Located in one of LA’s walkable art hubs on Western Avenue in Hollywood and within a few blocks from local galleries and restaurants, Southern Guild’s American flagship will be South Africa’s first ever permanent gallery in the US.
Co-founders Julian and Trevyn McGowan say they were drawn to the locale because its palpable vibrancy is similar in Cape Town. “It’s perfectly suited to our particular brand of innovative art space and broadens our reach to showcase our artists’ unparalleled work in the United States,” comments Trevyn.
Since it was established in 2008, co-founders Trevyn and Julian McGowan have built Southern Guild from a single gallery with a small roster of artists into a progressive and contemporary African art and design space that often participates in art fairs around the world. Its cultural heritage, however, is rooted in the principles of community and collaboration in cross disciplines that have passed through generations, and that explore humanitarian, environmental and societal discourse.
“The art coming out of the region is unlike anything else and these are the pioneering creative voices we seek to champion,” says Julian.
Southern Guild’s 5000sqft American flagship, designed by well-known LA firm Evan Raabe Architecture Studio, is set in a historic 1920s building adjoining a courtyard and restaurant, and will house three large-scale exhibition spaces, meeting and viewing rooms.
The gallery’s inaugural exhibitions will take place in February 2024 and include Mother Tongues, which celebrates standout artists from the gallery’s roster such as Zanele Muholi, Andile Dyalvane and Oluseye amongst others, and a solo presentation of Zizipho Poswa’s new ceramic sculptures. Said to be her most ambitious body of work to date, the series of sculptures reaches heights of over eight feet and was created during her recent residency at the Center for Contemporary Ceramics at California State University in Long Beach.