In June 2020, David Colbert Jr. stepped into an empty brick warehouse in the historic Goodyear Tire district of South Los Angeles. The campus, designated the Beehive, is a 92,000 square foot commercial district developed for the revitalization of SOLA. When Colbert first saw it, it was decrepit, abandoned – but his artistic eyes took in more than the physical surroundings.

Through a collaboration with the prestigious Gensler architecture firm, Colbert oversaw the transformation of the abandoned warehouse into the sleek and stylish contemporary Gallery 90220.

Gallery 90220 is a contemporary Black-owned art gallery dedicated to uplifting and showcasing emerging Black and Brown artists. Colbert is the owner, founder, and executive director as well as one of the gallery’s curators. In 2018 he established the Compton Art Walk, a series of monthly festivals designed to unite local artists and businesses to collaborate, network and showcase their talents and hard work while driving economic support to Compton.

The Red Dot Family of Artistic Platforms

Since starting the Compton Art Walk, Colbert has gone on to realize another dream: opening one of the nation’s only Black-owned art galleries. Colbert’s vision was to create a safe space for creative members of the Black community. The gallery has featured the art of Egypt Hagan, who creates stylistic portraits fused with murals, as well as abstract artist Gianni Lee and mixed-media artist Malcolm-Emilio.

Gallery 90220 just wrapped up its edgy photography exhibit “Parallel Kin”. The two photographers featured in the exhibit hail from Los Angeles and New Orleans respectively and their work combines to create a fresh new fusion of separate cultures and styles.

“This exhibit was all about Black expression,” Colbert says. “These photographs are intensely vulnerable and carry a unique perspective.” The newest exhibit is Brandon Brown’s “Twice as Nice” starting June 18 2022.

“Brandon is a multi-faceted artist,” says the gallery’s executive director, David Colbert. “He’s a fine artist and a top-tier actor. It’s a very unique exhibit and we’re very excited about it.”

The Artistic Revival of Compton

In 2018, Colbert created the Compton Art Walk, the first event of its kind in Compton. “I was inspired by the LA art walk,” Colbert says. “I wanted to create an event that was similar but with a Compton flair.”

The CAW highlights the creativity and accomplishments of the Black community. While the popular festival hasn’t been held over the past year, Colbert has plans to start it back up. “The Art Walk is a chance for participants of our programs to volunteer, participate and assist in every aspect of the festival,” says Colbert. “They help with planning, marketing, all the way to execution.”

“I am a third generation product of Compton,” Colbert says, “and I say that with pride. The Art Walk has been a way to gather the community and to offer local individuals a chance to volunteer, showcase their work, and network. It’s a vital ingredient to the local art scene.”

About David Colbert Jr.

David Colbert Jr. is the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Compton Art Walk Inc., established in 2018. He is the owner and one of the curators of Gallery 90220, which opened in 2021. Colbert studied sociology at California State University as has been recognized as one of LA’s top art curators.

Colbert is a devoted advocate for the arts, keen on fostering culture in his community. He has been recognized as a leading creative mind in Compton.

Colbert is also the Executive Producer of the Red Dot Series podcast, which features top young creatives from around the country. The podcast has enjoyed many notable guests, including Grammy award-winning artist Jairus Mozee. The series has also been featured on Vh1’s hit television series Black Ink.

Colbert has been interviewed by Harvard University to document his impact on the art scene in Compton, and his gallery was featured in the Los Angeles Times for providing a unique for reviving art culture and history in Compton and is recognized as a Black-owned business as part of Forbes Green Book Guide.

Colbert is currently developing an interactive artistic website designed for artists of color to build a community, sell their art, and share ideas: “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 is also designing a new line of art supplies that will cater specifically to artists of color. “We’re underrepresented in the world of art supplies,” Colbert reveals. “I’m designing a line of supplies that meet our needs.”From Rubble to Revival

Gallery 90220 started with an empty warehouse – plain brick walls, a dirt floor, darkness. But it also started with a dream. From that dirt floor has risen a gallery unlike any other, a place where both established and emerging artists of color can show the world what they can do.

Now the building is a work of art in and of itself, chic and functional at the same time, a crown jewel in the illustrious portfolio of Kevin Sherrod, a designer at Gensler Los Angeles and an avid supporter of the Compton Art Walk. Together, Colbert and Sherrod created a clean, stylistic space with clever art storage options, gorgeous natural lighting, office areas, and, most importantly, an overall sense of building up a community of Black and Brown artists.

Gallery 90220 is a contemporary art gallery located in an industrial stretch of Historic South-Central Los Angeles, California, and promotes Black art, culture, and Black-owned business. The new exhibit “Twice as Nice” by Brandon Brown opens June 18.

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