Senior curator Rebecca McGrew ’85 works under the radar to transform the L.A. art scene

"Pomona College Curator Quietly Shifts L.A. Art Scene with Innovative Project Series” by Carla Guerrero, Pomona College News

From a small college art museum at the very edge of Los Angeles County, senior curator Rebecca McGrew ’85 works under the radar to transform the L.A. art scene, one exhibition at a time.

When the 50th Project Series exhibition was scheduled to open in January 2015, McGrew knew it was time to try something different. Using the group exhibition format, she is taking it up a notch by showcasing seven artists in concurrent solo exhibitions in a show that opened last week.

For nearly two decades, McGrew has sought out emerging and under-represented artists from Southern California to exhibit in the Project Series at the Pomona College Museum of Art, an exhibition program designed by McGrew that has a unique mission. It is meant to fill a gap in the greater LA art scene, not only in new forms and techniques of art, but also in gender, race and ethnicity.

“I wanted to support the Los Angeles art community and believe artists and their practices should be the basis for any project or program. There is a compelling potential for artists to unite, transform, and imagine possibility that resonates both with the vision of the Project Series and the mission of the Pomona College Museum of Art. With the Project Series, I aim for each exhibition to serve as a vital creative and intellectual hub where one encounters creative responses to aesthetic, social, cultural, political, and intellectual issues.

“I envisioned collaborating directly with the artists who themselves were engaging with the contemporary cultural moment through a rich, boundary-blurring dialogue of art, culture, history, social issues, politics, music, science and more,” says McGrew on how the Project Series was conceived in 1999.