Melissa Castellano, Exhibitions and Programs Manager
Melissa holds a B.S. degree in Environmental Design (architecture, furniture and product design) from the Art Center College of Design, and is also an independent designer. She has worked in event production and coordination for many years, as well as spatial design and 2D design such as graphic and web. 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 (with her husband Evan). At LACE, she oversees the production and installation of all exhibitions and events, and supervises the Internship Program.
Melissa (at) welcometolace.org
Robert Crouch, Adjunct Curator
Robert has curated projects at LACE with artists Karen Lofgren, Sean Sullivan, and Margo Victor, and organized the experimental electronic music festival, Resonant Forms. In 2012 he organized Steve Roden: Shells, Bells, Steps and Silences and Group Dynamics and Improper Light, a new project with Los Angeles artist Gina Osterloh. Crouch is also the co-founding Director of VOLUME, a curatorial project that functions as a catalyst for interdisciplinary new media work through exhibitions, performances, events, lectures, and publications, and has worked with a wide range of artists including William Basinski, Nate Boyce, Richard Chartier, Loren Chasse, Tim Hecker, France Jobin, Kadet Kuhne, Lucky Dragons, Carsten Nicolai, Yann Novak, Steve Roden, and Christopher Willits. VOLUME has presented projects at venues including the Hammer Museum, the de Young Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute, and SF Camerawork.
Robert (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
Sarah Russin, Executive Director
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 foundaiton 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
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.
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 a graphic designer and mixed-media artist based in Los Angeles, and the owner of createstudio design. Her clients include arts-related nonprofits such as The Robey Theatre Company and the California African American Museum. She received an MFA in Critical Studies from California Institute of the Arts and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She studied graphic design in the UCLA Extension Design Communication Arts and Art Center at Night design programs, and neon fabrication at Pilchuck Glass School. She has exhibited her artwork in group shows in Los Angeles, Texas, Illinois, Kentucky and Oklahoma. Kathie served on the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) Board of Trustees from 2006-2012, and was a docent with the LA Conservancy. She was also a member of the Artist Advisory Group and Artist Selection Panel for the Metro Art Expo Line. She was a Pre-Qualified Public Art Consultant with the CRA\LA for 2009-2012. She is the creator of Project Bronzeville, a multi-disciplinary showcase inspired by the Bronzeville period in Los Angeles history.
Maureen Haines (01/13) 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. Other areas of expertise include feasibility studies, master planning, project presentations for foundations, assistance in marketing and assistance in fund raising. Ms. Haines is a critical thinker with a broad range of experience, providing project solutions with inherent value.
William Moreno, President (12/10) is a curator, writer and director of William Moreno Contemporary which mounts periodic exhibitions. He is also the principal of an independent consulting business. Most recently, he was Associate Director of ArtPadSF, a hotel-based art fair. He was the founding Executive Director of the Claremont Museum of Art and the director of The Mexican Museum, San Francisco. 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, ArtPadSF 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) and is a board member of Make Music LA.
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.
Marta Sullivan, Treasurer (11/11) is an independent accounting consultant who has been a collector since the 1980’s. Her consulting has dotted the entertainment industry map of Los Angeles. She brings her financial background to LACE as well as a commitment to stimulating the creative energy. Her goals are to see LACE grow in stature and visibility over the next few years and to increase her exposure to the creative process.
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 / Summer
Angel Alvarado, Getty Multicultural Curatorial Intern
Deja Spraggs, Production Intern
Emily Sulzer, Archive Intern
Hunter Stone, Documentation Intern & Gallery Guide
Natasha Budiman, Gallery Guide
Noor Asif, Curatorial Intern
Renee Villasenor, Social Media Intern & Gallery Guide
THANK YOU LACE SPRING INTERN ALUMNI!
Pilar Bermudes / Gallery Guide
Monica Carter / Archive Intern
Abby Coleman / Gallery Guide
Geovani Donaires / Gallery Guide
Ha Kyung Lee / Registrar Intern
Paul Mackender / Production Intern
Danny Michelin / Social Media & Gallery Guide
Tonya Rice / Production Intern
Vidya Sethu / Gallery Guide