TEACHER / MENTOR / MUSE
Gerald Brommer / Franklyn Liegel / Katherine Chang Liu /
Jim Morphesis / La Monte Westmoreland
January 7 – 31, 2009
The times of our lives are marked and remembered in many ways. We remember our childhood and the individuals who shaped and molded us into who we are today. The influence of our parents and families, our neighbors and friends, is always with us. And for many of us, there is also the lasting spark of knowledge and passion that only a great teacher can ignite. The teacher who helped us discover who we are, who we wanted to be, and how to become that person.
From January 7–31, VIVA is honoring five of Los Angeles’ most beloved artist/educators. Renowned for their own artistic accomplishments, these artists have also touched the lives of hundreds of students. We are honored not only to exhibit their latest work, but also to showcase their skills as teachers through interviews, student statements and photographs.
Individual artist photographs (above) by Felix Grossman.
Below are biography of each featured artist. Click on any image for larger version.
Gerald Brommer is a renowned artist and innovative teacher. He has written 22 books for high school and college art classes. For artists, he has written a book on emotional content in landscape painting and several best selling books on watercolor and collage. He has produced ten video programs and five DVDs for practicing artists. With 26 years in the classroom, he now travels around the world teaching workshops on painting, collage, color and design. His favorite workshop and deepest passion is plein air watercolor painting. “My goal is not replication of scenes and sites, but is concerned with interpretation and visual communication that expresses my sensitivity and response to God’s wonder-filled natural creation…”. Gerald has won awards in most national competitive watercolor shows and has had over 165 one man exhibits in 44 states. His work is shown in four galleries in California, and one each in South Carolina, Idaho, Florida and London. His work hangs in corporate and private collections around the world. His complete biography is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Art and every other major biographical listing for artists, authors and influential individuals in America and the United Kingdom.
Franklyn Liegel received his MFA from Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles in 1979 and has lived, worked and taught here ever since. He is renowned for his intricate pieces and constructs works that twine methodical and spontaneous processes. His work celebrates the handmade art object as something intrinsically valuable. Franklyn’s work hangs in such corporate collections as Steelcase Corporation, Carnegie Art Museum, Security National Bank, and Bank of America. His solo exhibitions have hung in galleries across the country from Westhampton to Los Angeles. His most recent group exhibitions have been shown in such museums and galleries as LA ArtCore Union Center for the Arts, Otis Parsons, Gruenbaum Gallery, Palm Springs Desert Museum, the American Embassy in Morocco, the Kitakyushu Museum of Art Sunam Gallery in South Korea, LewAllen Contemporary in Santa Fe, Pico House Gallery and the Jenkins Johnson Gallery in San Francisco. He has received numerous awards including the Julia and David White Fellowship, the Award for Teaching Excellence from the New School for Social Research, New York, NY and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Fellowship, Taos, NM.
Katherine Chang Liu is an internationally renowned painter, teacher, curator and juror. Born in China and raised in Taiwan, she received a full scholarship to UC Berkeley, where she received her MS in science. After moving to Virginia with her husband, Chang Liu re-kindled her love of art and the brush painting that she had practiced as a child. Her work has been featured in 26 books and over 70 magazine articles and she has served as a frequent juror for national, regional, and statewide exhibitions. Since 1978, she has taught for many museums and numerous art groups, and now teaches three to four workshops a year, while remaining a studio artist showing nationally and internationally. Chang Liu is represented by Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco and NY; LewAllen Contemporary, Santa Fe; Gail Harvey Gallery, Santa Monica; and numerous international galleries. Her art has been shown in solo shows in Lyon, France, Hong Kong, Finland, Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as in the U.S. She is a recipient of grants from the NEA and Virginia Commission of Arts and Humanities, and is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who is American Art, and Who’s Who in American Women. Her work can be found in many private and corporate art collections.
Jim Morphesis is a painter who lives and works in Los Angeles, California. His paintings have been shown in 38 solo exhibitions and in more than 100 invitational group exhibitions at museums and galleries, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Queens Museum of Art in New York City, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the State Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessalonika, Greece and the International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Florence, Italy. Morphesis’ paintings are represented in the permanent collections of more than twenty museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the Oakland Museum of California Art, the Phoenix Museum of Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. For his work, Morphesis has been recognized with awards that include: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Modern and Contemporary Art Council, New Talent Purchase Award, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant for Painting and Sculpture and a First Prize at the Florence International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Florence, Italy.
Born in Wisconsin, La Monte Westmoreland moved to California as a young adult to study art. After completing his studies, he received his MA and MFA in fine art. He redirected his focus from painting to collage and assemblage after experiencing his first African-American exhibition curated by the Brockman Gallery of Los Angeles. His intricate work is cultural, social, political and humorous. His works are meticulously crafted, sensitive statements that use painting, drawing, collage and assimilation with profound simplicity. La Monte has exhibited nationally in museums and galleries such as the Wustum Museum of Fine Art, WI and the Museum of Science & Industry, IL. Galleries include the Space Gallery, LA, Harcourt Contemporary Art Gallery, SF and the Jack Tilton Gallery, NYC. His work is found in national foundations such as California State University, the Museum of African-American Art and Mobil Oil Foundation. Private collectors include Laddie John Dill, Dr. Grady Harp, Mr. & Mrs. Alan Tanaka and Kent Twitchell. Numerous exhibition reviews and articles on La Monte’s work have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, San Francisco Art Monthly, Afro-American Art, Artweek, Art Scene and other media venues.