We had the good fortune of connecting with Peggy Sivert and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Peggy, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My balance is woven out of multiple perspectives and interchangeable parts.  The balance is between light and heavy.  The Light reminds me of my childhood – time at home, being meditative – reading, resting, simple crafts, garden, pets, family, exercise.   The Heavy is my adult life – Running an art organization and the balance within that job and keeping up on my own art practice.  My focus varies depending on what is happening at the gallery – It seems like SoLA is always my priority –  it seems to outweigh most everything in my life – except my family.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What sets me apart from others? I don’t really think I stand apart from other artists – we are all individuals and stand evenly apart together.  I do often feel like an outsider.  Over covid lockdown it seemed like all of my future plans became compressed into the present.  I felt the need to respond to priorities with an immediacy.  My art transformed and developed with more focus and a renewed intensity. Also SoLA was brought closer to its mission, developing a diverse working board and staff, putting on some impactful exhibitions and starting new remote community programs.   I’m excited how SoLA has taken 4 years to establish itself as an artist run organization in South LA – It has been work to get it running and now for the first time,  I am feeling like I have more time to be an artist and am relaxing the stress to “get things done” and learning new ways to creatively operate SoLA.  I am stepping back to allow other creatives the freedom to direct elements of the organization,  to shape the framework of the stage that we present and the art that we show.  This process satisfies my need to create art –  change always makes things different and we adapt…Extra energy is expended but it is exciting to see change especially if it fulfills a dream or goal. Lessons I learned? Always be authentic. Respect art and make decisions based on the art and not for any other influence. We are currently developing SoLA’s brand as a team with input from our new director, staff and board and the South LA community.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them for a hike down to Sacred Cove and the tide pools and up into the hills in Palos Verdes ending with an outdoor bbq at our house.  I’d take them to San Pedro for a walk around their cool art district and enjoy the studios and great restaurants.  Then drive along the Port of LA and maybe over the new amazing bridge to Long Beach to really get an amazing perspective.  I’d take them to LACMA & Craft Contemporary – then The Broad and Moca followed by Hauser and Wirth & Downtown LA.  Then to Blum and Poe, and all the galleries and little cafes in Culver City.  Then, heading south, drop by Band of Vices and spend time hanging out at CAAM.   Then to Leimert Park to wander and explore and spend time in Art and Practice and browsing Eso won Bookstore.  And finally of course, I would take them to Hilltop Coffee for coffee, then to SoLA Contemporary for art and lunch at Simply Wholesome.  Is that a week yet?

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Always, Ben Zask. He has been a great partner, allowing me tremendous amounts of freedom, helping me to move through changes with his support.  Ben always responds to my art from a different perspective helping me to move out of a singular view point.  Precious.   Linda Jo Russell, a fellow artist, teacher and supporter of the arts, for donating space in her building, enabling SoLA Contemporary to freely run its exhibitions, events, and community outreach in South LA.   Artist and Board member, Won Sil Kim has been very active with SoLA by initiating art exchanges between American and South Korean artists.  And also, Anefertiti Bowman, who is now directing SoLA with a strong sense of inclusion, diversity, teamwork and transparency.

Website: www.peggysivert.com

Instagram: peggysivert2020

Linkedin: peggySivert

Facebook: Peggy jo sivert

Image Credits
Ben Zask, Peggy Sivert

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