We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Black and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
Motherhood brought with it a greater sense of purpose and clarity. I had seen myself follow virulent familial patterns, and I knew that I did not want the same for my daughter. Once she was in my life, I felt obliged to reevaluate my relationships with others and the world and take action to devise a meaningful path for us. I returned to college and completed my BA and MFA degrees while also carving out space in the SoCal art scene for my curatorial practice. I developed friendships with many brilliant women within the academic and art communities who have become mentors and honorary-aunties to my daughter. Ten years later, I have a child who values education, the arts, and is overall a fantastic human.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The decision to launch my non-profit Universal Voice and its exhibition space, Gallery UV, was motivated by a desire to create exhibitions unrestrained by commercial galleries’ financial considerations and the inescapable biases of public institutions. While there can never be a genuinely neutral platform for artists, I aim to remove as many archaic labels as possible while presenting the artist’s work in a manner that is true to the artist’s narrative.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It is my position that anyone and everyone should visit the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City. While I do not want to give too much away, its design is a brilliant response to the problematic history of museums while also functioning as simply a weird and interesting place. It is also located near the beautiful Culver Hotel – should you need a cocktail after visiting. Alternatively, my favorite detox space is Joshua Tree. There are many unique places to stay in or camp at, and it is, in my opinion, the perfect antidote to LA’s hectic and starless nights. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I applied to graduate school, I met an amazing woman named Dr. Joanna Roche, who has since become a close friend, confidant, and mentor. As an art historian, her contribution to the discipline is often measured in publications and university placements. However, what is frequently overlooked and what I would argue is more significant is her dedication to students. Joanna serves her students with compassion. She understands many face challenges outside of campus and works with them to help them reach their potential. It is difficult to articulate the power of her kindness, but there is an ever-growing list of students who have exceeded expectations with her guidance and support.
Youtube: Notes from the Wunderkammer