Jennifer Lewis, an independent specialist in artists’ career advancement, analyzes how proper networking and exhibiting can lead to sustained career success, not just short term recognition.
“Don’t look to New York, L.A., Chicago, and London first, unless you live in those towns. Stay local…. It hinges on what curators are doing. Curators actually make their reputation on the artists they decide to give their museum shows to. It’s a question of connoisseurship. And those are the people that you can invite to your studio, and whose business it is to look at local art ecosystems and comment upon them.”
Jennifer Perrell Lewis is a exhibition developer and “curatorial agent” who assists artists pursuing longterm professional advancement. Lewis was born and raised in West Virginia. She graduated from Tufts University with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, afterwards backpacking around the world for a year and a half—an experience which convinced her to abandon a planned career in anthropology. On her return to the United States Lewis moved to Seattle, where she earned a Master of Arts degree in Museology from the University of Washington and began work as an art handler and installer for the Seattle Art Museum. Lewis then joined the studio of artist Dale Chihuly, eventually becoming Program Director of the 125-person operation. Between 1993 and 2007 Lewis produced projects in thirteen countries for Chihuly Studio, developing up to twenty solo exhibition based-projects per year. After leaving the studio, Lewis moved to Austin where she became the Strategic Initiatives Planner for The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in 2008. In 2011 Lewis began working as an independent curatorial agent for international artists, specializing in contemporary sculptors.