If you have ever wanted to shoot the breeze with a gallerist, you will want to pay close attention to this episode of The Art Biz. I’m joined today by Jeremy Tessmer, the gallery director at Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara, California. In our conversation, Jeremy shares his views of artist’s professionalism, what he thinks of online platforms, and how he taught himself art history (and why that was important to him).
Jeremy describes Sullivan Goss as an on-ramp for collectors and artists—one that connects their roster of local, regional, national, and international artists. You’ll hear him discuss 3 qualities that he looks for in artists, two of which are non-negotiable, and how he views the artists in his gallery as a family. He says that “dealers should have some sense of responsibility for the well-being of their artists,” and, as you listen to our conversation, you’ll understand why that has become so important to him.
The niche that the Sullivan Goss Gallery fills and Jeremy’s role within it. (2:37)
Sullivan Goss is an on-ramp gallery with the aim of expanding the art world. (7:49)
The different art world need to become more aware of each other. (10:05)
Jeremy’s journey from writer and tech specialist to art gallerist. (14:04)
Is it important for artists to be steeped in art history? (23:34)
Overcoming the anxiety of influence to connect with other artists. (26:21)
The 3 qualities Jeremy looks for in the artists he represents. (33:30)
The responsibility a gallery has for nurturing its artists’ careers. (36:10)
The value of understanding the long game and defining your real interest in an artist’s career. (41:11)
Things an artist should never say or do to gain the attention of a gallerist. (46:18)
Jeremy Tessmer is the Gallery Director and Curator of vintage American art at Sullivan Goss. He has been with the firm almost 20 years, working in every area of the business, including: curation, sales, marketing, and design of everything from exhibition spaces to internal databases and processes. He has special knowledge of the American Modern movement, especially as it occurred on the West Coast. He has also been heavily involved with the gallery’s publication program, helping to produce nineteen books and numerous catalogs, including those on local artists Ray Strong and Hank Pitcher.