6 collectives to curate, exhibit contemporary art

When Shannon Currie Holmes was first hired to supervise exhibitions at the Brand Library & Art Center in late 2015, she was intent on inviting artists to curate exhibits.

"I wanted to introduce the artist perspective. I wanted to push this idea of artists doing it themselves," she said. "Every time I've given over the space to an artist, I learn an incredible lesson in curation. It's very personal the way that they curate. The idea is to start that conversation."

Beginning Jan. 21, an exhibit titled "The Collectivists" will open, and it may be one of the most ambitious shows she's brought to Brand Library & Art Center.

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Curated by Kara Tomé, the show will feature the works of more than 60 artists who belong to six Los Angeles-based art collectives.

Currie Holmes selected Tomé to curate the show after she learned about her previous work, including a show in Florida where Tomé turned over hotel rooms to artists to display their work.

"It was art for art's sake," Currie Holmes said.

Tomé also hosts the podcast "Gyst Do It," in which she's interviewed dozens of artists involved in collectives.

For the upcoming show, Currie Holmes gave Tomé the liberty to select the collectives: Durden & Ray, Eastside International, Manual History Machines, Monte Vista Projects, Tiger Strikes Asteroid and the Assn. of Hysteric Curators.

"These are groups that I have followed over time, and I've been most impressed by the quality of the exhibitions they have mounted as well as their serious engagement with the contemporary art world in Los Angeles," Tomé said in an email.

The show will represent the "breadth of contemporary work being created in Los Angeles by emerging and mid-career artists," she said. "Painting will be most heavily represented, with mixed media work being a close second."

Each collective will take over a certain section of the gallery, with each group responsible for curating their space.

Currie Holmes said she hopes residents will not only walk through the exhibit but attend one of several panel discussions and workshops that will be held during February and March.

Currie Holmes said the Brand Library & Art Center exists in an "in-between" category because it's not a museum nor a commercial gallery, but "a remarkable space" that attracts students who go there to study and families who may walk through the building after attending a baseball game on the field nearby.

Other times, the library serves as a regular resource for Glendale residents.

Regardless of what may bring locals in, Currie Holmes anticipates "The Collectivists" will draw hundreds of people into the facility, including some new faces.

With artist-run spaces making art more accessible to many, Tomé said exhibits such as this one are part of a movement happening across Los Angeles.

"This movement is building an extremely vibrant, more cohesive and stronger arts community in this sprawling metropolis of a city," Tomé said.

The Collectivists will run from Jan. 21 through March 12 at the Brand Library & Art Center, 1601 W. Mountain St, Glendale. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 21.


Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com

Twitter: @kellymcorrigan

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