Lili Bernard is a Cuban-born, Los Angeles-based visual artist. Her work examines issues of trauma born of sexism and racism, past and present. She received her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design, and did her undergraduate studies at Cornell University and City University of New York, earning a B.A. in German.
Lili has had solo art exhibitions at Museum of the African Diaspora (2017), SBCAST Gallery (2016), Cielo Galleries (2016 & 2015), LACC Art Gallery (2014), Barnsdall Gallery Theatre (2014), Leimert Park Vision Theater (2014), St. Agatha’s Catholic Church (2012), and Hollywood Women’s Club (2011). Her artwork has been in selected group exhibitions at Walter Maciel Gallery, Coagula Curatorial, Dallas Art Fair, Charlie James Gallery, Gregorio Escalante Gallery, Launch Gallery, Bolsky Gallery, Forest Lawn Museum, Torrance Art Museum, LACE, LA Artcore, ArtShare LA, Watts Towers Arts Center, and William Grant Still Arts Center, among many others.
Awards include Museum of the African Diaspora Emerging Artists Program (2016-2017), California Community Foundation We are Los Angeles Grant (2016), Women’s Center for Creative Work Grant (2016), Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Finalist Grant (2015), Otis Outstanding Contribution Award (2014), Otis MFA Class Marshall (2014), Otis Board of Governors Fellowship (2012-2014), and International Society of Black Latinos Artist Award (2014).
Favorable reviews include ARTnews Magazine, KCET ArtBound, LA Weekly, SF Weekly, Artillery Magazine, KCRW, Modern Art Blitz, Coagula Art Journal, Tikkun Magazine, Art Voices Magazine, Good Day LA, and Huffington Post. Lili is also a wife, mother of six, an actor, published writer, occasional curator, long term community organizer, and founder of BAILA: Black Artists in Los Angeles. A public-figure antirape activist and spokesperson for EndRapeSOL, Lili influenced the abolishment of the statute of limitations on rape prosecution in California in 2016.
As an actress and longtime member of SAG/AFTRA, Lili guest-starred on The Cosby Show and Seinfeld, co-starred in the CBS TV mini-series, Stephen King’s Golden Years, and played the female lead in the BBC film, Murder in Oakland, opposite Ving Rhames and Eriq La Salle. In theatre, Lili has performed extensively in New York City, Off-Broadway, and in Los Angeles.
My work exposes the post-colonial paradigm of suffering and resilience, through a collision of cruelty against compassion. The generational struggle of my Afro-Cuban immigrant family and Caribbean ancestors, coupled with my personal experiences as a rape survivor, informs my exploration of the impact of trauma and the unconquerable nature of the human spirit.