LILI BERNARD is a Cuban-born, Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary artist of mixed African, Caribbean, European and Chinese descent. Her work examines issues of sexism, racism and trauma. A mother of six whom she birthed in a ten-year span, Lili is an award-winning exhibiting fine artist, actor, published writer, independent curator, educator, community organizer, public speaker and founder of BAILA: Black Artists in Los Angeles. Raised predominantly in Princeton, Jct., New Jersey, and a graduate of The American School in Japan where she spent 11th and 12th grade, Lili attended Cornell University and The City University of New York, earning a B.A. in German. She received her MFA in Visual Arts/Public Practice from Otis College of Art and Design. In the fine arts, Lili’s numerous credits include a 2017 solo exhibition at Museum of African Diaspora and favorable reviews in a multitude of mainstream art periodicals, including ARTnews Magazine. As an actor who has performed extensively in NYC Off-Broadway theatre, on television Lili starred in the BBC film Murder in Oakland, co-starred in Stephen King’s Golden Years, and guest-starred on Seinfeld and The Cosby Show. A Cosby survivor-turned public-figure antirape activist, Lili influenced the abolishment of the statute of limitations on rape prosecution in California with her #EndRapeSOL peers, as well as the gubernatorial signing of three #MeToo bills on employment sexual harassment and assault. Currently, she serves as co-chair of #ERAnow.
ART EXHIBITIONS: 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: 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: 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.
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 and my personal experiences as survivor of rape and domestic violence inform my exploration of the impact of trauma and the unconquerable nature of the human spirit.
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