We had the good fortune of connecting with Shelley Holcomb and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shelley, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
Time=Money. That is the most important lesson that my business has taught me. Your time is worth money, make sure you collect.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Curate LA is Los Angeles’s most comprehensive art discovery platform. We share stories about the artists and creatives in Los Angeles that make the city the global cultural center that it is. I’m most proud of the community we are able to cultivate and support with our platform. Since 2014, our small and dedicated team has been delivering the latest museum and gallery exhibitions, artist studio visits, events, and performances across Los Angeles every week. We revolutionize the way people see art and the way people navigate the city. What started as a passion project between myself and Alex Benzer to see the type of art I craved and was missing has bloomed into a full-fledged art and media company. Our biggest challenges have been to sustain ourselves financially (given that the arts are heavily underfunded), while remaining true to the integrity of why we started this in the first place: to make the art wold radically accessible to all. A lesson I’ve learned along the way is to always listen to your intuition and stick to what you know is right. Stay tuned because we have some pretty fun announcements coming really soon.
Shelley Holcomb is an artist, curator, and active member of the Los Angeles arts community. She is CEO and Creative Director of Curate LA, Creative Producer for Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), and co-host of a monthly radio show on NTS, called Whits & Giggles. She holds a Painting BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. Holcomb’s art has been exhibited in multiple institutions including the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, CA, the Jepson Center in Savannah, GA, Attleboro Arts Museum, and Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m going to pretend this is pre-COVID and it’s a regular Saturday for me. In the morning we’d go on a walk down the L.A. River. with my pup. Grab breakfast and pupusas from El Amoroso in Frogtown. Later, I’d take her for a stroll around Echo Park Lake to get some street vendor snacks. From there, take a drive to see Watts Towers and make our way to Mel’s Fish Shack for some authentic soul food (we’re both from Mississippi). Then our art journey would begin. Working our way across the city my go-to galleries are Residency (Inglewood), The Underground Museum (Mid City), Commonwealth & Council (McArthur Park), Transfer Gallery (Downtown), Hauser & Wirth (Arts District), Night Gallery (Downtown), and in lieu (Lincoln Heights). We’d prob end up crashing an after-opening gallery dinner, but if not I’d take her to Footsies’s in Cypress Park and get tacos next door. Lastly, in true L.A. fashion, we would let the wind take us to one of the many sweaty late-night parties the city has to offer and dance the night away.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shout out to the BIPOC and LGBTQ creators I’ve been so lucky to have been exposed to in Los Angeles. L.A. culture owns them so much.