BAILA Meeting With LACMA May 2012

Roundtable with Los Angeles County Museum of Art at Lili Bernard Home Studio, May 2012

BAILA: Dec 2011 – Present.  BAILA (Black Artists in Los Angeles) is a movement orchestrated to illuminate the work and advance the careers of Black visual artists in the L.A. area. The work-effort involves research, the facilitating of roundtables between BAILA and mainstream arts organizations, the curating of BAILA exhibitions, the hosting of art critiques and studio visits, the mentoring of BAILA adults and youth, and the archiving and publishing of BAILA happenings.  BAILA’s ultimate goal is to serve as a catalyst in the erasure of the gross marginalization of Black visual artists across the nation. Click here for the official BAILA website and blog.

Carlos Moore Book Signing at Lili Bernard Art Studio

Carlos Moore (L) and Zack de La Rocha (R) of Rage Against the Machine at Lili Bernard Art Studio for Carlos Moore Book Reading & Signing, July 2009, Los Angeles

LILI BERNARD ART STUDIO: A Public Space: Feb 2007 – Dec 2011. For five years, I was blessed to have an art studio on Chung King Road which is the main drag of the Chinatown, Los Angeles art district. I maintained the studio as a public space, where I painted in privacy on weekdays and held public arts events on weekends, including a youth mentoring program called HABLA: Harvesting Asian, Black, Latino Artists, and an adult artists collaborative called HABLA Underground. Events included book reading-signings by Carlos Moore and Deborah Gregory among others, as well as poetry readings, musical concerts and regular exhibitions of outside artists.

Deborah Gregory in Lili Bernard Youth Mentoring Program, Visual & Performing Arts High School, LA

Author Deborah Gregory (Cheetah Girls), Guest Speaker in my Chinatown Youth Mentoring Program, Visual & Performing Arts High School, LA, March 2011

Chinatown Youth Mentoring: Feb 2007 – Dec 2011. This is a youth mentoring arts program which I operated for five years within and outside of my Chinatown, LA art studio. I met with a group of local Chinatown youth regularly, mentored them in the arts and their career goals, took them on art field trips, and involved them in the public events at my art studio. I also enjoyed a partnership, as a volunteer, with the newRamon C. Cortinez Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) High School which was in walking distance from my Chinatown studio. There, I regularly brought motivational guest speakers to inspire the students in their career goals. Guests speakers included artists, authors, doctors and professional athletes. 

HABLA Underground

HABLA Underground Adult Artist Collaborative, Lili Bernard Art Studio, Los Angeles

HABLA Underground Adult Artists Collaborative. Aug 2009 – Mar 2011. This was an experimental adult artist collaborative for underrepresented artists of all ethnicities. We met monthly at my Chinatown art studio and co-curated eight well-attended shows in the gallery basement of my art studio, which we referred to as the HABLA Underground. Artists who participated in the collaborative included J Michael Walker, Young Yun Summers, José Acosta, Wendell Wiggins, Alicia Galindo, Mark Broyard, Donna Angers, Hugh O’Mara (R.I.P.), Ingrid Elberg, Jennifer Gutierrez Morgan, Jim Starks Jr., Jorge Vismara, Christie Shinn, Joel Lopez, Kevin T. Williams, Special K, Cre-8, Bob Bright, Cola Smith, Alisa Adona, William Sheffield, Karen Ter-Sarkisian, Rufus Sanders, Debra Vernado, Cynthia Rogers, Ray Chavez, Jasmine Orpilla, Angela Ortiz, Dan Wong, Rick Rodriguez, Davis Garcia, Eddy Bello-Sandoval, William Jackson, Wilki Tom, Stanley Rosenthal, Lili Bernard and others.

City of Angels Little League

City of Angels Little League Camps June 2007

CITY OF ANGELS LITTLE LEAGUE (CALL). Jan 2001 – Present. In January 2001, I founded and charted the City of Angels Little League, which is an all volunteer-run nonprofit (501-c3) youth organization in Los Angeles. I grew up playing Little Baseball in a field within walking distance from my childhood home in Princeton, Jct., New Jersey, right behind the house of my cousin, Fernando Perez, who grew up to play in the 2008 World Series for the Tampa Bay Rays. When my first-born child came of age to play T-Ball; I found out that there had never been any Little League in our part of Los Angeles. The only option was for me to found and charter our local Little League, which I did. I served as the league president for the first year and my husband, Franklin Ferguson, Jr (pictured left) has since run it since. Click here for our league website.

Career Day at My Chldren's School

The Career Day I Organized for my Children’s School, November 2006

PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) Board Member at my Children’s Elementary-Middle School, September 2004 – Present. I’ve been a board member of the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) at my children’s school since September 2004. The PTO board meets every month with the principal to plan and organize various events at the school. Events which I’ve personally organized include the first Annual Career Day and the Family Fun Day. So far five of my six children have attended the school. Our youngest and only daughter, Zion, will be starting Kindergarten there in 2013. 

Lili Bernard Youth Mentoring in Harlem, NY

My Harlem Mentees w Actress Joie Lee, my Apartment, Harlem, NY, Aug 1992

HARLEM YOUTH MENTORING at St. Aloysius School, Harlem, New York City. Jan 1992 – Aug 1993. In the early 1990’s, as a volunteer, I designed and ran a youth mentoring program for the eighth grade class of the St. Aloysius Catholic Middle School in my neighborhood of Harlem, New York. Every week, I brought motivational guest speakers into their classroom. I also presented socially pertinent staged plays at the school and took the youth on summer field trips, which involved their appearing in filmmaker Spike Lee’s Revolution video with the musical group Arrested Development. Guest speakers included celebrity actors, NBA players, comedians, engineers, filmmakers, authors, social workers and graduate students. In the summers, the guest speakers met with the children in my Harlem studio apartment. I still keep in touch with most of the students.