CGN Art Dealer Q & A: Kimberly Oliva of Oliva Gallery

Kimberly Oliva, gallerist and curator (left) and Pinar Aral, art handler and installer (right). 

During this time of Covid-19 social distancing, we figured this would be as good of a time as any to reach out to gallerists and ask them a few questions about their thoughts on the current times, best business practice, and career history. If you have followed CGN for a while then this will come to you as a follow up from our Q&A series from 2017.  We hope you enjoy!


Number of years in business:

How did you begin your career? 

I began as an antiques dealer in the Aughts. I always loved preserving the past and finding clients for vast art, jewelry, lighting and sculptural objects I would source. In 2016 I opened an arts gallery in Logan Square to feature fine contemporary Chicago artists.



What inspired you to open a gallery?

I have been exhibiting at Randolph Street Market for 15 years. The art gallery was an extension of my knowledge of pop ups, event planning and client sourcing. I wanted a building with a ground level exhibition space for Chicago artists.



Is there a unifying element in your program or artist representation?

Local artists.



Which exhibitions have you had to postpone or adjust due to COVID-19?

We have had to adapt our March and April season to the new virtual advertising of exhibitions.



What percentage of your sales have previously been online vs in person (including art fairs)?  

I have always sold online (from the early eBay days).



Do you want to share any silver linings, insights or anything else with readers, collectors and fellow dealers?

I have a very grassroots organization and exhibition schedule. Community continues to still be key. Support your artists and they will support your gallery. 


Oliva Gallery