I founded BAILA in September of 2011. BAILA is an acronym for Black Artists in Los Angeles. We are an organized group of visual artists and friends who function pedagogically and professionally as a family. BAILA exists as a perpetual social practice art project. It performs as an educational networking art movement. The BAILA movement is orchestrated to illuminate the work and advance the careers of Black visual artists in the L.A. area. BAILA is not exclusive to Black people. It is inclusive of any person who has an interest in Black art, regardless of their race, or whose work explores Black culture. There are therefore members of BAILA who are not Black.
BAILA planning meeting for launching of BAILA Zine 2, edited by artist Kathie Foley-Meyer. Left to Right: Adrienne DeVine, Lili Bernard, Steven J. Brooks, Kathie Foley-Meyer, Lisa Diane Wedgeworth, Brenda Williams, June Edmonds, Vincent Johnson. May 6, 2015, Kathie Foley-Meyer residence, Los Angeles, CA.
MY WORK FOR BAILA
My work for BAILA is all volunteer (unpaid). It 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 and underrepresentation of Black visual artists across the nation.
Getty Museum Restaurant, September 17, 2014. Discussing the upcoming BAILA rountdable with the Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute: (L-R) Thomas Kren (Associate Director for Collections, Getty Museum), Lili Bernard (BAILA Organizer), John A. Giurini (Assistant Director for Public Affairs, Getty Museum), Virginia Heckert (Curator, Dept. of Photographs, Getty Museum).
Artists entering the BAILA-Getty Roundtable, November 4, 2014, Getty Museum and Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA .
Virginia Heckert, Chief Curator of Photography at the Getty Museum shows BAILA the Museum’s permanent collection of works by Black artists including Carrie Mae Weems, as part of the Getty-BAILA Roundtable, November 4, 2014, Getty Museum and Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA.
Marcia Reed, Chief Curator at the Getty Research Institute shows BAILA the Museum’s permanent collection of works by Black artists including Carrie Mae Weems, as part of the Getty-BAILA Roundtable, November 4, 2014, Getty Museum and Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA
BAILA grew out of HABLA: Harvesting Asian Black Latino Artists. HABLA was a five-year-long social practice project that I orchestrated. Its focus was to create platforms for the works of underrepresented artists. I ran HABLA as a nonprofit, from January 2007 to December 2011, at my Chinatown, Los Angeles art studio which I kept as a public space. HABLA involved the mentoring of youth and adults in the arts, the hosting of an HABLA adult artist collaborative, regular group exhibitions, art workshops and crits, book signings and readings, and performances in art, theater, music, dance and poetry.
During the five-year-long HABLA project, I learned that Black artists are by far the most marginalized and underrepresented group of artists of color. It was therefore that, in the Fall of 2011, I unincorporated HABLA and began focusing my arts activism on BAILA. Having found that the bureaucratic and administrative requirements of running a nonprofit detracted from my own fine art production; I founded BAILA as a perpetual social practice art project or an art movement, which is how it has continued, as opposed to a nonprofit art corporation.
BAILA 33 (BAILA core organizational group) Meeting September 30, 2014
Tues, Sept. 30, 2014, 10AM. Present were Ben Caldwell, Adrienne Da Vine, Alitash Kebede, Erin Christovale, Carole Jordan-Harris MD, Derrick Maddox, Glen Williams, J Michael Walker, Chelle Barbour, Isabelle Lutterodt, Michelle Papillion, Greg Pitts, Ashley Nash, Michael Blaze, Raksha Parekh, Vincent Johnson, Steven J. Brooks, Raye Dowell, Tracie Kinser and Lili Bernard. Photos by Lili Bernard, Michael Blaze and Ashley Nash
BAILA at California African American Museum’s (CAAM’s) September 19, 2014 Board of Directors meeting, thanks to the invitation of CAAM board member, Joseph C. Phillips. Artist Toni Scott is at the mic. Twenty-one (21) BAILA members were present. It was a great turnout for such a short notice. In attendance were Vincent Johnson, Toni Scott, Derrick Maddox, Lavialle Campbell, J Michael Walker, Noni Olabisi, Michael Massenburg, Rosalyn Myles, Glen Wilson, Yrneh Gabon, Eve Kemp, Steven J. Brooks, Lisa Diane Wedgeworth, Lena Cole Dennis and Friend, Karien Zachery, Keith Mikell, Nicola Goode, Lili Bernard, Donna M. Angers, Liz Gordon. It appears that we comprised the majority of the public present.
Some of the BAILA members present at CAAM’s September 19, 2014 Board of Directors meeting. Our hope is to act as agents of positive change as CAAM transitions to new leadership. Left to right foreground: Toni Scott, Lili Bernard, Steven J. Brooks, Lavielle Campbell, Michael Massenburg and Rosalyn Miles.
ART ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE PARTICIPATED in BAILA ROUNDTABLES
Art Organizations participating in BAILA roundtables have included The Getty Museum & Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Hammer Museum UCLA, California African American Museum, Watts Towers Arts Center Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), Watts House Projects, Golden State Mutual Legacy Foundation, Karen Atkinson’s Getting Your Sh*t Together (GYST), and art critic-gallery owner Mat Gleason.
The two first BAILA roundtable with Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) occurred at my home. Here’s a video of the first BAILA meeting with LACMA.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS AND VIDEOS OF PREVIOUS BAILA FUNCTIONS
BAILA – Hammer Museum UCLA Roundtable, January 14, 2013, Hammer Museum UCLA, Los Angeles
The BAILA work-effort involves my organizing and facilitating educational roundtable discussions between BAILA and mainstream art organizations and professionals, independently curating art exhibitions for the group, video and photo archiving BAILA happenings, organizing studio visits, workshops and critiques for BAILA members, writing and publishing, and mentoring BAILA youth and adults.
Video of Getty Museum & Getty Research Institute-BAILA Roundtable, November 4, 2014
Video Summary of Hammer Museum UCLA-BAILA Roundtable, January 14, 2013
Video of California African American Museum (CAAM)-BAILA Roundtable, April 30, 2012
Video of 1st Los Angeles County Museum of Art-BAILA Roundtable, February 27, 2012
The very first BAILA roundtable occurred on December 12, 2011, also in my home. It was a discussion with the Golden State Mutual Legacy Foundation. Here’s a videotape summary of that meeting. (Scroll down for photos of more recent roundtables with lists of attendees.)
Video of the Very First BAILA Roundtable, December 18, 2011
Upcoming Roundtables: Getty Research Institute in Fall 2014, Getty Museum in 2015, MOCA in 2015.
ROUNDTABLES CONVENED (listed from most current backwards)
11) Getty Museum & Getty Research Institute-BAILA Roundtable, Nov. 4, 2014
Getty BAILA Roundtable, November 4, 2014
10) Micro-Aggressions of Racism in Academia , April 27, 2014, Leimert Park Vison Theatre, Los Angeles, CA (part of Lili Bernard MFA Thesis Exhibition)
50 plus people in attendance. Panelists were Holly Tempo (visual artist-professor, Otis), Derrick Maddox (visual artist, MFA CalArts), Chelle Barbour (Curator, MA USC), Lili Bernard (visual artist-organizer), Dr. Carole Jordan-Harris (Ob-Gyn-Surgeon-Board of Directors Drew University Medical School), Dr. Roberto Vargas (Physician-Professor, UCLA Medical School), Ronald Robertson (law student UCLA) and Brittany Gibson, Esq (UCLA Law School Grad). Moderated by Zeal Harris (visual artist, MFA Otis). Guests included Dorit Cypis, Renee Petropoulos, John Tai, Karen Moss, Teka-Lark Flemming, Maria Gil, J Michael Walker, Alitash Kebede, Lena Cole Dennis, Katie Loughmiller, Alle, Jose Rodriguez, Lester Grant, Maria Gil, Raksha Parekh, Ruben Hornillo, Fernando Perez, and Carol Zou among dozens of others.
#9) Mat Gleason & BAILA, September 9, 2013, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Los Angeles, CA
36 people in attendance: Art critic-curator-gallery owner Mat Gleason (pictured far right). BAILA: Adah Glenn, Adrienne DeVine, Artis Lane. Brenda Williams, Carol Zou, Carole Jordan-Harris, MD, Chelle Barbour, Derrick Maddox, Dianne Pitts, Donna Angers, Duane Paul, George Evans, Gregory Pitts, Ingrid Elburg, J. Michael Walker, Karien Zackery, Keith Mikell, Kenneth Beavers, Kenturah Davis, Khamira Pitts, Greg Pitts, Lavialle Campbell, Lili Bernard, Michael Massenburg, Milton Loupe, MonaLisa Whitaker, Ngene Mwaura, Raksha Parekh, Shelly Bruce, Stan Bruce, Steven J. Brooks, Suzi Moon, Toni Scott, Veronica Lucas, Yrneh Gabon Brown, and Zeal Harris (by private video chat)
#8) Otis College of Art and Design & BAILA, July 29, 2013, Otis Main Campus, Los Angeles
50 people in attendance: Otis (most pictured on left side): Suzanne Lacy, Ulysses Jenkins, Renee Potropoulos, Holly Tempo, Annetta Kapon, Ed Schoenberg, Meg Linton, Jeseca Dawson, Consuelo Velasco Montoya, Laura Daroca, Shefali Mistry. BAILA & Friends: Ale McGrew, Allison Agsten, Andre Ajibade, Artis Lane, Brooke Randolph, Carole Jordan-Harris MD, Carol Branch PhD, Clint Johnson, David Clark, Diane Pitts & Daughter, Dondei Dean, Donna Angers, Duane Paul, George Evans, Glen Wilson, Gregory Pitts, Hillary Jaynes, Ingrid Elburg, Jean De Bassecour, Jill Moniz, Jim Starks Jr, June Edmonds, Karien Zachery, Kenneth Beavers, Kevin Tidmore, Lili Bernard, Lisa C. Soto, Michael Massenburg, MonaLisa Whitaker, Nathalie Sanchez, Nicola Goode and Son, Rhonda Purdom, Stanley Bruce, Steven J. Brooks, Teresa Flores, Toni Scott, Zeal Harris.
#7) Karen Atkinson’s GY*ST Workshop & BAILA, March 18, 2013, St. Paul’s, Los Angeles
31 people in attendance: Karen Atkinson (GYST Founder-Director/artist/curator/CalArts Professor, pictured standing). BAILA: Bryan Tilford, Buena Johnson, Charles Bibbs, Clint D. Johnson, Derrick Maddox, Donna Angers, Duane Paul, Glen Pinckney, Greg Pitts, Ingrid Elberg, Janna Ireland, Jessica Heholt, Jim Starkes, Jr., Kevin Tidmore, Lili Bernard, Lisa Diane Wedgeworth, Lori Cooper, Miriam Moore, Ngene Mwaura, Quenton Tatum, Shelley Bruce, Sherry Giang, Stan Bruce, Shalla Javid, Shirley Ash, Steven J. Brooks, Toni Scott, Wendell Wiggins, Zeal Harris and Dr. Rev. ST Williams (Pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church)
#6) Hammer Museum UCLA Curators & BAILA, January 14, 2013, Hammer Museum, L.A.
91 people plus in attendance: Hammer Museum Curators: Anne Ellegood (Senior Curator), Ali Subotnick, Corrina Peipon, Emily Gonzales, Sue Yank. BAILA & Friends: AfraShe Asungi, Alitsah Kebede, Artis Lane, Ben Caldwell, Bernard Hoyes, Brenda G. Williams, Bryan Tilford, Buena Johnson, Carol Stakenas, Carole Jordan-Harris, M.D, CCH Pounder, Clint Johnson, Cre-8, Consuelo Velasco, Danielle Dean, Deborah Charles, Derrick Maddox, Diane Pitts, Donna Angers, Dr. Samella Lewis, Duane Paul, Enoch Mack, Eve Kemp, Glen Wilson, Greg Pitts, J Michael Walker, Jane Castillo, Janine Watkins, Janna Ireland, Jeseca Dawson, Jim Starks, Jr., Johan Beckles, Joshua Solomon, Jules Rochielle, Karen Atkinson, Karien Zachery, Kevin Thompson, Kevin Tidmore, Lex Brown, Lili Bernard, Lisa Diane Wedgeworth, Lisa Soto, Loren Holland, Mar Hollingsworth, Maria Cruz, Marcella Swett, Meg Linton, Michael Blaze, Michael Massenburg, Michelle Papillion, Miriam Moore, Neda Moridpour, Ngene Mwaura, Noni Olabisi, Numa Perrier, Nzuji De Magalhaes, Pat Payne, Paul Von Blum, Quenton Tatum, Raksha Parekh, Renee Petropoulos, Richard Turner, Sam Pace, Sharon Barnes, Shirley Ash, Stan Bruce, Steven J. Brooks, Suzi Moon, Terese Harris, Timothy Washington, Toni Scott, Tracee Johnson, Ulysses Jenkins, Wendell Wiggins, Yrneh Gabon Brown, Zeal Terese Harris. Photos by Lili Bernard and Michael Blaze. (pictured, L to R, art collector Carole Jordan-Harris MD, artist Zeal Harris, artist-BAILA founder Lili Bernard, artist Samella Lewis, artist Toni Scott, artist Artis Lane, UCLA professor-African-American art historian-author Paul von Blum)
#5) Watts Towers Arts Center & BAILA, July 23, 2012, WTAC, Los Angeles, CA
44 Adults in Attendance: Rosie Lee Hooks (Director Watts Towers Arts Center). BAILA & Friends: Bernard Hoyes, Carlos Spivey, Carole Jordan-Harris, M.D., Charles Dickson, Derrick Maddox, Dominique Moody, Donna Angers, Duane Paul, Greg & Diane Pitts, & Daughter, Erica Fonseca, Ingrid Elburg, Jeseca Dawson, Jim Starks, Jr., Johan Beckels, Joshua B. Solomon, Esq., Karen Mack, Lili Bernard & 6 Children, Lisa Soto, Liz Gordon, Mar & Son Steven Hollingsworth, Mark Steven Greenfield, Meg Linton, Miriam Moore, Milton Loupe, Maasai Rees-Tabari, MonaLisa Whitaker and Daughter, Ngene Mwuara, Numa Perrier & Daughter, Peter J. Harris, Raksha Parekh, Renée Fox, Roberto Vargas, MD, Sharon Barnes, Sharon Garret, Stanley Bruce, Steven J. Brooks, Teka Lark, Victoria Franklin, Zeal Harris.
#4) Los Angeles County Museum of Art & BAILA, 2nd Meeting, May 21, 2012, Lili Bernard Home, Los Angeles, CA
41 people in attendance: Franklin Sirmans (Chief Curator of Contemporary Art at LACMA), Brooke Davis Anderson (Deputy Director of Curatorial Planning at LACMA, pictured left upper corner), John Outterbridge, Dominique Moody, Toni Scott, Lili Bernard & Daughter Zion, Zeal Harris, Duane Paul, Graham Goddard, Alitash Kebede, Will Sheffie, Rosie Lee Hooks, Bernard Hoyes, Noni Olabisi, Jane Castillo, Rosalyn Myles, Liz Gordon, Mar Hollingsworth, Michael Massenburgh, Suné Woods, Steven J. Brooks, Miles Regis, Charla Puryear, Carole Jordan-Harris MD, Deborah Charles, Donna Angers, Donna Woods, Greg & Diane Pitts, Janine Watkins, Anna Martine Whitehead, Jim Starks Jr., Johan Nairne Beckles, Joshua Solomon, Ngene Mwaura, Shirley Ash, Teka Lark, Teresa Tolliver, Wil Phearson.
#3) California African American Museum & BAILA, April 30, 2012, CAAM, Los Angeles, CA
33 people in attendance: Charmaine Jefferson (CAAM Exec. Director, pictured far left), Mar Hollingsworth (CAAM Curator): BAILA: Mark Bradford (pictured far right), Franklin Sirmans, Meg Linton, Toni Scott, Lili Bernard & Daughter Zion, Zeal Harris, Duane Paul, Raksha Parekh, Mark Broyard, Miles Regis, Steven J. Brooks, Carole Jordan-Harris. M.D., Charla Puryear, Donald Bernard, Donna Angers, Gil Draper, Greg Pitts, Janine Watkins, Jim Starks, Jr., Joshua Solomon, Keith Mikell, Laura Farmer, Ngene Mwuara, Rosie Lee Hooks & Guest, Sheryl A. Meline, Stan Bruce, Tiffini Bowers, Wendell Wiggins, Andre Ajibade
#2) Los Angeles County Museum of Art & BAILA, 1st Meeting, February 27, 2012, Lili Bernard Home, Los Angeles, CA
27 people in attendance: Franklin Sirmans (Chief Curator of Contemporary Art at LACMA, pictured talking mid right), Brooke Davis Anderson (Deputy Director of Curatorial Planning at LACMA, pictured in middle of left couch), John Outterbridge, Mark Steven Greenfield, Lili Bernard & Daughter Zion, Bernard Hoyes, Charles & Darlene Dickson, Dominique Moodey, Zeal Harris, Duane Paul, Mar Hollingsworth, Raksha Parekh, Steven J. Brooks, Michael Massenburg, Cedric Adams, Greg Pitts, Jim Starks, Jr., Joshua Solomong, Milton Loupe, Sam Pace, Silfredo La O, Toni Ann Johnson, Wendell Wiggins, Andre Ajibade.
#1: Golden State Mutual Legacy Foundation & BAILA, December 18, 2011, Lili Bernard Home, Los Angeles, CA
19 adults in attendance: Charles Burnett, Samella Lewis, Edgar Arceneaux, Cecil & Miriam Fergerson, Charmaine Jefferson, Judson Powell, Toni Scott, Lili Bernard & Children, Zeal Harris, Duane Paul, Jane Castillo, Kinte Fergerson, Donna Angers, Mark Broyard, Sam Pace, Wendell Wiggins, Stephen G. Butler (GSMLF), Joshua Solomon. (pictured L to R: Charles Burnett, Edgar Arceneaux, Kinte Fergerson)
I have curated three art exhibitions for BAILA, since starting the movement in the Fall of 2011. The first exhibition was Colonialism: The Collective Unconscious at the William Grant Still Art Center Department of Cultural Affairs which ran from October 8, 2011 – November 19, 2011. Nine of the fourteen artists in the show were BAILA. The show was ranked #5 in the Huffington Post year-end review: Best LA Art Shows in 2011, written by art critic Mat Gleason. The second exhibition I curated for BAILA was Caribbean Canvasses at St. Agatha’s Catholic Church in Los Angeles in June 2012. It featured the works of four Caribbean-born Los Angeles-based Black artists. The third show I curated for BAILA was BAILA con Duende at the Watts Towers Arts Center City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs which ran from September 9, 2012 to January 6, 2013. It featured the works of 75 Black Artists in Los Angeles, from legendary and world famous, to mid-career, emerging and just starting out. The show received stellar reviews in the press and on network TV.
Documentary Video on Colonialism: the Collective Unconscious, Oct 8-Nov 19, 2011, William Grant Still Arts Center, Los Angeles
Short Video Documentary of Caribbean Canvases, June 2012, St. Agathas, Los Angeles
Slide Show of BAILA con Duende, Sep 9, 2012 – Jan 6, 2013, Watts Towers Arts Center, L.A.
BAILA con Duende Reviews
BAILA con Duende received favorable mention in the media, including coverage on Fox News Good Day La, an academic essay in Tikkun Magazine and a review in ArtsVoices Magazine.
BAILA STUDIO VISITS
Since starting BAILA in December 2011, I’ve conducted dozens of studio visits with artists, for the purpose of curatorial projects and the publishing of articles. Scroll down for photos of some of the visits.
JOHN OUTTERBRIDGE. My children always feel very much at home in the home-studio of legendary artist John Outterbridge, August 2012. PHOTO Lili Bernard
SAMELLA LEWIS. My two youngest with Dr. Samella Lewis in her home-studio, August 2012. PHOTO Lili Bernard
MARK BRADFORD. My two youngest sons watch Mark Bradford in his studio as he explains his art-making technique to them, September 14, 2012. PHOTO Lili Bernard
ARTIS LANE. The artist, displaying her sculpting technique to me, in her home-kitchen studio, August 2012. PHOTO Lili Bernard
CHARLES GAINES. My two youngest with Charles Gaines in his art studio, August 2012. PHOTO Lili Bernard
KENYATTA A.C. Hinkle. The artist peeking through one of her Kentrifica musical instruments, August 2012. PHOTO Lili Bernard
HENRY TAYLOR. With the artist in his Downtown L.A. art studio loft, August 2012. PHOTO Zion Bernard Ferguson.
ZEAL HARRIS. The artist in her home studio, August 2011. PHOTO Lili Bernard
JOE LEWIS. The artist in his studio at UC Irvine, where he is the Dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, August 2012. PHOTO Lili Bernard
TERESA TOLLIVER. The artist in her home-studio, August 2012. PHOTO Lili Bernard
CHARLES DICKSON. The artist in his home-studio with his wife Darlene. August 2012. PHOTO Lili Bernard