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Meet Galia Linn of Blue Roof Studios in South LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Galia Linn.

Galia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
After completing my two years of mandatory service in the Israeli air force I was invited by the JCC (Jewish Community Centers) to be an art counselor at a summer camp in Houston, TX. During a fateful visit to The Houston Art Museum that summer of 1991, I had an encounter with a painting that made the entire corridor vibrate upon first sight. It was a work by Georgia O’Keeffe. Growing up in Israel, I didn’t even know that being a fine artist was an option. A seed was planted in that moment.

While continuing to work as an architect, I began working with clay, starting with functional pottery and eventually letting the pieces slump, break, crack and grow to the point where it could be called nothing else but sculpture. At the age of 37, I finally began calling myself an artist.

My childhood in Israel instilled an intimate connection to a land full of ancient and contemporary relics of past and present civilizations, influencing the nature of my process. While manipulating the materials, I allow my physical body to be absorbed, as well as the emotional and historical resonance of the life I’ve lived.

As a sculptor and site-specific installation artist living and working in Los Angeles, I construct relationships between subject, object, and their environments by creating elemental tensions. My work negotiates the delicate balance between the mediums’ limits and an exploration of life’s imperfections. I am driven to create encounters with space and objects that have an effect on our physical and emotional state of being. Each place is an invitation to step inside and experience a shift.

Whether stoneware, bronze, canvas, or photographic, my installations are an invitation to step inside oneself; designed to offer an experience that is activated by a moment of pause. This moment is the entry into another place and time, where new, positive possibilities may present themselves. Louise Bourgeois said it best in her quote, “Art is a guarantee of sanity.”

These words speak to me. Engaging with art brings me to a place that is centered, balanced, joyful and curious. It is a way of processing the world and feeling at home within it. This experience of affirmation and renewal is embedded in my place-making practice and is one of the main vehicles for me to contribute to the creative vibrancy of Los Angeles.

I’m currently weaving together several long-standing interests:
– Making places that speak the language of recognition and contemplation.
– The installation as a catalyst for remembering and reclaiming something essential.
– The conflation of time and space; the possibility of inhabiting past, present, and future in the same moment
– Feminist approaches that transcend gender.
– Sites of excavation and the act of excavating; also as it pertains to remembering and reclaiming lost
knowledge/experience.

I am a builder. I build vessels, places, and relationships; the integration of which encompasses the full reach of my art. Active engagement with first-person perception and experience is paramount. I continue developing a phenomenological approach to the process of making and experiencing art; seeking new methods of navigating this idea.

In the end, there is the sense of excavating something that’s already there. What appears fragile, in the end, is rock strong; the cracks become symbolic; a window into the internal makeup of the vessels; a metaphor for strength and beauty; a testament of surrender.

Has it been a smooth road?
Every wrinkle, scar, mistake, and failure has been a crucial learning experience and a stepping stone on my path. Moving forward, the best way to predict the future is to create it and to do so I have to take risks, fail and learn from everything and everyone around me. So no regrets and no do-overs…only do.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Galia Linn Studio story. Tell us more about the business.
The 2016 election made me further question whether making art is a meaningful pursuit. How can I respond in a way that makes an impactful difference during this crucial time? With art-making? With advocacy? I was compelled to re-engage on a deeper level, to bring people together, to combine creative forces and make an impact for good.

A few months later I founded Blue Roof Studios in South Los Angeles; a multidisciplinary art hub offering a place for artists to work in an environment that fosters creativity and community. We host events that promote dialogue with artists and the public and seek to expand artistic opportunities with and for L.A.-based creative practitioners.

We are committed to supporting community initiatives and cultivating an environment of reflective and meaningful dialogue around issues of access, diversity and artists’ roles within the broader ecology of our city. Art only has an impact for those who have access to it. It cannot live in a vacuum and cannot thrive if kept in the hands of the privileged.

The act of creation is inherent to us all, and the process of developing my craft goes hand in hand with the development of Blue Roof Studios as a vessel for making art accessible to a neighborhood that has been historically marginalized from the art world. The success of the arts festival we produced here June 23 was due to the active engagement of local residents, artists, community partners, and volunteers.

The festival highlighted the richness and diversity of the arts in South Los Angeles and beyond, reflecting Blue Roof Studio’s commitment to fostering and amplifying creativity, connection, and inclusion within the community. Monthly family art workshops continue to offer free programming to the local community.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jana Cruder, Michael Underwood

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