Today we’d like to introduce you to Brennen Perry and Anna Tregurtha.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Brennen and Anna. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
Brennen: After I graduated art school in Richmond, VA, I moved back in with my parents at their house in the San Fernando Valley. I greatly appreciated living rent-free, but I didn’t have a studio, I wasn’t really making work, and I was spending so long driving to get to shows over in the city. I started thinking about the space that I had available to me, as well as the lack of arts spaces in the Valley, and some of the larger conversations about displacement that have been brewing in the LA art scene, and it all came together around my backyard.
The background is all centered around the pool, it seemed almost like a showroom space, so I figured, why not float some artwork in it? I asked Anna to be the first artist to show because we’ve been best friends since college and I knew I could trust her to work with me and really make full use of the space. Since then, we’ve been operating for a year and a half, had 16 events, been part of two fairs, and somehow through it, all my parents are so nice and patient that they still let me steal their backyard for a day every month.
Anna: I started being interested in DIY spaces when I was living in Richmond. The first space I ever ran was called The Bowling Alley, which was an outdoor gallery that existed in the alleyway between two-row houses. I loved the idea of having ephemeral, one night only events using a unique space. When I moved to LA last fall, getting involved with Public Pool seemed like a perfect fit.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Brennen: As smooth as running an alternative art space outside can be! We’re lucky that LA is one of the least rainy cities in the country and the weather has generally been on our side. A lot of the challenge early on came from the fact that I was doing almost everything myself.
The first eleven shows were curated, set up, lit, installed, and documented by myself. I had assistance from the artists, but all our shows are day-of affairs, meaning set-up and install all happened in about five hours or less! It was a huge help just to have one other person working with me once Anna joined “the team” (and now it could actually be considered a team because there was more than just one person).
Public Pool Gallery – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Brennen: Public Pool is an alternative art space located in and around a residential pool in the San Fernando Valley. We work with artists to create site-specific installations that utilize a variety of different mediums, with our only rule being that some aspect of the art MUST interact with the water in some way. How the art interacts with the water is completely up to the artist.
I’m very proud of the breadth of work we have shown in such a unique environment. We have featured video, sculpture, poetry, floating paintings, photography that’s been sunk to the bottom of the pool, performative brunch, ceramics, robotic clams, pool parties, slide shows, music, and, of course, synchronized swimming.
If you had to start over, what would you have done differently?
Brennen: I would tell my past self to always set up lighting the night BEFORE a show! But honestly, beyond that, I wouldn’t change a thing. This is the first time I’ve run a space, and I have loved every second of it. I’ve learned so much, and even the challenges and frustrations have forced me to adapt and get better as a director and an artist. Every aspect of this experience has felt essential, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Anna: With any sort of show involving technology, there’s always room for error. I would remind myself to test all tech at least a couple days before a show. Besides that, it’s important to remember that no matter how difficult it can be to put together a show, having a good time is essential!
- Website: publicpoolgallery.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @public_pool_gallery
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