Ellie Rines – 56 Henry Gallery
This week we sit down with Ellie Rines – 56 Henry Gallery. She is an art dealer, curator and gallerist based in New York City. She is the owner of 56 Henry Gallery in Chinatown. Her exhibitions have been reviewed by numerous publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Art in America and Artforum. In 2015, Rines was named one of 14 “Young New York Dealers To Watch” by artnet magazine. Prior to owning 56 Henry, she owned 55 Gansevoort, a 24/7 art venue that several have compared to Gracie Mansion’s Loo Division gallery. Through her business ventures and exhibitions, Rines continues to challenge notions of the contemporary art industry. In addition to 56 Henry, she is the director of Ceysson & Bénétière’s Upper East Side outpost and consults for Halsey McKay Gallery in East Hampton. Her next curatorial project is scheduled to open in Paris in September 2018. Please enjoy this busy woman’s Frank Talk!
What is the best piece of advice you can give about working in the art world?
To build strong relationships with curators, collectors, artists, and peers. To respond to emails as fast as possible.
What is something you encounter often with employees that tests your patience?
Recent graduates are accustomed to an environment that is built for their learning and development. Your employers should want you to flourish and develop but it also takes initiative for that to work out. Work your hardest and do your best to figure out the things you do not know.
What has an employee done that happily surprised you?
I’m happy when an employee takes initiative to think of better solutions or anticipate an issue before it happens. I think people assume the art world is a lot about charm. Charm is nice but it’s also important to maintain the email list, stay on top of long term projects, remind directors to reach out to specific curators, etc. Most important is to be part of a team and think about how you as an individual can help.
What makes a person hirable?
Organization, ability to be present and knowledgeable, reliability and trust, follow-up!
What are things you can do proactively to boost your CV?
Stay at your job for longer than a year, work at the most competitive places in the beginning because your CV will always show that you could last in these environments. For me, job experience is more important than schooling. Also, if you feel you cannot get a job at Sotheby’s or Christie’s, for example, look into auction houses like Doyle or Swann. If I see someone can hustle and cares enough to take a job at a less glamorous institution, it goes a long way.
What does professional mean to you?
On-time, put together, team player, and knows their role within a larger team.
Are there any tips you can give people entering the workforce?
Ask questions, observe, contribute, and learn. If you do a solid job and are held accountable, people will notice.
Are there any tips you can give for increasing your online presence? Whether with your LinkedIn, Art Frankly or other accounts?
I look at instagram accounts when reviewing applications. It’s a helpful way for me to get an understanding of a person and their passions.