Gallery News & Events
15 March through 28 April 2007
Reception: Thursday 15 March 5-9 pm
Dear Friends, Collectors, Artists, Aficionados of Los Angeles art: Thursday March 15 marks the 30th anniversary of Jan Baum Gallery. Do you believe that? The old adage “Life is short but Art is long” applies ever thus. On that day, March 15, 1977 (the Ides of March) when I opened the gallery with my dearest friend, Iris Silverman, I had little idea of what was awaiting me – The pleasure – the pain – the triumphs and the (prat falls). Nick Wilder, my mentor and dear friend, tried to warn me, but like all innocents, I never listened. Good that I didn’t (listen) because we were headed for the adventure of our lives. First Iris, who was only to be in the gallery for 2 ˝ years, found out who she was, how much so many believed in her, praised her. She was to inspire passion and life-long commitment to Tribal Art in countless collectors. Known as the “eye”, she surely had one and with it the discernment, the truth, the knowledge of African Art. What a girl; she meant so much to so many. To continue - like all innocents – not knowing how daring I was. I began my pursuit of excellence and innovation and confronted the Avant Guard. Claude Kent, Betye Saar, Peter Plagens, Chris Burden. No one refused me! How fortunate, how happy I was – I am. And so it continued, finding other stars in the firmament. Darren Waterston, Lezley Saar, Bob Crewe, Alison Saar, William Smith and Roberto Gil de Montes. How much richer we all are for their work. I always believed that art is an instrument of social change – and from the sparkling eyes of the kids and the elders after an art dialogue, I knew that art was safe and its message was loud and clear, tho sometimes muffled, sometimes visionary. Let us all praise the triumph of art over the mundane! What is now missing is a celebration of art that expands our consciousness, our vision that sensitizes us and makes us more human.