Gregory Edwards
(b. 1948, Dayton, OH)

 

 

Gregory Edwards was raised in Houston, Texas, but came to California at a young age to attend Cal Arts and later the San Francisco Art Institute. In Los Angeles he became involved in the burgeoning new jazz scene, which spawned the Charles Lloyd quartet and his revolutionary album, Forest Flower. This time would continue to influence his life and art for years to come.

 
Mr. Edwards has long been known as an arts activist, particularly adept at evaluating, strategizing and brainstorming cultural and social policy issues, both in the arts and in the larger community. He worked closely with community-based organizations in the civil rights era, most notably with Booker Griffin and Jim Brown at the Black Economic Union in Los Angeles in 1967. Edwards was a founding Director of Studio Z - a seminal Los Angeles alternative space, famous for performance, concept and traditional visual art forms on the cutting edge. He's also served on the Arts Advisory Panel for The Cultural Affairs Commission for The City of Los Angeles, on Advisory and Grants Panels for The California Arts Council and as Liaison between the National Endowment for the Arts and the U. S. Small Business Administration. As a student activist, Edwards distinguished himself as teacher of the Black Artist's Seminar at California Institute of the Arts in 1972.
 
Early in Edwards career, Esther Bear, the legendary California art dealer, exhibited his work and since that time, his paintings, lithographs and drawings have been exhibited nationally, from the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, to the Daniel Broder Gallery in New York City.
 
After living in Los Angeles for 30 years, Edwards now resides in Oakland, California, where he maintains a studio in the Lewis Street Studio Complex. Reflecting his three-decade commitment to social and esthetic activism, Edwards was named to serve as a Commissioner for the Cultural Affairs Commission of the City of Oakland in 2002. His last project was the 5th Annual Concorso La Fenice, in Venice, Italy, during the flood season in Fall, 2004. Edwards work was recently included in a survey exhibition of influential African American artists working in Los Angeles from 1945 through 1990 at The Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park, Hollywood, CA.