227: Elizabeth Moss on Challenges Creating Opportunities for a Thriving Art Gallery
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Elizabeth Moss is dedicated to recognizing Maine’s role in American Art. She opened her gallery in 2004 after completing a master of art’s program in museum studies and curatorial research at George Washington University. While in Washington she worked at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden and was a member of Zonta International and a founding member of the Smithsonian Young Benefactors.
In 2010, she founded the nonprofit arts organization the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts and was its Executive Director from 2010- 2014 and today heads the Advisory Board. In 2013, she was a finalist in Maine Family Business Awards for Elizabeth Moss Galleries and the gallery was named one of the top 500 Galleries in North America by Blouin International’s website ArtInfo. She is also an active member of the Women’s Executive Forum.
As director of Elizabeth Moss Galleries, she has exhibited at international art fairs in NYC’s 28th Street Armory and Boston’s AD20/21 at the Cyclorama. Artworks from her gallery have been included in the Art in Embassies program and are in the corporate collections of LL Bean, Acadia Insurance and Maine General Hospital and countless private collections in the US, France, Saudi Arabia and Finland.
Playing Small Moment
At the start of her business, Elizabeth was told by two well-known gallery owners that she should move to a more popular area. Elizabeth knew that she would probably flourish in a lofty place away from the strip mall she was in, but stayed put. It may not have been glamorous, but she wouldn’t have survived if she had followed their advice.
The Wake Up Call
In 2010, a client inquired about a painting that had been in their family a long time. With Elizabeth’s love for art history, she took a look at the painting and saw the beauty shine through. Discovering that the painting had an incredible history, Elizabeth realized she has just as much to offer as everyone else outside of Maine.
What Are You Excited About?
Elizabeth wants to focus on branching outside of Maine, possibly nationwide.
Current Business Challenge
Elizabeth feels like there is a retraction in art market. With recent politics, there is a little uncertainty in where it’s all going and the unknown can impact a nonessential industry like art.
Elizabeth’s relationships with everyone she knows.
Advice For Younger Self
It’s okay if you’re not 100% every day. It’s ok to be 60-70% sometimes as the days you are 124% will even it out in the end.
“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” Benjamin Franklin
Elizabeth Moss Galleries: https://www.elizabethmossgalleries.com/about
Maine Museum of Photographic Arts: http://www.mainemuseumofphotographicarts.org
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