Art Cricket LA has been going strong in its first year. So I wanted to sit down with my pal and creator of Art Cricket LA, Diana Kohne Kenny, and see how the last year has been for her. Here’s what she had to say:
RG – I’m happy we could do a little interview seeing as you’re so busy lately. First thing’s first, it has been a year since Art Cricket LA was first launched back in May of last year. How would you say the year has been for you?
DKK – This year has been one of the best. But I did notice that when people would ask me about anything to do with time, that I’d have to think for a while about what day and even what month it was. Starting Art Cricket LA has been very rewarding, personally because the artists and the clients are happy. It has also been a whirlwind because I am a mom and I’m involved in other projects, too.
RG – So you’re just a little busy I see. What has been your happiest aspect about starting ACLA?
DKK – The best parts about starting ACLA are the friendships and the appreciation. It all started with the simple plan to think about how to make local art more accessible to LA residents. I realized it wasn’t easy for the people I knew to buy art. I wanted to try to fix that. Then I made a plan and gave it a name, and I even invited you to be my partner in the endeavor. Our friendship has made me very happy. Another nice perk that is really starting to sink in is the gratitude. Artist we sell or share have been thanking me, and it feels incredible.
RG – I couldn’t be happier that you asked me to join. Truly. So now after everything you’ve worked on over the last year, do you find that the essential premise of ACLA has changed at all? For the better or worse?
DKK – Art Cricket’s premise has held true. I’m pretty stubborn, and I’d rather be right than rich. We want to help people have access to original works of art. A lot of the focus in the beginning was that we wanted people to understand the difference and value of collecting an original, artist made piece of art, versus “wall art” manufactured overseas and sold at department stores. Over the past year we have become a little less rigid in our definition of art. As long as it supports a local artist, we are open to discussing the possibility of owning reproductions. I’d say that’s for better
RG – Totally! Do you find that people are responding to the idea of becoming a collector?
DKK – Yes. Definitely. After people hold an original piece of art that comes from their community they feel the difference. They think “Oh, this makes sense to me- I relate to this.” The connection to a real person who made the work within miles of your home feels different. And, once you collect one artwork you love, it’s a little bit addictive. I always suggest the idea of building an art wall to add to over time. Every time you fall in love, you can add to it. Falling in love with art is an exciting feeling. And an art wall of small works can keep growing.
RG – What have you learned about the process that you find most appealing?
DKK – People here in LA really do love art. People are excited to buy art that is made locally. My favorite part of the process is the time I spend getting to know these people. I also like getting to know and keeping in touch with the area artists.
RG – Do you see that people are taking to the quiz you have created?
DKK – Yes. We get a lot of quiz takers. I thought we might get less and less over time, but that isn’t the case. Several people have said that the quiz really pegged them. One client already owned a print by one of the artists I connected her to. Another client’s taste was connected to a friend whose art she had always liked, and whose work she purchased, along with another artist whose work she fell in love with.
RG – Yes I to love that it has really helped those identify what it is they love, especially when they had no idea prior to the quiz. Since the quiz is working out so well, where has your biggest struggle been?
RG – Well a year is done, what do you see for Art Cricket LA over the next year?
DKK – We will continue to help Angelenos find local art that they love, but we are also expanding our client base to local businesses. Businesses can show their connection to the community and have great art by using ACLA to collect local art. We’re also putting on shows featuring some of our favorite local artists at Fur in Atwater. Be sure to join us at our One Year Anniversary Party during the Atwater Artwalk on June 20th from 6-9pm. We’ll be showing a handful of artists whose work we sold in the past year.
RG – Diana thanks for answering some of my questions. I’m looking forward to the anniversary party. Now we can look forward to another year with Art Cricket LA.
DKK – Thanks Rhiannon. Oh I can’t wait.