Tilford received his first piece of art when he was 16 years old and has been a curator for 19 years. Terrell reflects about opening his new Band of Vices, one of the newest Los Angeles galleries, on Saturday, May 12 featuring April Bey’s LA art show, Made in Space, a solo exhibition.
You know those saying those sayings, “Back to the field of dreams?’” and “If you build it they will come?” The affirmation really is in listening to the heartbeat of the universe. And when the universe says, “This is your spot. This is your gallery. Do what you need to do to bring them in,” you have to act. Even then there’s always still that doubt. So what you do is, you go and just do the best version of you. You try to represent the artists in an LA art show in the best way possible. You try to exhibit and showcase in Los Angeles galleries to the world in the best way possible, and you try and present everything in the best way possible. The truest thing ever mentioned is the response from the people, and the people came out to the Band of Vices Art Gallery opening night in droves.
My partners and I believed that the opening night for this LA art show would be good. It was great! It was beautiful, and what we used to do with Tilford Art Group, my previous gallery, was really amplified at the LA art show by people coming out and saying, “I’m so glad you’re back.” There was a woman that came up to me at one of our Los Angeles art galleries. She said, “I used to buy artwork from you all the time from your other gallery. I can’t remember right now which one of the artists I purchased.” And I threw out the name one of the artists, and she looked at me and she said, “How do you know that?” I said, “Because I understand the sensibility of some of my collectors.” To be honest, I was really just taking a guess.
But I really believe that was one of the artists. The collector was surprised, and said, “Of the three pieces I bought from you, two of them were by that artist.” She bought one of April Bey’s pieces at the LA art show and told me, “I don’t know if you fully realize the significance of what you’ve done in our communities with these visual culture Los Angeles art galleries.” I just told her very humbly that I realized it, but I don’t take any of it for granted.
It’s also a gift, even to me, to be able to do this in whatever capacity and to have people respond no matter what. I started, one of the new Los Angeles galleries, Tilford Art Gallery in my home and I’ve also done pop-ups, which is an LA art show and shop, in California’s Bay Area and New York. And people have always supported my efforts. So, even though I was so exhausted after this LA art show, I’m so fulfilled that I’m rejuvenated at the same time; I just take the good with the good.
It is a pleasure to work with April in this Contemporary LA art show. Band of Vices opened with her month-long solo exhibition Made in Space. My lead by example, in many respects, often times is collective in artist’s work before actually trying to do anything else with them. Having collected her work in Los Angeles galleries and then really talking to her very rigorously about her work, understanding her process, and in all honesty, not always meeting eye-to-eye but going, You know what? This is for a greater good of things and a new artist needs to be able to trust a new curator. She can’t take for granted my work because I’ve been doing this a long time. Nor can I take her for granted because she’s been doing this a long time. All I can do is just work towards what I knew, let her alone to do what she needed to do and then hope for the best from that. But I think that’s what helped prove some things at the LA art show and really all just serves the artist no matter what. And the people loved her work. On opening night of the LA art show, we sold six of her 12 displayed pieces. I’ve been curating and selling art for 19 years and I know that is a wonderful response.
April was able to talk to many of the guests at the LA art show and she’ll be back at the Los Angeles galleries on Saturday, June 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. to do an artist talk. You can expect a highly-opinionated, very direct, rule-based artist who knows specifically what she wants and is dynamic in articulating that, and I’m just excited for people to experience it from April.
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