Collector, philanthropist and style savant, Manhattan Beach’s Homeira Goldstein champions cultural consciousness in South Bay circles and beyond.
What is your earliest memory of art awakening your creative conscience?
HG: When I was around 11 years old. I designed and made a dress with no instruction or training. I did not know what I was doing, but creating it felt great. Fashion was very much part of my upbringing. I loved watching my mother dress for the evening soirees she and my father attended.
When did you first become involved the South Bay arts scene?
HG: In early 1991, when I moved to Manhattan Beach from the Westside, I was not adjusting well to the no-art culture in Manhattan Beach, so I was not happy with the move. The late Jason Lane, the former mayor and city council member at that time, thought I should get involved with the city to discover how wonderful this community is. He nominated me to be appointed to the city of Manhattan Beach Cultural Art Commission. Jason was a wise man. He knew my sense of commitment and responsibility. It was like magic, and it worked. The rest is history.
The home you share with your husband Arnold rivals a museum with the extensive collection of art you both have amassed. What do you look for in an artist or piece when considering it for inclusion in your living space?
HG: Artists try to speak their truth and their consciousness through their artwork and medium. They try to provoke your sense of curiosity and inquisitiveness with their work and lead you through the layers. It is also the delivery of their message. The visual presentation of the piece is also important to me because contemporary artworks have become more conceptual and have broken the boundaries into all art disciplines. I care very much about what I see first and then let it take me on a journey.
Tell us a little about ARTS Manhattan.
HG: ARTS Manhattan is very important to me, as it is the only viable art organization in Manhattan Beach that has been bringing art to our community for the past 20 years. Since 2001, we have curated 17 exhibitions at the Manhattan Beach Art Center. Like many other art organizations, we are going through some hard times, as we have lost some of our financial support, including our grant from the city of Manhattan Beach. However, we want to make sure that we continue our programs to the best that we can. We have a number of art conversations and art tours as well as an exhibition planned for 2011.
You have incredible style. How does your love of art translate into a love of fashion?
HG: I am a fashionholic, if there is such a word. I believe fashion is another form of art. It is an expression of who you are and your creative sense. For me, art is in everything we do on a daily basis. It is an attitude and a way of life.
Has an artist ever referred to you as his or her muse?
HG: Yes! Especially Yoshio Ekezaki, a Japanese artist and professor. He is one the best paper makers and creates incredible paper sculptures, among his other works of sumi ink and collages. When I saw his work, I encouraged him to spend more time making art, as I found it quite moving. I gave him an art conversation soiree at our home and an exhibition at the Manhattan Beach Art Center, where he was discovered by a couple of galleries, and today he is represented by Heather James Gallery in Palm Desert and will have a show by PYO gallery in Los Angeles in March. I am so humbled by his expression of gratitude to me for his success.