Co-founder, Young Collectors Collective; head of projects and development, Edouard Malingue Gallery
Jennifer Caroline Ellis is a force to be reckoned with in the art world. The head of projects and development at Edouard Malingue Gallery also co-founded the Young Collectors Collective (YCC) with Natasha Kaye Whiffin and Kate Jones in 2016. An initiative that was established as a response to supporting art in and out of Asia, YCC began life as a Whatsapp group with individuals in the art community, and now boasts more than 300 members worldwide.
The Geneva native started out as an intern at prestigious auctioneer Phillips in her hometown, after completing a degree in law and history of art in the UK. She was eventually transferred to London to work on Phillips’ first auction in Hong Kong, which led to analyzing pieces by Asian artists for potential inclusion.
The path wasn’t always clear for Ellis, though: “There were highs and lows during that first year. I interviewed for Ralph Lauren, L’Oreal and other companies, weighing up options. But I stuck it through, and here I am.”
Ellis sees her role at Edouard Malingue as her primary occupation, while she juggles YCC by working on it over weekends. “What’s crucial is the group as a collective is engaged: this is an example of collaboration towards a common goal,” she says. “We aim to create an alternative model for arts funding that has long-term impact, while mobilizing and engaging a growing group of young arts supporters.”
She and her co-founders envisage further chapters of YCC being set up worldwide. Its first international chapter launched in London in October 2016, and the next few months will see a program that aims to increase dialogue between organizations, artists and projects across the two locations.
Her very first job? At 16, Ellis worked at the World Intellectual Property Organisation in Geneva for a couple of weeks.