We had the good fortune of connecting with Adrienne DeVine and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adrienne, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I reached a point in my life where I could no longer not do it. For many years, I suppressed my desire to pursue an art career. While raising a family, I did production work in the commercial printing and publishing trade, and I also wrote features for the Cal State Long Beach PR office and a local community newspaper. Career-wise, I sort of got sidetracked into the nonprofit sector where I honed my administrative skills. While working for organizations doing good work for society brought a certain kind of satisfaction, it did not feed my creative soul, so about twelve years ago, I dove in and have been committed to nurturing my creativity on a professional level ever since.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Growing up, I was particularly inspired by artists Charles White, Dr. Samella Lewis, and Betye Saar. I was deeply moved by their visual language and how it represented our culture. I wanted to do the same. Art wasn’t encouraged in my home, so it wasn’t until after I graduated from high school that I began to take art classes and discover related trade industries. I was challenged by a garden variety of “isms and schisms”, but I have learned that perseverance… the determination to know and the will to do can overstand whatever challenges cross my path. I have a duty and an obligation to share my creative gifts with the world and I learn more about that purpose everyday that I continue on the journey. These days, I am excited about participating in the Smithsonian Center of Folklife and Cultural Heritage African American Craft Initiative, spending more time in the studio making new work and doing research, working on art curriculums, and joining forces with like minded artists to work on an exciting new project.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well just to name a few… The Underground Museum, Reparations Club, California African American Museum, Leimert Park
Galleries, galleries and more galleries… Luis de Jesus, Band of Vices, Transformative Arts, Hauser and Wirth, The Broad, Craft Contemporary, … Geez, there are way too many to try to name – shoutout to LA galleries… the Arts District and all the art hubs that have something interesting going on.
Huntington Library & Gardens
Venice Beach, Laguna Beach, Bruce’s Beach
Pasadena (my home town) Perry’s Joint for sandwiches, Pasadena Fish Market for fried catfish & Jamaican, a couple of my favorite Thai restaurants (one in South Pasadena), the long line at In-N-Out Burger in Pasadena
Inglewood – Jamaican food, Ethiopian Food – also Little Ethiopia in Mid-Wilshire, also Stuff I Eat (for vegan food),
Long Beach – Open Sesame for Lebanese food … I think I should stop with the food.
Hang out with my artsy friends, be spontaneous and go somewhere we’ve never been… maybe drive up and down the coast… must sees: Oakland – the African American Museum & Library, San Francisco – Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD), and that Indian restaurant downtown that had the best Indian food everrr!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to my art family here in Los Angeles, many of whom I came to know through the BAILA art collective, that was spearheaded by Lili Bernard. BAILA is the acronym for Black Artists In LA. Two other important art collectives in the history of LA’s art scene also deserve a shoutout: the Compton Communicative Arts Academy (CCAA), and another group called The Collective, both of which helped to launch the careers of some of very accomplished and highly respected artists who have inspired and supported my artistic journey.
Instagram: @adevineartist and @adriennedevinemixedmediaart