Art has always been an essential part of Lisa’s life. She grew up surrounded by artists including her mother, a painter and jewelry designer, and father a successful businessman with a passion for creating Nevelson-like wood sculptures. A born and raised New Yorker, Lisa’s playground was the city’s art galleries, museums, and public art events. She began collecting contemporary art shortly after her marriage to husband, Mitch Cravens to celebrate milestones in their life together.
Professionally, prior to opening Elisa Contemporary Art, Lisa spent over 20 years in key strategic roles directing marketing communications campaigns for some of the world’s leading consumer brands, including IBM, JP Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse First Boston, and managing the Interactive and Relationship Marketing departments for Mercedes-Benz.
Lisa launched Elisa Contemporary Art was launched in November 2007 and she opened the Riverdale Gallery in September 2008. The gallery mission is to present art that transforms our lives (the gallery owner, artist and the viewer) and an integral element of that is helping others. A portion of gallery sales are donated to philanthropic organizations that help children and families within underserved communities heal and grow through their experience with art. The gallery has curated over 15 exhibits in public and private art spaces within the Tri-State area, and participated in Art Fairs in New York, the Hamptons and Miami.
As an art consultant, Lisa works with artists and galleries, Interior Designers and collectors from around the world.
Lisa has been a juror for several Gallery shows including the Blue Door Gallery (NY), New Rochelle Art Association, a guest lecturer at School of Visual Arts and Queens College, a guest curator for 2011 CurateNYC and the Bronx gallery for 2013 Curate NYC, hosted events on “The Art of Collecting” and interior design topics (Landscape Design, Feng Shui, Decorative Painting). She is currently a member of the Arts & Architecture Review Committee at Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan; the Bronx Arts Alliance and a co-founder of New York Chapter of the Association of Women Art Dealers (AWAD).