A wide freckled forehead, big watery eyes overhanging a pointed nose and a permanent smile : she looks like a John Currin’s model or a medieval saint, but she’s real and made my American dream come true. Few months after we met, I brought her my last paintings, she liked them and the day after, they were on display on her walls. The Sloane Merrill Gallery opened in 2012, an exquisite arty stop in Beacon Hill, the fancy gem of Boston. The visitor is warmly welcomed among eclectic and exclusively figurative paintings. “I love people and people who paint people” says this tireless worker who grew up in Cincinnati with 2 teachers who entertained their daughter with exhibitions and travels. After two museum experiences (“Way too boring”), and another one assisting a conceptual artist, she worked for a gallery in DC for 6 years and knew it was this life she aspired to. “I love this multitasking job. The best is this exciting ride. You meet an artist, you can’t wait to get new pieces, then you show them and when magic happens you sell them. ” Ali’s indisputable passion radiates from the doorstep of 75 Charles st. The hanging changes every 2 weeks; because, A/it’s nice to offer moves when our homes, our jobs keep their steadfast figure and B/ because paintings interact differently and get different identities that way. “I feel like a shepherd towards these paintings. Artists are not here, but pieces are, I have to protect them, to make people love them. Personal connections between a painting and a viewer in the gallery never cease to amaze and excite me. I no longer believe in pure coincidence.” Indeed she can tell you the surreal stories of many paintings that seemed meant for their new owners, existing in a dream, in a resemblance with a late kin or in an essential lack finally filled by a simple canvas covered with colors.