IN 25 WORDS OR LESS
That’s it. Leaders and influencers, who are usually given the floor for as long as they like, are limited here to condensed responses (no more than 25 words) that get straight to the point.
Find something you love and strive to be the best at it.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Karen is the owner of the only African American owned art gallery in San Francisco
– THE BASICS.
Name: Karen Jenkins-Johnson • Nickname: KJJ
Age: 50s • Status: Married • Kids: Yes
Place of Birth: Portland, Oregon • Raised: Portland, Oregon
Professional Background: I worked as a CPA for 7 years in the 80s and moved into art shortly after receiving my MBA from the Haas School of Business in 1989. After working for other galleries for 6 years, I opened my gallery in its current location in 1996.
Job(s) held that is most unlike what I currently do now: CPA; YMCA Camp Counselor.
Field: Visual Art
Company: Jenkins Johnson Gallery – San Francisco, CA
What it does and what I do: We are an art gallery working internationally. I am the principal. We represent artists from around the world.
Current Big Project: A Portraiture exhibition for the gallery, broadening the roster of artists to include conceptual and abstract artists, and adding emerging artists of color.
Additional: Former Auditor at Price Waterhouse (certified public accounting firm) in Seattle, WA
– PROFESSIONAL PERSPECTIVE
Significant Challenge (business/professional): Being a gallerist of color, my most significant challenges stem from assumptions people make around my race and thusly my ability to achieve.
Significant Mistake (business/professional): I wish that I had had the foresight to buy a warehouse space during our most recent recession.
Significant Accomplishment (business/professional): My most significant accomplishment was exhibiting Roy DeCrava’s work in 2015 at Art Basel Miami Beach.
Career Advice: Find something you love and strive to be the best at it.
– PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE
Significant Challenge (personal): Learning social media. Lol!
Significant Accomplishment (personal): My two young adult children Kristina and Kamille.
Life Advice: Life moves pretty fast – if you don’t slow down, you might miss it. Stay mindful.
Trait(s) most admired in others: Patience.
Some causes/organizations I support: Alonso King Lines Ballet, The Performing Stars, Boys and Girls Club, Bridge the Gap, Nursing Home Ministries.
Hours of “personal” downtime/week: 10
Favorite activity(s) in my personal downtime: Exercise is my meditation.
Some of my favorite local hangouts: The Oracle Arena (GO WARRIORS!), The Glen Ellen Star, Pico’s.
Some of my favorite TV shows: Oprah’s Super Slow Sunday; Downtown Abbey; American C.
Favorite Vacation Spot(s): Maui, Hawaii.
Some place(s) I would like to visit: Cuba, South Africa.
Favorite Pastime/Hobby(s): I like to go to museums and art fairs. I also like to read and golf.
Favorite Book(s): The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.
Some of my most-admired people (excluding parents): Oprah Winphrey, Barack Obama.
Something about me that may surprise you: I pray.