Southern Guild Opens in LA: A New Era for African Art

Explore the launch of Cape Town’s Southern Guild Gallery in Los Angeles, highlighting its inaugural exhibitions, vision, and impact on the global art scene. Discover how this move marks a new chapter for African art in the US.

Southern Guild, originally from Cape Town, opens in LA, highlighting the city's growing appeal to international galleries.
Launches with Zizipho Poswa's solo show and the "Mother Tongues" group exhibition, featuring diverse African artists.
Founded on the principles of community and creativity, Southern Guild fosters a supportive environment for African artists and their diaspora.

Cape Town’s Southern Guild Opens New Chapter in Los Angeles

Southern Guild, a gallery originally based in Cape Town, has established a new outpost in Los Angeles. This development positions Southern Guild as one of the few Africa-founded galleries to mark its presence in the United States, specifically in the Melrose Hill area of East Hollywood, close to renowned galleries such as David Zwirner, Morán Morán, James Fuentes, and Rele.

A New Home in the City of Angels

Southern Guild’s Los Angeles gallery, occupying a 5,000-square-foot space that was once a laundromat, launches with two exhibitions. The first is a solo show by Zizipho Poswa, an artist whose recent residency in Long Beach.

The second is a group exhibition titled “Mother Tongues,” showcasing works from 26 artists on the gallery’s roster, including luminaries like Zanele Muholi, Andile Dyalvane, Manyaku Mashilo, Jody Paulsen, and Jozua Gerrard.

Vision and Expansion: An Interview with Trevyn McGowan

In an interview with ARTnews, Trevyn McGowan shared insights into the gallery’s journey to LA. The decision was fueled by a vision of opening in America, specifically LA, prompted by artist Zizipho Powsa’s residency in Long Beach. McGowan highlighted LA’s unique blend of cultural vibrancy, community focus, and architectural similarities to South African cities, making it an ideal location for the gallery.

Celebrating African Creativity

Southern Guild was started 16 years ago by Trevyn and Julian McGowan to highlight the amazing work of artists and designers from South Africa. It kicked off with a first major exhibition at the Joburg Art Fair and has since been a big part of international events and working with artists worldwide. This has helped make African art and design well-known and respected.

The gallery really values creating a supportive and friendly place for artists. It has a variety of artists it works with, programs for artists to create new work, and a special creative space in Cape Town. This same spirit of working together and supporting each other is also seen in their new location in Los Angeles. Here, they keep working with artists from Africa and those with African roots, building real and meaningful partnerships that are true to what the gallery stands for.

Inaugural Exhibitions and Future Endeavors

The opening shows at the LA gallery, “Indyebo yakwaNtu (Black Bounty): Zizipho Poswa” and “Mother Tongues,” really show what Southern Guild is all about celebrating African culture and its people all over the world. These exhibitions include a variety of artworks that talk about who we are, how we connect with others, and the importance of simple things and traditions in our lives.

Looking forward, Southern Guild’s LA activities will add a lot to the city’s art scene. They plan to focus on teaching, public events and shows that really get people talking and thinking together. With a solo exhibition for Zanele Muholi coming up and a continuous focus on art that makes people think and care about society, Southern Guild aims to leave a big impression on Los Angeles and beyond.

Grace Angelique

An accomplished Art News Journalist with a decade of experience, Grace has passionately covered global art events, exhibitions, and emerging trends. With a keen eye for aesthetics and a pulse on the art world's undercurrents, Grace has crafted compelling narratives that bridge art and its societal impacts. Her work has graced major publications, offering readers a fresh perspective on contemporary art and its evolving landscape.

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