Artists, curators, gallerists, and others involved in exhibiting and promoting art are invited to join the Arts Council for Long Beach for the first "Gathering at Greenly," on November 2 from 3:00PM to 5:00PM.
In an effort to continue creating community among artists, Greenly Art Space will host this new event, a monthly meeting to help facilitate connections among local artists and representatives of arts venues. At this informal discussion, attendees will share stories, get to know one another and explore ways to collaborate with each other.
Victoria Bryan, Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach, will be at the first Gathering to talk about some of the ways the Arts Council for Long Beach plans to support artists in the coming year.
Bryan, who has lived in Long Beach since 1985, has served on the Board of Directors of the Arts Council for Long Beach and is a London-born college professor who has been teaching in the art and theatre departments at CSULB since 2003. Bryan and the Arts Council are looking for ways to creatively utilize space in Long Beach for artists and their work.
Bryan said, “When talking to people in the arts community, a big challenge that comes up over and over again is finding space. Space where their work can be seen, space where they can actually do their work, space because of the cost involved and the limitations that we have on gallery space. It’s a huge issue for most artists.”
While Bryan has only been in position for six months, as she humbly included, she certainly knows how to bring the arts community together. She explained, “Our goal is to serve the artists and organizations in Long Beach. We want to include the advocate, the promoter, the facilitator and the educator for all of the arts in this city. We’re always looking for ways we can bring together people who need something and people who may have access to those resources.”
Kimberly Hocking, curator of Greenly Art Space, came up with the idea to start a monthly gathering. Upon contacting Bryan the two decided to combine motives.
“Her focus at Greenly Art Space is about building community through the arts. Why don't we combine both of our goals and fulfill the first one. Bringing artists together to help build community amongst our artists and organizations and provide the direction and focus of talking about how artists find space, how they can be innovative and creative with finding space,” Bryan said.
Supporting the arts, no matter what kind, is becoming a contagious endeavor. “Mayor Garcia just recently hosted an arts breakfast at the Long Beach Museum of Art,” Bryan said. “He invited a similar group of artists to let the arts community know that he really views the arts as essential, as critically important to the future success of Long Beach, for its economic development, for Long Beach to be seen as the wonderful city it is.
"That was last Friday, so this is kind of in the air. This idea of bringing artists together to benefit from what we can do together, rather than what is often the case, artists working in isolation. It can be a very lonely thing to be an artist.”
Liza Mitchell, who developed a relationship with the Maya Hotel to use it as a gallery space for her team of artists, will also be at the inaugural “Gathering at Greenly,” to discuss and brainstorm creative ways to use spaces not originally built to be used as art galleries.
The meetings at Greenly Art Space will primarily serve visual artists, but Bryan said that the Arts Council for Long Beach’s two-year strategy involves artists of all genres. She explained that the Arts Partner meetings, which happen on a quarterly basis, attempt to address these broader issues. She said, “Over 50 people came to the first meeting. These gatherings add value for artists who are working in Long Beach, it gives them the opportunity to get to know each other and recognize that they have shared issues and challenges and to benefit and learn from each other in that way. We’re hosting the next one at WE Labs, we’re going to work with them to host a similar meeting in December.”
Bryan would like to encourage artists, organizations, and venue owners to attend The Gathering at Greenly this Sunday to meet artists and start building this community. Those who have other ideas for building community may contact the Arts Council for Long Beach, who, according to Bryan, is always looking to partner with people and organizations for the sake of supporting the arts.
“Building community, working together collaboratively, that in turn really helps Long Beach as a city. The more we network, the more we can use each other to build and add value to what we do." Bryan said. "It’s amazing that more and more people are recognizing just how important the arts are at the heart of the city. ‘The Gathering at Greenly’ is in alignment with our goals, both the Arts Council and Kimberly's goals at Greenly Art Space.”
The first Gathering at Greenly will be held on November 2 from 3:00PM to 5:00PM at Greenly Art Space, located at 2698 Junipero Ave. #113, Signal Hill.