[Interview] Lisa Janes, Director of Alibi Fine Art on What Galleries Look For in an Artist

Alibi Fine Art

I’m really excited to be sharing this interview with you all since it’s the first time Mumora has interviewed a Gallery Director in order to get the inside scoop on what gallerists look for when choosing artists to represent.

That’s why this interview with Lisa Janes, Director of Alibi Gallery in Chicago is so special. We’re going inside the brain of a gallery director to uncover secrets that can benefit artists on their search for representation and exposure.

I have to say, Lisa came prepared with tons of amazing tips and resources for artists to learn everything from how to communicate with galleries, to what gallerists look for when reviewing art portfolios and how galleries can step up their game for artists.

I look for a strong sense of style, purpose, and a cohesive body of work that has something larger to say. I’ve come across portfolios that are visually appealing, but sometimes fall short at presenting something meaningful.

Tune in to hear Lisa melodically talk about what works and what doesn’t and how to woo gallery owners like herself.

Topics covered:

  • How to reach out to galleries and get noticed
  • What galleries look for in an artist
  • What makes a strong art portfolio
  • Where galleries go to find new artists
  • Personality characteristics that make a successful relationship
  • How galleries are changing with the times
  • One piece of advice for young photographers


Listen to the interview here:

Listen to the next episode – Nikola Kostic on Staying Out of Your Comfort Zone
Listen to the preview episode – Matej Valtr on his Creative Process as a Filmmaker


A few artists & galleries mentioned during the interview:

 Adam Holztman

– Photographer and found of Alibi Fine Art Gallery

Stephen Daiter Gallery

– Well-known photography gallery in Chicago

Allison Barnes

– Local Chicago photographer, currently represented by Alibi Fine Art Gallery

Filter Photo Festival

– Non-profit organization dedicated to furthering photographic arts

S Gayle Stevens

– Photographer, latest artist represented at Abili Fine Art Gallery


– Gallery and workshop that Alibi Fine Art Gallery shares a space with in Chicago

Institute of Design

– Established Chicago as an art city

Vivian Maier

– Established Chicago street photographer who helped put Chicago on the map as an art center

Resources for artists to check out in Chicago:

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

– One of America’s largest accredited independent schools of art and design

Columbia College

– Institution for higher education in arts and media

University of Chicago 

– Private research university with a strong arts program

Expo Chicago

– International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, takes place each September at historic Navy Pier in Chicago

Catherine Edelman

– Top photography gallery in Chicago

Schneider Gallery

– Another top gallery for photography

You can see the portfolio of artists currently at Alibi Fine Art Gallery here: http://www.alibifineart.com/

Feel free to reach Lisa at info@alibifineart.com

What has your experience been with getting your work into galleries?

Comment below and chat with me and Lisa.

This interview is one part of our Artists on Entrepreneurship podcast coming soon to iTunes.

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