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Living an Artistic Dream at Gallery 90220

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Gallery 90220’s executive director David Colbert, Jr., established the nonprofit art gallery with the goal of uplifting his native city of Compton and sharing its best aspects and unique flavor with the world.

He started his mission back in 2018 by establishing the Compton Art Walk, the first event of its kind in the area. The nonprofit festival brought revenue to the area and allowed local artists to showcase their creative talents and network within the community. Though the Art Walk has been on hiatus this past year, Colbert plans to bring it back ASAP.

“I take Compton with me wherever I go,” he says. “It’s my dream to establish an art gallery in my hometown.”

Gallery 90220: a Multicultural Hotspot

The gallery gets its name from Compton’s zip code, demonstrating Colbert’s dedication to his home. He initially wanted to open the gallery in Compton but due to the lack of available real estate, he adopted an abandoned warehouse in the historic Goodyear district in South LA. The historic area is now called the Beehive and is being developed into a series of new businesses, many of which are Black-owned.

“One of our neighbors is the first Black-owned craft brewery in California,” Colbert shares. “It’s an exciting place to be.”

Gallery 90220 is quickly becoming a hub of creativity for emerging artists of color and a platform for new artists. The gallery has seen many notable established artists and celebrity visitors but its focus is promoting emerging artists. “Many artists struggle to support themselves through their art,” he reveals. “Networking is everything.”

Events like the Compton Art Walk and exhibits at Gallery 90220 allow artists to showcase their talents and meet the people who will change their lives. “We want our artists to find mentors,” says Colbert. “That will help young artists organize their vision. They need to trust themselves and a wise counselor can help keep them in their lane.”

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The Compton Art Walk to Return

Gallery 90220 and the Compton Art Walk share a similar set of goals, envisioned by Colbert and his creative team: “We want to establish a historic platform through authentic experiences that provides former, present, and future residents the opportunity to support and show pride for their city’s rich heritage of musical and artistic talent.”

This applies to funding the gallery and festival as well as the featured exhibits. “Funding local art gives patrons something to be proud of,” says Colbert. “This year we plan to raise six figures to hire more staff and provide free art programming for the Los Angeles community.”

It’s important to Colbert to bring the Art Walk back. “The CAW came even before the gallery,” he shares. “I’m going to bring it back as soon as its feasible. I really want to continue to offer multiple platforms to artists. That’s why we started the gallery podcast and the flea market.”

The Red Dot MRKT

He refers to the Red Dot MRKT, a community outdoor flea market located in South Central LA. The market features art (of course), food trucks and other vendors, and live music. The goal is to connect brands and sponsors to artists for various projects and collaborations.

Those brands, he says, include art suppliers. “There’s currently no diversity in art supply. I’m going to change this. I’m creating a line of art supplies that are inspired by and created specifically for the Black experience.” He’s also creating a website designed for artists of color to build a community, sell their art, and share ideas.

“The MRKT is another example of how we’re reaching out into the community,” Colbert says. “There’s a little bit of everything – handmade jewelry, art prints and original artwork, fashion, home decor, you name it.”

About Founder David Colbert Jr.

David Colbert Jr. is a third-generation Compton native and studied sociology at California State University. He’s always loved art and he’s always loved people, and as one of the top emerging curators in L.A., he is a devoted advocate for the arts, keen on fostering culture in his community.

Colbert is the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Compton Art Walk Inc. and the creator of the city’s first art walk in 2018. Since then, Colbert has been recognized as a leading creative mind in Compton, and his proudest moment was founding and opening Gallery 90220. The contemporary art gallery, designed by the prestigious Gensler architecture firm, opened its doors in 2021, featuring pieces from internationally acclaimed artist Gianni Lee and an exclusive photography exhibition from the Oscar award-winning film Two Distant Strangers (both events curated by Colbert).

The Bright Future of the Local Art Scene

Colbert has plans for the future of Gallery 90220. “I want to curate an event for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) and/or the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA),” he says. “I also want to expand the gallery by opening a Compton location. That was always my intention.”

Colbert continues to shape the young art scene as a business owner of color. Referring back to his upcoming website, he shares, “Digital art allows endless possibilities for artists to be seen and heard. Even now these moments set the tone for the future. Online platforms will allow patrons, sponsors, and fans to buy art, and will allow artists to sell and promote their work.”

He will soon be launching his art website and line of art supplies.

Website:

https://www.gallery90220.com/

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/godson_dc/
https://www.instagram.com/gallery90220/

David Colbert Jr. is the Executive Director of the Compton Art Walk, Owner of Gallery 90220, Producer of the Red Dots Series podcast, and Founder of the Red Dot MRKT, a flea market that highlights art, food, and fashion. Gallery 90220 is a contemporary art gallery dedicated to promoting emerging artists of color.