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Rising Stars: Meet Georgia Freedman-Harvey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Georgia Freedman-Harvey.

Hi Georgia, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I have been fortunate to work in the arts for my entire career, starting right after college when I began working at a museum in Southern California and continuing to have positions at several other museums and college galleries before becoming a consultant to artists, private collectors, foundations, non-profit organizations, and museums. Through my museum training, I have expertise in collections management, exhibition management, and as a curator. In my work as an arts consultant, I have served in short and long-term positions in managing artists and collectors’ collections and as the curator at a number of city and college institutions. I continue to be invited to be the guest curator by museums and other institutions.

In 2022 I will curate three exhibitions with the first one opening in early February at the soon to be reopened newly expanded and renovated museum at CSULB. I have also had the opportunity to curate a number of international exhibitions and traveled abroad to oversee the installation of the exhibits. Several of my curatorial projects have included working in collaboration with a team of curators on one theme to produce multiple exhibitions. Several of the individual exhibitions I have curated have been installed at a number of sites.

In my consulting work, I often speak to groups of artists about their plans for their artwork. What they want their legacy to be and encourage them not to leave it to chance. This includes how to maintain, manage, document and the placement of their collections. This can include working with the executors of an artist’s estate to ensure the legacy of the artist continues or working with the artist to establish a legacy plan. Legacy planning can be a one-time consultation or lead to long-term project management.

In addition, I have been the recipient of several grants to develop and oversee art workshops and exhibitions focused on using art for healing and transformation. This has included being a recipient of a grant to work with teens at a children’s hospital and a second grant to work with Veterans at a program at the West LA VA campus. I have curated a number of exhibitions focused on art and healing and worked closely for many years as the curator for a well-known mouth painter.

My own art studies included a concentration in glass blowing. I have since turned my focus to fiber and paper arts, exhibiting my own art along the way. I have been involved in the leadership of a number of arts organizations and co-collaborate with an artist on the East Coast to promote an ongoing dialogue between artists through the exchange of artwork and exhibitions. As part of giving back to the community, I coordinate an artist study group and develop cultural outreach opportunities through serving as the cultural arts chair for an organization.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Each collection of art is unique, whether it is a personal collection of art or an artist’s lifetime of work. Caring for collections of art can be a joy but also can present as an obstacle as to how it is handled and documented to ensure longevity for the artwork and the artist. Carrying out the wishes that an artist wants or especially when there is no plan made by the artist or collector, can present a challenge and feel like a burden for those entrusted with the artwork. My challenge is to come up with a plan that is feasible and one that can be managed long term. Challenges can include: where to store the art, where to donate, sell or exhibit the art, and to guide the artist or executor through carefully documenting the collection. Each situation is unique, and it is often left to a family member or close friend to see that the artist and their legacy continues. The more an artist or a collector plans ahead of time, the greater the probability that the artwork will not disappear, be damaged or be forgotten. I have seen very positive outcomes, but I have also been brought in to try to reverse the potential for a very bad outcome. No two projects are alike, and that is the challenge and satisfaction of this type of work.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Independent Arts Consultant and Curator

I work on a project basis, whether it is for an artist, collector, an estate, foundation, or organization with a collection. Each engagement is tailored to the needs of the client. This can be a one-time consult or seeing a project through from start to finish. The scope of a project can include rehousing, organizing, and documenting a collection; creating a plan for the care of a collection and/or working to secure placement of the artwork, and overseeing the transfer and proper documentation to complete the transfer. Projects range from establishing a plan for an artist/collector to the placement of an entire collection.

My current projects include continuing to serve long-term as the project manager on several art collections; finalizing the placement of a large photography collection, and the completion of an expansion of a museum; completing the design and installation of a new memorial sculpture that will be installed in the South Bay; and overseeing a new art fund for artists in Southern California that will launch in early 2022, and my ongoing curatorial work. In 2022, I look forward to once again being able to speak to groups of artists and collectors about planning for an artist’s legacy and continuing to consult one on one with artists and collectors.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
I grew up with parents who had both moved to Los Angeles from New York and both had been raised in families that highly valued the cultural arts. They set out to instill in me that same love of all forms of art whether it was going to a museum, attend a symphony, ballet, live theatre, or going to seeing unique buildings that dotted the LA landscape — my parents made it a priority to expose us to as much creativity as they could. Also, my father was a book designer and in addition to all the cultural arts, he gave me a love of books, fonts, and paper. I have special memories of going with him to press checks or listening to him discuss the differences in typefaces, page layout, and color choices. One of my best treasures was coming home from the visit to the printer with samples of all types of papers to turn into whatever my imagination led me to create.

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