Founder/CEO Saidah Gray sits down with her niece India Gray to give us the inside scoop on curating FREQUENCY 2020.
What is the most challenging thing about planning exhibitions?
Okaaaaay, you want to get straight into it huh? (laughs) Balancing my time between curation and creation is my biggest challenge. Not only am I representing a group of artist and curating a high-end space for their work to be seen, but I am also creating collections of my own for each exhibition. Time management has always been a challenge for me, so when it comes to planning I have to be very mindful of my time and how it is spent. Don't even get me started on my relationships. Making time for family and friends while running a business is also another challenge. I'm working on doing better in that area though. Even if it's just a meet up for an hour, I'm practicing putting time aside for my personal life.
How do you tap into your creativity while planning for the show?
I try to give myself time to let new ideas come to me. I love going to a new low key cafe when I start coming up with a show concepts. New environments always spark fresh ideas. If I'm having a major creative block, I make my way to the beach. Whenever I feel lost, I take a drive down to Malibu with a couple blankets and my Journal. I'll meditate on God's word to find my peace and guidance. This is what inspired me to shoot the promotional content at the beach.
How hard was it choosing the line up for FREQUENCY?
My goooosh. I love looking at the submissions & there were so many great artists in this cycle. The artists chosen we felt, best aligned with the message behind the exhibition. We wanted well-rounded artists, so the acceptance was based off not only the quality of work but also the artist statement and how the artist resonated with the theme of the show. This however didn't make it aaaany easier.
What do you want guests to take away from FREQUENCY’s meaning?
FREQUENCY, is about exploring the many ways God speaks to us through art and artists and how we should take what inspires us through art and begin applying it in our lives. Art nourished the soil and God's word and wisdom waters the seed. I want the guests to leave with the desire to grow closer to God and get answers for their own creative ventures. For the guest who aren't creative, my desire is that they are inspire to draw near to God so that they may better understand God's purpose for their life. A lot of us are moving through life with no true sense of direction, however when we draw near to God and allow Him to direct our path, the challenges we face are met with wisdom and understanding, not doubt and defeat.
So Auntie, this is your 5th show you’ve curated? What have you learned from this show that differs from the others?
Start EARLY! I started submissions 2-months earlier than I normally do and that allowed me to get everything in order and leave room to breathe as the show approaches. I now give my self a minimum of 6-months to plan an exhibition.
I love the promotional content for the show. I don’t see anyone doing that for Art Exhibitions. Tell me more about the reasoning and inspiration behind the shoots.
I love a great production and I believe marketing is quintessential to a successful event. I've always had a love for directing and creating looks & sets, so I combined my love for creating with the need of marketing to cultivate dope shoots. Each show has a theme that I try to encapsulate in the promotional content, something that will not only draw attention but inspire.
What’s in store for PIULA's future?
Weeeeell, we have a few things in stooooore. We definitely want to bring more networking events to LA. Creating spaces for artists that: nurture the artist's spirit, build their clientele and contacts, and educate them on how to build their career, are some of our main goals as a collective and we have a few events in the works that foster them. Stay tuned!
Last question, Can I get 3 tickets for my friends who want to come to the show? :P
Get your tickets to FREQUENCY now! Enter code SAIDAH222 at checkout for a surprise!
About the Author// India Gray is a writer, fashion designer, model and beautiful spirit. Follow her on Instagram.
Image Credit: - Tissan
- Brandon Hicks
- Curtis J. Moore