Bubblegum heiress Kelsey Lee Offield wants to find a home (yours!) for LA’s emerging artists.
Artist Kelsey Lee Offield.
The corner of Melrose and La Brea is beginning to hum with a decidedly artistic buzz. Just ask Gusford owner/director Kelsey Lee Offield (part of the philanthropic Wrigley-Offield family), whose year-old gallery sits just off the It intersection. “It wasn’t the same Melrose I remembered from high school, but it’s got a great vibe going on,” says the 31-year-old, who named the gallery after her English bulldog. (“He’s been everywhere with me, all over the world,” she says. “He’s got his own passport.”) Indeed, her list of aesthetically minded neighbors in the once creatively barren corridor is growing—from West Hollywood transplants Regen Projects and Kohn Gallery to the forthcoming Hollywood relocation of Venice favorite Various Small Fires.
As an artist who grew up in Catalina and the arts community of Laguna, Offield brings a unique sensibility to Gusford, choosing to work with emerging artists (both local and international) who sustain critical and rigorous practices. “This space is a platform for artists to do whatever they want,” she says.
Offield is also a longtime collector, which means that clients can turn to her own home in the hills of West Hollywood for art-displaying inspiration. “I have two of these in my dining room and one in my office,” says the stylish and statuesque dealer, pointing to a fleshy Andrea Hasler sculpture. “I don’t want [my art] to blend in and become such a fixture [in my house]. As soon as I no longer see it when I walk by, something has to change.” And rearrange she does—she once cut back molding in her living room to display a massive Oliver Jones piece, and she has “no problem hanging [inherited] California plein air paintings next to a contemporary piece.”
Having just returned from a successful trip to Pulse Contemporary Art Fair in New York, where she exhibited work by Marrakeshborn, London-based photographer Hassan Hajjaj, Offield is opening her summer exhibition schedule with a sound-neon-canvas installation by Singaporean multimedia artist Genevieve Chua (July 11–August 23) in her first US show, “Cicadas Cicadas.” “I don’t want my artists to be afraid of making things because they’re not as easy to sell; that’s my job,” she says. “Their job is to create their vision. I want Gusford to be about the artist.” 7016 Melrose Ave., LA, 323-452-9563