Ivy N. Jones

Gallery owner and art dealer exhibiting and representing artists from around the world by mounting major exhibitions and publishing scholarly catalogs
Photo courtesy of Welancora Gallery

Ivy N. Jones founded Welancora Gallery in 2002. The gallery name is an amalgam of the names of Ivy's parents and older brother. Located in a 19th century townhouse, the purpose of the gallery is to represent artists from around the world by holding exhibitions, publishing scholarly catalogues and placing their work with collectors and museums.

As part of our 2018 AFROPUNK weekend experience, we partnered with Ivy for our Independent Art Gallery Tour, where we met with art dealers and curators, explored contemporary Black art, and discussed the importance of reshaping the industry.

The following post is part of a Q&A series with the artists, chefs, curators, and business owners we partnered with to celebrate the cultural force that is Brooklyn.
When and how did you first discover your passion for art?
It started when I decided to take a photography class in high school. My focus gradually shifted over the years from trying to make art to selling art and gaining a better understanding of art history as a whole and the contribution made by people of color to the canon.
What do you love most about living and working in Brooklyn? As Brooklyn has changed in recent years, how has that impacted your industry?
Owning the building where the gallery is located is what I love the most about living and working in Brooklyn. A close second is being close to some of the most talented artists working today. For example, Mickalene Thomas, Aisha T. Bell, Tiffany Smith, Derrick Adams, Oasa DuVerney, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Wangechi Mutu, and many others live and work in Brooklyn. As a growing number of gallerist decide to make Brooklyn their home, more thought provoking and professional options are available for viewing and purchasing art in Brooklyn. When it comes to placing art with collectors, location is no longer as important as it once was. Due to the internet and social media, it no longer matters where you are physically. I love Brooklyn, I was born and raised here, but I've sold work to collectors who have never stepped foot in the gallery. It's an amazing time in that respect.
I love Brooklyn, I was born and raised here, but I've sold work to collectors who have never stepped foot in the gallery.
Why did you decide to start your own thing? What has been the most rewarding part?
I realized that location and tons of money are not the things that will make me successful.
I was working a 9-to-5 job and I didn't want that to be my legacy. I realized that I had options, so I decided to take the leap once I felt comfortable with the sacrifices I needed to make to survive. What has been the most rewarding part? When I realized that location and tons of money are not the things that will make me successful. In addition, I've worked with some very talented artists, writers and curators. Those experiences have also helped to make this a rewarding journey.
What are you most looking forward to sharing with our group during the AFROPUNK weekend experience?
We plan on giving your guests a private preview of our fall exhibition, In The Future When.... Hopefully, this will be the beginning of a relationship between the gallery and a few members of the group.
Learn more about Ivy and Welancora Gallery on the website and connect on Instagram and Facebook.

Journal
More in this series
Brooklyn Highlights: a Q&A series with the amazing artists, writers, chefs, designers, and business owners we've partnered with to celebrate the cultural force that is Brooklyn.