Buffalo Boss Babe: Emily Tucker
1) Resource:Art with artist Joe Piccillo at our Eminent exhibition opening
2) ArtReach WNY at Michael Mararian's opening at the fine art gallery in the Canisius Library. (Photo Credit Julian Montague)
3) My husband Baird and I sailing in Maine
4) An image of myself, Rachel Heckl, Aaron Ott, Tyra Johnson and Katie xx from Chanel 2 in front of a piece of Albright Knox Art Gallery Public Art by Amanda Browder. My new gallery space will be behind the church which is being renovated to become a center for world music and dance
5) A photo of me for my spread as a Buffalo Spree Ambassador Photo Credit KC Kratt
6) An image of Resource:Art posed at Indigo Gallery Photo Credit KC Kratt
7) An image of Resource:Art at our Echo Art Fair Preview event in NYC
8) An image of me in Indigo Art's art fair booth at Echo Art Fair Photo Credit Steve Coulton
Emily Tucker and she is the curator of the Benjaman Gallery. This local gem is located right on elmwood and helps contribute to the cool of our city! Emily is a mover and shaker that chose to leave the fast pace New York City to settle back to Buffalo and keep her family gallery vibrant.
What made you start or brought you to where you are today? Tell us your story and what makes you a Buffalo Boss Babe.
I grew up in the art gallery my parents founded in 1970. I always loved fine art and being a part of the family business, but I wanted to push myself and make sure that I would always be able make a living on my own.
I went to Tulane University in New Orleans and participated in a special program at the A.B. Freeman School of Business to get a joint degree in Finance and Marketing.
From there I moved to New York City, where I worked first as an analyst for Morgan Stanley and then as a Client Services Representative for a few different hedge funds. My last job in the finance world was working for a start up hedge fund that received a majority of its financing from Lehman Brothers. After the financial collapse of that company, the hedge fund returned the start up capitol and the corporation dissolved. I was left with two options. Join my former boss at yet another fund, or try something new. It was at this time when I realized I missed working in the fine art world and set my sights on a career change. I ended up landing a job as an Associate at Macklowe Gallery on Madison Avenue. The gallery specialized in French Art Nouveau fine art and furniture as well as Tiffany Studios lamps and glass. While I was working there my boss sold a $1.2 million dollar Tiffany lamp, and I sold a Louis Majorelle chair to the actor John Lithgow. It was a fast paced and intense work environment and I learned a lot.
In 2010, my parents reached out to me to gage my interest in moving home and working with them at Benjaman Gallery. They felt ready to retire and needed some help to keep the gallery in business in Buffalo. After coming to visit with my now husband we decided that we would leave Manhattan and settle back in Buffalo, NY. Since moving back here my husband and I have decided we want to fully invest in this community and always have a presence here. We own three rental properties and I serve on the board of three different non-profit organization as well as the Erie County Arts and Cultural Board.
What does being a Buffalo Boss Babe mean to you?
I am proud of the fact that I have taken my family's long established business and given it a fresh new voice and vision. I am expanding the gallery with a second location that is part of a larger adaptive resuse project at the former Richmond Ferry Church.
Through my stewardship Benjaman Gallery has been accepted to several international marketplace websites and we have been able to sell fine art by WNY artists all over the world. I plan to continue to use my time and resources to help keep Buffalo's cultural community moving forward. I want to encourage people from all parts of the city to step into a gallery without feeling intimidated. I also take my role as a citizen of this city very seriously. I use my expertise in marketing and fine art to help the organizations for whom I serve. As I move forward with all my future plans, I want every exhibition that I put forward to give back to the community both through experience and financially. I believe strongly that art has a transformative power that can bring people from different means and cultures together to share an experience that unifies them.
Who are your favorite people to follow?
Social Media is a great way to stay connected to the programming of major museums and galleries all over the world. I follow tons of other curators from commercial and institutional spaces. I also love following art critics like Jerry Saltz, Roberta Smith and David Rimanelli. I also enjoy following the artists I work with so I can see what they are up to when they are traveling to participate in residencies or exhibits outside the area.
What are your favorite things to do in the area (Buffalo and greater WNY)?
I spend most of my social life attending art openings at museums and other galleries. We have a really strong artistic community and I am constantly blown away by what my fellow curators are putting together. We are also on a bowling team made up of other area creatives. And of course my husband and I love going out to dinner with friends. Buffalo has an amazing culinary scene that just keeps getting better!
Tell me about your favorite collaborations or a dream collaboration?
I am currently involved in a dream collaboration. Together with Anna Kaplan of Anna Kaplan Contemporary and Elisabeth Samuels of Indigo Art, we formed an art consultancy company Resource:Art. The three of us work together on corporate, public and private art consultancy jobs as well as curating exhibitions. We just opened an auxiliary gallery space in The Hotel Henry that we branded The Corridors Gallery. We just opened our second exhibition in the space at the beginning of this month and the feedback has been fantastic. We have actually had out of town visitors acquire WNY artwork because they saw the pieces in the Hotel while they were in town. We even sold a piece to a visiting sports celebrity who asked to keep their identity concealed. The three of us are working on an amazing immersive fine art event called Play Ground which will be happening in October of this year!
I also founded an organization with a group of friends called ArtReach WNY. Together with Maria Pabico LaRotonda (Revolution Gallery), Karen Eckert and Beth Smith, we organize fundraisers that use the sale of fine art to benefit non profit organizations in our city. We successfully raised thousands of dollars and distributed it among 6 organizations through our first two events, "No Bigger Than a Pie Box" and "Sugatory".
If you could have coffee with anyone in the world who would it be?
I am obsessed with Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is a hero of mine. I also have read everything David Sedaris has written. I think having coffee with either of them would be spectacular!
What are your hopes, dreams, goals? Big or Small.
I am in the process of opening a second location. I am ready to see the doors of this space open and for me to use this new opportunity to further promote WNY artists. I envision myself participating in art fairs in New York, Miami and beyond.
Tell us about your family (2 Legged , 4 Legged) ?
I live with my husband Baird and our tiny rescue mutt Ranger. My parents live here and are eternally grateful for our being back in town. My only brother still lives in New York City. He also works for our family gallery and is constantly sending me great inventory. We have bought several artist's estates together and share several fine art marketplace site subscriptions where we sell a majority of our inventory. My husband has a huge family in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he is from. We usually visit there twice a year. Once during the holidays and once during college football season! Roll Tide!
Feel Good Five
Food: I love all things Asian. I would say its a tie between Dim Sum and this Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup Chan Chua that I could eat every day.
Super Power: I have an uncanny ability to spot fine art that will sells quickly!
Animal: I am a huge dog freak! When I first moved to New York City I walked dogs part time to bring in extra money and to get exercise. I had keys to some fabulous apartments on the Upper East Side
Season of the year: Is there anything better than Summer in Buffalo? I think not! We can go sailing on the lake and enjoy cocktails on one of our courtyard or rooftop bars!
Favorite thing about Buffalo: I love that with hard work and integrity you can easily become the big fish in the small pond. Everyone is so friendly! I can't walk into a grocery store without running into someone I know who is excited to chat about my endeavors!
Be sure to visit the gallery and visit Emily in person at 419 Elmwood Avenue Buffalo, NY
The gallery is Open Thursday - Saturday 11:00am - 5:00pm &
Sunday - Wednesday by Appointment. You can call them at: (716) 886-0898 or (716) 553-8483.
Until Next time babes!
Buffalo Boss Babes is a woman run blog series featuring women in and around the city of Buffalo N.Y.
If you know someone doing amazing things for our community, past and present, young and old..... send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be kind to everyone you meet.
Here's to strong women! May we know them. May we be them