Alumni Spotlight: Chilean Mentors Emerging Artists from her Brooklyn Studio
Born in Santiago, Chile and raised in Washington D.C., Romina Jiménez Álvarez moved to New York in 2014 to attend Columbia’s Barnard College. During her time there, she was an active member of the Columbia community: She was part of the Student Government Association, a member of the Columbia International Relations Council & Association, and the Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs. Although she wrote her thesis on the Chilean economy during the military dictatorship, and even received an honorable mention for it, her most memorable semesters were the ones filled with Art History and Visual Art courses. Her favorite class was the famous Walk this Way, which looks at pedestrian milestones from ancient Greek peripatetic philosophers to contemporary performance art, taught by professor William Sharpe: “I’ve always liked different disciplines and I thought that art was how all disciplines came together,” she tells from her Brooklyn studio.
After graduation, Romina landed a corporate job, and though she considers the skills she learnt there to be useful, in 2020 she moved to Paris to pursue her passion in art after being accepted into a program at the prestigious Studio Scalier done in conjunction with the Louvre Museum, where she studied art history, sketches, and critique, among other disciplines. After completing her studies, during the following two years, she had several other stints abroad in Santiago, Mexico City, Oslo, Rome, and Berlin. Her overseas experiences and her work in blue-chip galleries in New York, allowed Jiménez to foster relationships with emerging artists, galleries, and institutions, which gave way to the founding of Romi Studio in 2022.
Romi Studio is an art space dedicated to presenting Latin American artists, with a special focus on showcasing the best of Chilean contemporary art. For Jiménez - who goes as "Romina Aurora" as a curator and writer as a way to honor her grandmother - although Chile has plenty of talented artists in and outside of the country, “they are spread across the globe and do not have sufficient infrastructure available through museums, galleries, or institutions to nurture their talent.” That’s why, what she does through Romi Studio is to “represent and partner with artists at a critical point in their careers to assist them in building professional toolkits, managing inventory, curating online and offline exhibitions, and driving more visibility and connections to collectors.” She also works with collectors and art-lovers at all stages, in sourcing and acquiring art, managing collections, and other advisory services. Additionally, Jiménez is also a member of Artsy, the biggest global online marketplace for artists, where she is listed as an art seller.
At the moment, Jiménez is working with various Chilean artists, such as Felipe Fredes, a visual artist and neuroscientist based in Denmark; Magdalena Paz, based in Berlin, and Lucía Rodríguez Pérez, who lives in New York. The first exhibition curated and produced by Romi Studio was Fredes’ Crystal-Realizations, which opened in November 2022 at the Brooklyn Art Cave. In March 2023, Romina Aurora and Rodríguez inaugurated Homecoming at the 1 Bell Slip Gallery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which will run until May 31. “I think that the most effective way of adding new voices to the conversation and opening opportunities for artists that have been working in silence for a long time is with an interdisciplinary approach,” Jiménez comments. That's why Homecoming is done in partnership with Brookfield Properties, one of the largest real estate companies in New York: “Our goal is to forge connections across different industries, showcase Latin American artists, and give them a platform to assert their place in the world,” she adds.
Based in one of the largest art markets in the world, Jiménez is eager to keep growing her artist and collector network, planning innovative exhibitions, and supporting Latin American talents in an effort to build community, empower emerging and underrepresented artists, and introduce them to the larger art market.