Sarah Russin, Executive Director (03/14)
Sarah comes to LACE from Otis College of Art and Design, where she served as Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement, and previously as Director of Alumni Relations. She has devoted her career to the development and support of artists and artistic communities. She has a background in corporate and foundation relations, marketing and communications, individual giving, and collaborative partnerships. Before joining Otis in 2002, Sarah oversaw recruitment efforts for Art Center College of Design, where she reviewed thousands of portfolios, and led Art Center's highly regarded Night and Saturday High Programs. She serves on the board of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park, where she was instrumental in re-establishing the Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg Feitelson Fellowship for emerging artists. Sarah holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design.
Sarah (at) welcometolace.org
Shoghig Halajian, Assistant Director
Shoghig is a curator who is involved with a number of arts organizations in Los Angeles. In 2007, she co-found Eighteen Thirty Collaborations, a project space that focused on single artist commissions and performance-based works. She has worked with LACE since 2008, and recently rejoined the staff to oversee communications, programming and development. In addition to LACE, she currently serves on the Curatorial Board at Human Resources LA. She has presented collaborative projects at various venues, including SOMA in Mexico City, Unge Kunstneres Samfund (UKS) and Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, Magasin-CNAC in Grenoble, and most recently co-curated the exhibition Drowning and swallowing this text... at LACE (March 2014). She has worked with a range of artists including A.K. Burns, Wu Tsang, Gail Pickering, Laure Prouvost, Natalie Bookchin, Pierre Bismuth, MPA, among others. She holds a MA from Calart's Critical Studies: Aesthetics and Politics program and a BFA in English Literature and Philosophy from UCLA.
Shoghig (at) welcometolace.org
Melissa Louise Castellano, Exhibitions and Programs Manager
Melissa holds a B.S. degree in Environmental Design (architecture, furniture and product design) from Art Center College of Design, and is also an independent designer. At LACE Melissa manages exhibition production and design, programming logistics, registrar duties, as well as the LACE internship program. Beyond being a spatial designer, Melissa also works within 2D design (graphic and web), as well as visual arts. Her focus as a spatial designer is to implement concept, strategy, research and efficiency, with an emphasis on sustainable design. Melissa is also a multi-instrumentalist and currently performs in two bands: Tall Tales and the Silver Lining and the Evan apRoberts Band.
Melissa (at) welcometolace.org
Vardui Sharapkhanyan, Gallery Supervisor
Vardui has worked at a number of art institutions and organizations in Los Angeles and New York, including the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Exit Art, and Christie’s. Among these, notable projects include exhibitions at the Social and Public Art Resource Center and UCLA. Her curatorial interests span the intersections of alternative art spaces, marginal artists, and institutional critique. At LACE, she supports the LACE team with daily operations and gallery supervision. Vardui holds a MA in Visual Arts Management from NYU and a BA in Art History from UCLA.
Vardui (at) welcometolace.org
Holly Witham, Bookkeeper
Holly has a degree in accounting and has worked as an accounting manager for businesses and associations for 15 years. In addition to her accounting work, she is involved with small theater groups and is interested in community issues. Having the ability to be of service in her work and her community is indicative of the balance Ms. Witham brings to her life and to the lives of those around her.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jeff Cain, Secretary (6/12) is an artist, designer, curator and director of the Shed Research Institute. His work as been featured in the Getty Museum’s California Video exhibition, LACMA, LACE and many other southern California art spaces. His community radio project, RHZ Radio was a finalist for the 2005 Prix Ars Electronica in Digital Communities. His work has been displayed internationally in the Havana Biannual and and the Center for Contemporary Art in Kyiv, Ukraine. He has a BA from Whittier College, and a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. He is currently faculty in the USC Roski School of Fine Arts and at California State University Fullerton, and has been faculty at California Institute of the Arts, Whittier College, and Southern California Institute of Architecture. He is also currently the Exhibition Designer at the University of California ARTSBlock.
Kenturah Davis (10/13) is a Los Angeles artist and has produced work for exhibitions, artist collaborations, film and commissions. The core of her work oscillates between portraiture and design, exploring themes related to the body and the formation of identities. Davis is the featured visual artist in the syndicated documentary, “Ray Charles America” that aired on A&E Network. She is a collaborator in Andrea Zittel’s Smockshop and Panelshop projects, designing product for the artist enterprise and representing the group in national and international exhibitions. Last year’s Mis-Design exhibition at the University of Melbourne’s Ian Potter Museum included two works by Davis.
Kathie Foley-Meyer, Vice-President (12/11) is an artist and graphic designer. Her clients include individual artists, arts-related nonprofits, theaters, and museums. She was the creator of Project Bronzeville, a 2013 collaborative multidisciplinary art project that explored the period in Los Angeles history when African Americans resided in Little Tokyo. She received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She served on the Museum of Neon Art Board of Trustees from 2006-2012. She has exhibited her artwork locally and nationally; in 2011 her work was part of Artists Unite for Japan, a group show by Art from the Ashes (AFTA) and the Japan Society to benefit victims of the earthquake. Her sculpture Brown People, Glass House was part of Museum of Neon Art’s Home Sweet Home exhibition at the 2012 Orange County Fair. Kathie was a featured artist and the co-curator, along with Peter J. Harris, of the exhibition highlighting the history of African American theater for the 2014 Pasadena Playhouse production of KISS ME, KATE.
Maureen Haines (9/12) is the founding principal of Mackerel Sky Architecture. She has over 20 years experience in innovative design and development of a diverse range of projects. This long history of successful projects is a tribute to the strong ability of Ms. Haines at creating collaborative teams unique to each project. Specific areas of expertise include design, interior design, lighting design, feasibility studies, and master planning. Ms. Haines is a critical thinker providing project solutions with inherent value.
William Moreno, Chair (12/10) is a curator, writer and principal of an independent consulting business. He was the founding Executive Director of the Claremont Museum of Art and the director of The Mexican Museum, San Francisco. Prior to his museum positions, he directed a commercial fine-art gallery located in Silicon Valley focused on contemporary art and photography. He has been a featured panelist on topics ranging from the contemporary role of museums and the international art landscape at the Commonwealth Club, the American Institute of Architecture, Latino Art Now Conference, William Turner Gallery, Palm Springs, Silicon Valley Art Fairs and others. He has appeared on KCET’s series California’s Gold as well as other media. He serves on the Advisory Board for the California Association of Museums (CAM).
Jackie Sharp (2/11) worked as a co-producer at Target Video, the now legendary arts and video collective located in San Francisco’s Mission District. She established Independent World Video, was an Executive Producer at VH1 and later, Vice President of Production and Original Programs. She is currently President and Treasurer of Sharp Properties, Inc. Jackie continues to work actively with Target Video (aka TargetVideo77.) She has developed a unique set of talents that she brings to the artistic and business fields in which she works.
Ben Smith, Producer (4/12) As a producer and President of Captivate Entertainment based at Universal, Ben Smith is instrumental in every aspect of the day-to-day operations of the filmmaking process, from the acquisition and creative development of distinguished material to bringing each project to light. Prior to forming Captivate Entertainment, Smith was a veteran motion picture agent at ICM for over twelve years where he was known for shepherding, as well as packaging, many high level film and television projects with the actors, writers, directors and literary properties he represented. Before his career in Hollywood, Smith spent over seven years traveling the globe documenting the rapidly changing socio-political landscapes in the Middle East, South East Asia, and Central and South America.
Melanie Edmunds (12/13) is the founding director of M. Edmunds Associates, a full-scale art advisory and consulting company specializing in contemporary art of the African diaspora. Ms. Edmunds received her B.B.A. in Business Marketing and M.A. in Art History from Howard University. Throughout her extensive career in business and the visual arts, Ms. Edmunds has taken on projects ranging from fine art acquisitions to art fair exhibitions and public art education programs. She has worked for the High Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and is currently the west coast Gallery Liaison for Artsy. Ms. Edmunds is an active member of museum and community organizations in Los Angeles. She is involved with Arts for LA, National Association of Latino Art and Culture, California Alliance for Arts Education, American Association of Museums, and the Papillion Institute of Art.
LACE INTERNS / Fall 2014
Abby Colemain, Archive & Registrar Intern
April Zhang, Gallery Guide
Emily Sulzer, Archive & Registrar Trainee Intern
Ian Rice, Production Intern
Kayla Bitten, Documentation Intern & Gallery Guide
Julie Russo, Production Intern
Lana Rosen, Gallery Guide
Mariam Tabatabaee, Gallery Guide
Shana Hafner, Gallery Guide
Sharon Kim, Gallery Guide
Victor Guzman, Social Media Intern & Gallery Guide