G&J closes Anderson-run fashion models division

Talent agent Marie P. Anderson

Grossman & Jack Talent officially closed its seven-year old fashion models division, Agency Galatea, last Friday after it gave two weeks’ notice to its founder / director Marie P. Anderson.

G&J’s owner, Linda Jack, said in a three sentence email that the financial decision to close Agency Galatea would allow the talent agency “to focus on our areas of strength at this time.”

Anderson, who previously had owned one of the city’s biggest talent agencies, was surprised when receiving the news, but she was realistic about the talent industry’s current competitive climate.

“Small model agencies are being squeezed out of business by the big talent agencies that have a large staff of agents serving mostly all of the same clients, while there were only two of us and a relatively small roster of 33 models,” Anderson said.

For many years Anderson was co-owner of Aria Models & Management that reigned as one of Chicago’s biggest TV, film and theatre agencies. She sold Aria in 2004 to Ford Models and moved to LA to work for a large talent management company and later helmed her own talent agency in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Returning to Chicago in 2009, Anderson approached Jack and her late partner, Mickey Grossman, about setting up the boutique Agency Galatea models division within their company.

“We bought the concept, based on Marie’s flawless reputation and years of experience,” Grossman said at the time.

Then Grossman & Jack, with its new Agency Galatea division, joined Ford Models and Elite Models as the only three agencies to offer fashion apparel models in addition to their standard list of talent services.

Today, more than 75 known local agencies label themselves “modeling agencies,” either as an exclusive model agency or in addition to representing talent for performance and print.

Jack said in her email that Agency Galatea’s dissolution does not affect G&J Models / Lifestyle Print, run by another veteran talent agent, Katherine Tenerowicz, or the voiceover and on-camera / theatre departments.

“This only influences fashion with Agency Galatea / Fashion Print.”

Reach Marie Anderson through her website, www.mariepanderson.com.

Sidebar: The Galatea name is rooted in mythology. Famous sculptor Pygmalion carves a statue of unparalleled beauty in ivory. He names her Galatea and falls madly in love with his creation. Through Aphrodite, goddess of love, Gatatea eventually comes to life. They marry and live happily ever after.