This spring, 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 spring, 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?
My first collecting experiences were record albums by cutting edge artists like New Birth, Mandrill, Parliament Funkadelic and Betty Davis.
After college I moved to Italy where I worked for Marilena Bonomo and honed my taste for contemporary art. I worked with many emrging artists during my tenure at the gallery; Julio Paolini, Sol Lewitt, David Tremlett to name a few.
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 like ikat and embroidery 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?
There are so many new galleries that have opened downtownsince I first started teaching this class. Right now two of my newer favorite galleries are Wilding Cran who show artists Karon Davis and Hap Tivey; and Commonwealth and Council who is currently showing an extraordinary work by Rafa Esparza.
What do you feel is something unique Los Angeles has to offer art lovers?
The unique thing LA has to offer art lovers right now is an overwhelming amount of resources to find new, emerging and established artists, galleries and museums. The city has exploded in art work over the past 5 years and you get to see work from local and world renown artists in under a 25 mile radius. There are also new museums to explore like The Underground Museum, The El Segundo Museum and the Marciano Museum.
Which collections or works are you looking forward to sharing with your students?
The Wende Museum has recently opened their new space in Culver City and it’s a wonderful and amazing museum of post-cold war ephemera mixed with today’s artists who riff off of that early material. I’m also very excited to see the upcoming Robert Colescott show at Blum and Poe.
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 art based publications like CARLA and Artillery. And if that leaves you wanting more, take my class Contemporary Los Angeles Art this spring.