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Meet Clara Berta of BertaArt Studio Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Clara Berta.

Clara, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My art story begins when I took up painting as a creative outlet, back in 1988. I had received a degree in Psychology from Antioch University, but was not pursuing that as a career. Instead, I felt like I wanted a more creative pursuit, so I decided I would be an actress! I wrote, produced and starred in a one-woman show called Sex is My Specialty.” I received a great review from the LA Weekly, “A wealth of captivating and humorous material”. It was a story about my life and all that I went through, coming to this country from Romania, and discovering my body and my feminine side, and how I learned to accept and heal.

In 2003 shortly after my show, I lost my husband and went through a depression. At this time to help me through my grief and depression, I turned back to art, and found it to be very healing. I found my way back to life by focusing my energy on painting.

A few months later I had an art show with another artist, and that’s when I sold my first painting. I realized that creating and making art was helping to heal my broken heart. I was very happy making art and allowing my feelings to fall on the canvas.

I soon realized that it was important to have a foundation, and so I decided to study printmaking with an amazing teacher, Lynne Bernay. She was tough, but I learned so much from her, not only about art, but also about discipline. That training was so important, since we all need structure in our lives. It helped me develop a routine of creating art every day. In 2008, I decided to focus on my art career full time and enrolled in the Santa Reparata School of Art in Florence, to study advanced composition and technique. When I returned, I realized that I wanted to create on canvas, and began painting much larger works than I had done previously.

I also had an urge to teach and started holding printmaking classes in my lovely studio in my home. My students loved it, and many women found healing through the group and the community I created. I still enjoy giving back that way, helping people find their own creative voice through the power of art. Art as therapy is something I believe very strongly in, so I am blessed to still have many students, male and female, young and old.

In 2011 I decided to make a change, and really focus my energy on becoming a full-time professional working artist. I sold my home and moved to Downtown Los Angeles, where I found a great loft and created an art studio. That was lovely, but soon, I had outgrown that space. In 2015 I found a great large sunny studio only two blocks from my loft, where I still work every day. I created BertaArt Studio Gallery and am now a regular stop on the Downtown LA Art Walk and Red Dot Art Tours.

My work continues to evolve over the years, and now my canvases are getting bigger and filled with more vibrancy and emotion. It brings me great joy to create and my work has turned into a successful business. I love being an entrepreneur and find it very rewarding.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Nothing is a smooth road I guess. Being an artist takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

I would love to paint what I desire, however, to be commercially successful, you sometimes must bow to a gallery owner and take some direction. Again, my training in discipline is helpful, as I now must build series of works that show consistency. Both galleries and collectors appreciate that!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with BertaArt Studio Gallery – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am very proud of what BertaArt Studio has become. I am a contemporary abstract painter, which of course there are many, but I think I stand out because my work is full of emotion, as I put my heart and soul into each artwork. With my feelings and energy driving each piece, how could they not be as unique as I am? I like to make a statement with my work, and sometimes they are calm and content and serene, and other times, they express melancholy, or agitation. I am my own individual – a one of kind for sure – many people have told me that! Perhaps it is because I am Hungarian and I have tenacity not to give up, but to maintain the courage to keep at it until I succeed. I am very determined to make it as an artist and create a name for myself.

Another aspect of my business that I think sets me apart is that I have a great team that helps me with my business and is very supportive of my goals and desires. This allows me the freedom to paint more, and really focus on the creative output.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am very excited that my work is expanding into wall murals and wall paper through a European company called Feather: https://www.feathr.com/artist/8379/

I would love to have a solo show this year, and perhaps down the road find a larger studio for my work, so that I may expand in new directions. I would love to have a retreat for women and help them discover their inner voice creatively and allow them to heal through the process of creating art.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Kelly Morgan

    June 13, 2018 at 17:52

    Clara …. Thank you for sharing how you are building your business. I think I cannot love your painting more than I already do and then I see more of your work and fall in love ever more deeply. Thank you for painting from the heart. I feel it.

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