more new artists to the gallery. Also, later in the spring, we will feature a retrospective of the work by Osvaldo Romberg in partnership with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Needless to say, this spring will be a very exhibiting season for us!
Christine at Pulse Miami, 2017


Name: Mindy Solomon

Gallery: Mindy Solomon Gallery

Location: 8397 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, Florida 

Position: Owner/ Director

Duration of time at this gallery: 9 years

David Kicks 2_Web
Gallery view, Mindy Solomon Gallery, work by David Kicks

What do you feel is unique about your gallery space and the location in which you are working? I have a large space in a gentrifying area of Miami- it enables me to put together more ambitious shows. It is strictly a destination venue

When planning programming and working with artists, what aspects of the work or the relationship take top priority? I like to make visual and contextual relationships with the work- I look for a curatorial thread. Based on image or subject or both.

What are the hardest and most rewarding parts of running a gallery?

The hardest is keeping cash flow as it is not a predictable retail business. The most rewarding is building relationships with the artists and collectors- who’s support speaks volumes.

What do you have upcoming that you would like to promote? 

I will be showing at Collective Design Fair during Armory week. 3/9-3/12. I will be opening two shows at the gallery 3/16/18 Osamu Kobayashi, Noontide- works on canvas and, If you would just shut up and listen: the works of Alejandro Contreras, Kelly Johnson and Gary Peterson

Mindy in her booth at Pulse, Miami, 2017

Name: Heather Bhandari

Gallery or Organization: The Remix

Location: NYC

Position: co-founder


Duration of time at this gallery or organization: Founded in the fall of 2017 but we’ve known each other for well over a decade.

What do you feel is unique about the gallery space and the location in which you are working?

Having multiple facets to my work life in Brooklyn isn’t very unique! Like many artists, curators, and arts workers, I wear a lot of hats. I’m an independent curator, consultant, lecturer, writer, and now co-founder of The Remix.

What is The Remix?!?  It’s a new curatorial collective I started with former colleagues from Mixed Greens gallery: Courtney Colman and Steven Sergiovanni. We were lonely working on all our independent projects and wanted to curate exhibitions and conduct interviews (written and podcast) together. We know this is a time of transition in the art world and we’re working together to figure out what the viable new models are/are going to be for gallerists and artists. We want to be unique. But, more importantly, we want to be sustainable and help others fulfill the same need.

When planning programming and working with artists, what aspects of the work or the relationship take top priority?

Whether at Mixed Greens gallery, Smack Mellon, or now The Remix, I am most interested in artists who have a really strong point of view. I love conceptual artists who also have a compelling aesthetic component to their practice. Right now, I’m really interested in artists and artwork breaking down boundaries and directly addressing the world around them. In “Borderline” at Trestle Gallery, Bonnie Collura, Alex Ebstein, Fabienne Lasserre, and Adia Millett have strong feminist voices, transcending any one medium or any one reading.  At Spring Break, we’re showing Rudy Shepherd who’s presenting a healer character for a troubled world. In State College, PA, I sent out an Open Call for work that addresses the theme “Tiny Acts Topple Empires.” For me, it’s all about small, strong, and persistent gestures right now.

Outside of the actual work, communication and trust are so important to me. I’m in this for long-term relationships and long-term support. I’m very invested in my community and stand by those who believe in transparency and generosity.

What are the hardest and most rewarding parts of curating and organizing?

Most rewarding: Working with artists! With each exhibition or project, I get to be a part of someone’s world. I usually learn about a new subject (everything from crocheting paint to the life cycle of a mouse to all the deaths at Disney World) and get excited by the artist’s passion for the material. I also get to solve problems and brainstorm. There is nothing more satisfying to me than making connections for artists and helping to realize a project.

Hardest: Having limited time and money. There are a million more projects that I would love to do, artists I would love to work with, and projects I would love to help come to fruition. How to fund projects fairly and consistently is so hard. Time, not just objects need to be valued. This is important for the future of artists and arts workers alike.

What do you have upcoming that you would like to promote?

Curated by The Remix:

Borderline at Trestle Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, featuring Bonnie Collura, Alex Ebstein, Fabienne Lasserre, and Adia Millett. (March 9 – April 28)

The Healer at SPRING/BREAK Art Show in NYC with Rudy Shepherd. (March 6 – 12)

Independent Curation:

Tiny Acts Topple Empires at Woskob Family Gallery in State College, PA. (March 29 – June 2)

Pubic Talks:  BmoreArt Speaker Series: March 29!



Name: Carlyn Thomas

Gallery: Terrault Gallery

Location: 218 W. Saratoga St. Baltimore, Md 21201  – Bromo Arts District

Position: Co-Founder/Director/Curator

Duration of time at this gallery: 3.5 Years


What do you feel is unique about your gallery space and the location in which you are working?

I feel that Terrault is unique because it is so approachable for people of all ages and walks of life. We focus on contemporary art that challenges traditional aesthetics and highlight emerging/ up-and-coming artists. Terrault also shows mostly artists from Baltimore with a mixture of other artists from the U.S. and some international as well. Terrault has had the opportunity to give many artists their first solo exhibition. There is still have a youthful vitality to the space and the art shown, while having grown into itself and began to establish itself as a gallery destination in Baltimore.

When planning programming and working with artists, what aspects of the work or the relationship take top priority?

Making sure everything is clear, forward, and upfront from the beginning and that all parties are in the know and in agreement with all policies and desires. Each relationship with an artist is different and everyone has different expectations, so having a conversation that outlines the distribution of responsibilities between artists and gallery is a priority. For a gallery space as young and small as Terrault, we have worked with many first time exhibiting artists who need more guidance and professional development who have no idea what to expect, as well as more established artists who may be used to a different kind of relationship and being able to be flexible and adjust to the variable needs of artists is important.

Another priority is to make sure that the artist(s) feel cared for and supported. We strive to help in as many ways as possible, from friendly correspondence, helping with installation, helping editing writing and language, marketing, and any higher touches that make them feel welcome and happy to be working with the gallery. I want artists to walk away with a happy and rewarding experience.

What are the hardest and most rewarding parts of running a gallery?

Some of the hardest things for me as the sole and main administrator, is being able to step back and see the bigger picture in terms of everything that needs to be done and goals that need to be met, instead of only focusing on all the small details piece by piece. It is easy to get wrapped up in a list of tasks and not realize how things might affect a larger community or how one decision can tangentially affect another party, and to have the foresight to anticipate these things. It is also difficult to come to terms with that no matter what you do, that not every party is going to be happy all the time. A long as you are doing your best to approach every situation with care and thoughtfulness that you are doing okay, and that there will always be haters or people trying to outshine you, and that you just have to keep being your best for your community.

Some of the most rewarding things are being able to give opportunities and space to artists who maybe have never shown their work in a gallery setting before and get a lot of professional development and learning out of the experience and seeing them grown throughout the relationship. It’s also really rewarding to see an artist’s career begin to take off after you have worked with them and see them starting to get more recognition, praise, and opportunities to show or sell their work.

What do you have upcoming that you would like to promote?

Opening Reception for Regular Goods by Saffronia Downing and Nicole Dyer, two Baltimore-based female artists working with painting and ceramic sculpture. Opens Saturday, March 3rd, 7-10PM.


Terrault will be opening up a Call for Entry for it’s 3rd Annual Juried Exhibition on March 5 and will remain open until March 24th.

Juried Exhibition will open on Saturday, May 5th.

Visit https://terraultcontemporary.submittable.com for more info and to apply!

The 2018 Jurors are:

Amy Boone-McCreesh (Artist and Founder of Inertia Studio Visits)

Amy Raeshe (Executive Director & Curator, Goya Contemporary)

Melissa Webb (Artist and Exhibitions Manager for School 33 Art Center)

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