When Viewers Become Collectors: Local Art Patrons Show Off Their Prized Possessions


From the collection of Kim Phan. Yuuwaku by Audrey Kawasaki, Giclée Print.

What inspires someone to buy or commission a work of art? Sometimes the “why” is a mystery, even to the artist. Connecting:collecting is a one-night only, pop-up exhibition at The Art Exchange (ARTX) on Saturday, August 12, from 6:00PM to 10:00PM that seeks to pinpoint and explore the moment a viewer becomes a collector.

“EVA wants to support artists and encourage more people to buy art,” East Village Association (EVA) board member, Owen Tan, said in a statement. “People may think that you need to have a lot of money and expertise in order to collect art but the stories in this show prove otherwise!”

Curated by Victoria Bryan, a former executive director of the Arts Council for Long Beach and professor at Cal State Long Beach’s School of Art, sponsored by EVA and ARTX, connecting:collecting has gathered a group of local collectors to reflect on their process of acquiring artwork.

Incorporated into the one-night show will be nine collectors’ reflections on their artwork, the process of collecting and their relationship with the artists whose work they admire.


Work created through the support of Lawrence Watusi by Jesse Jacobellis. The Guardian Wall, Mural on laundry room wall, Gladys Avenue apartment complex, June 2017.

“I have never considered myself an art collector,” Kim Phan, one of the collectors, told the Post. “I just so happen to surround myself with art that I absolutely love and makes me happy. There are pieces in my home that I have had for nearly 15 years. I encourage anyone to purchase art that brings them joy and doesn’t add immediate debt.”

Collectors Kamran Assadi, Jonathan (JC) Cabrieto, Sherry Diamond, Silvia Estabrook, Kim Phan, Marco Schindelmann, Sayon Syprasoeuth, Owen Tan and Lawrence Watusi will be available during the show to continue the collecting conversation with attendees.

Their processes offer a range of experiences for those interested to contemplate, from Estabrook’s 1976 chance encounter with an artist etching in a parking lot, to Phan’s purchase of Yuuwaku by Audrey Kawasaki after following the artist’s work for years, and jumping on the opportunity to acquire a print during a one-hour timed release.

“I initially felt a bit apprehensive since the art I have is something that has always been for me,” said Phan about having a part of her collection on display. “A part of me also knows it’s because I don’t want anyone judging something I hold dearly. After I got over it, I was excited since I trust Victoria will showcase the work in a way that attendees can see and appreciate. I hope viewers see how each piece brings a myriad of emotions to many: artist, buyer, and viewers.”


From the collection of Sayon Syprasoeuth. Garuda, sculpture by unknown Cambodian artist.

Connecting:collecting is part of the newly revamped 2nd Saturday Art Walk to take place starting at 5:00PM in the East Village.

For more information about connecting:collecting visit the Facebook event page here.

Art Exchange is located at 356 East 3rd Street.

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Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.