Bruria Finkel Honored by Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce



JAI artist Bruria Finkel has been creating art for six decades.  She works in a variety of media—ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, public art and sculpture.  She has participated in over 72 solo and group exhibitions in the United States and Europe.  Her work is also found in many private and public collections.  Finkel is one of the pioneers of the Los Angeles feminist art movement.  She has been curating exhibitions since the 1970s.  Her most recent shows have been at Arena 1 Gallery.  Locally, her work includes one of six designs chosen for Santa Monica bike project, A Wall of Water a Curtain of Light at Step Up on Second and murals for Olympic High School.  Finkel has also had an active public service career as a founder and board member of the Santa Monica Arts Commission (1982-1996).  A a long time leader in making Santa Monica a vibrant center for artists as well as the arts, an annual award in her name was created by the city in 2013 to honor an artist active in the community.

When she looks at Santa Monica she sees a magnet for creative people.  “Look at the freeways in the morning.” Finkel suggests, “They’re crammed with people coming to work in Santa Monica!”  She feels that people want to work in Santa Monica because it doesn’t look like any other downtown.  For her, the convergence of diverse cultures, age groups, socio-economic groups and differing languages compels Santa Monicans to be open to new ideas.

To Finkel, the future of Santa Monica is one where business will follow art.  The four new rail stations will be four new opportunities for public space and art.  Those art spaces will be followed by new residents and business.  For her it is a matter of life imitating art!

Bruria and her husband may have been the catalysts for brining the American Film Market to Santa Monica.  Years ago, over dinner with one of the executives of AFM, they hears their friend remark that AFM was tired of Beverly Hills.  “Why not try Santa Monica?” asked David, “We have all those new hotels,” “Why not try Santa Monica?” chimed Bruria, “We have all that art and all those creative people?”