South Africa’s Southern Guild Gallery Makes Historic US Expansion to Los Angeles

Trevyn and Julian McGowan,

The renowned Southern Guild Gallery, hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, is set to make its mark in the bustling art scene of Los Angeles. In an exciting development, the gallery is expanding its reach, establishing the first-ever permanent US public exhibition space for a South African gallery. This expansion coincides with its debut presentation at The Armory Show in New York, from September 7 to 10, 2023, and will be officially unveiled just ahead of the 2024 edition of Frieze Los Angeles next February.

Southern Guild Gallery is known for its dedication to artists from Africa and those with strong connections to the continent. With this bold move, the gallery aims to provide continuous support to its artists while promoting international cultural exchange.

Trevyn McGowan, co-founder of Southern Guild, expressed the significance of this expansion, stating, “We have been attending American fairs and focusing on American collectors for many years, so it felt appropriate to open our first gallery outside of South Africa in the US. Our artists deserve access year-round to an international audience, and that’s what this space will provide.”

The gallery’s new location in Los Angeles will find its home in the vibrant neighborhood of Hollywood, occupying a standalone building within walking distance of local galleries such as Morán Morán and Sebastian Gladstone, as well as established New York transplants like David Zwirner, Sargent’s Daughters, Shrine, and James Fuentes. This concentration of galleries makes it one of the few walkable art hubs in Los Angeles, providing an ideal setting for art enthusiasts.

McGowan further emphasized the gallery’s affinity for the dynamic atmosphere of Los Angeles, noting the presence of galleries, restaurants, and local communities that align with Southern Guild’s immersive and innovative art experiences. She explained, “As a gallery, we are quite disruptive and progressive, and we felt like Los Angeles would be accepting of an innovative art space. The city is similar to Cape Town in that there is a sense of youth and vibrancy.”

Southern Guild Gallery, founded in 2008, has cultivated a diverse portfolio of artists spanning various disciplines, including sculpture, painting, architecture, and jewelry design. Their distinctive approach blurs the boundaries between functional and non-functional art, emphasizing collaboration and community.

The gallery goes beyond traditional exhibitions by actively supporting artists in producing their work. In 2022, they launched the Guild Residency program to facilitate meaningful collaborations and connections for artists. This commitment to collaboration will extend to Los Angeles, where the gallery aims to bridge their artists with the local art ecosystem.

Lindsey Raymond, gallery manager, stated, “There is a vibrant community of artists, curators, and collectors in Los Angeles that we felt would benefit our artists. As our name indicates, we’re deeply committed to meaningful collaborations in the spirit of a guild, and community is at the heart of this.”

As Southern Guild Gallery embarks on this new chapter of expansion, its mission remains clear: to create an artistic community that thrives in the spirit of a guild, fostering creativity and connections that span continents and cultures. With its arrival in Los Angeles, the city can look forward to an infusion of African artistry, further enriching its diverse and vibrant art landscape.

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