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Go Behind the Scenes of the LA Art World with Brenda Williams


Brenda Headshot

This fall, we’re looking forward to working once again with Brenda Williams to offer Contemporary Los Angeles Art. Brenda is a local art adviser and independent curator specializing in emerging contemporary artists. Her class will meet over five Saturdays, and explore areas in the Los Angeles art world not usually accessible to the public. Visits will focus on private home collections, artists studios, and curator-led gallery tours. Each six-hour meeting will include multiple location visits.

To read more about the class, and register for fall, click here.

We spoke with Brenda about her background, and what artists she’s watching now.

How did you get interested in art collecting, and what were your first experiences in the art world?

I lived Italy and worked in a gallery where my love for arte povera and minimalist art began. Upon my return to the states I became interested in and began collecting African Art and textiles. I fell in love with the masks of the various tribes of west Africa. The techniques of textile makers from around the world were so amazing that I couldn’t resist their beauty. I had to have as many textiles as my walls could hold. I’ve also collected tea services porcelain, tin, and glass: pots, sugar/cream receptacles and trays.

What artists or galleries are you excited about right now?

I’m always excited to see new work by artists who show at Walter Maciel. This fall he is opening with a collage artist Tm Gratowski. According to the press release, Tm builds two and three dimensional works made of collaged paper on a variety of surfaces including wood panels, heavy stock paper and molded concrete.

I had a studio visit with artist June Edmonds, who she showed me her body of work from over 20 years in LA. From public art projects to current paintings her vivid colored palette is very exciting and she is working on new visions

Downtown LA, there is MaRS (Museum as retail space) Gallery. It’s a voluminous space where the director specializes in emerging artists with strong points of view. The galleries fall show with Galia Lin and Elena Stonaker should be very exciting. Galia is a long time LA resident who’s sculptural and ceramic works are very intriguing.

My most recent obsession is with media artist Theo Trian. Theo exhibited in a public|private space called The Cabin where his interactive work with imagery, sound and motion was just delightful.

What do you feel is something unique Los Angeles has to offer art lovers?

 LA is a very unique place for art lovers. The county is literally 100 miles by 100 miles and each neighborhood has some type of art space (museum, private museums, galleries, pop up shows) that is a precious gem. There are an overwhelming amount of new resources to investigate, especially downtown galleries exhibiting emerging and underrepresented artists.

Which collections or works are you looking forward to sharing with your students?

The California African American Museum my favorite gem in the LA art world. Too many people are not aware that it’s been open since 1984 nor do they know where it’s located. A new leadership at the helm and they are bringing a bold, energetic and fresh conversation to the LA art world.

For those who are interested in learning more about the art world in Los Angeles, how would you recommend getting started?

Visit as many museums and galleries as you can. Ask a lot of questions. Read and inform yourself. If this leaves you wanting more, take my class, Contemporary Los Angeles Art in the fall and we’ll explore the city together.

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