An Interview with an Art Dealer: Teresa Hofheimer

Each week CGN interviews a local art-industry professional to discuss the ins and outs of running a space in the city of Chicago. This week we caught up with art dealer Teresa Hofheimer of Hofheimer Gallery.


Age: 64

Current Position: Gallery Owner

Hometown: Anderson, South Carolina

Previous Occupations: Executive Assistant, Figure Drawing/PaintingInstructor, Plein Air Painting Instructor


5 favorites from the past week 

Restaurant: Herb Restaurant - great Thai food

Shop: Women and Children Book Store in Andersonville

Read: Two books - Paris in the Present Tense by Mark Helprin and The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman

Neighborhood: Andersonville

Music: John Coltrane


How did you become an art dealer? 

TH: I had been thinking about opening a fine arts gallery for a long time and when the space I’m currently in became available, I took the plunge. I am a painter and I cannot remember a time when I was not making art or in the pursuit of seeing other artists work. I know first-hand how many talented artists there are in Chicago and there are only so many galleries. Art needs to be viewed and experienced in real time. The gallery’s focus will be contemporary painting and sculpture, primarily showcasing Chicago artists.  


Give us a day in the life!

TH: I usually arrive around 11 in the morning, make a cup of coffee and start answering emails.  I have been spending a great deal of time on the computer and I don’t see that letting up anytime soon.  I’m looking at a lot of work online and I have been trying to schedule one or two studio visits a week.  


Hofheimer Gallery has been in business for almost two months now, but we know it has taken a lot to get things going. How would you sum up your experience setting up shop? 

TH: Most days I feel like I’m running around with my hair on fire.  In three months I’ve had to set up the business end of owning a gallery, contacting and visiting artists studios, scheduling solo and groups shows, curating and hanging the exhibitions, then hold an opening reception with the artists! I have exhibitions scheduled through February 2019.


Is there a particular favorite memory in the process of opening the gallery?

TH: My favorite was when I hung the gallery’s first exhibition, which was a solo show of Chicago artist, Betty Cleeland’s paintings. Her work transformed the space and made it very real for me.   


What do you want to tell a young person considering this business?

TH: At this point, I don’t think I would try to tell them anything. Instead I would ask them, "what are you waiting for?" There is never going to be a perfect time. 


Who inspires you?

TH: I have always been inspired by artists who are in it for the long haul.  There is something to be said for people who have chosen the arts not only as a profession but as a way of life.  To continue decade after decade, to pursue a vision, hone their skills and persist against all odds.  That inspires me!


Favorite cultural pursuit outside of the art world?

TH: I am a voracious reader and see every performance of Hubbard Street Dance Company.


What’s coming up next at Hofheimer Gallery?

TH: This summer will be group shows, in September Judith Roston Freilich will have a solo exhibition, and November will be an outstanding group of Chicago artists working in gouache.


Teresa Hofheimer is the owner of Hofheimer Gallery. For more information about the gallery please visit: Hofheimer Gallery.