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Gallery Night Director Brian Mallman Steps Down, Glass Studio's Cathi Milligan to Take Reins

Glass Studio Owner Cathi Milligan will take charge of organizing the monthly event focused on featuring local galleries.

Saying that the time has come for a transition in leadership, NELAart Second Saturday Gallery Night Director Brian Mallman has decided to step down from his post.

“After several months of consideration I have decided that it is time for me to move on from NELAart Gallery Night to spend more time in my studio,” Mallman said in an email sent to gallery night participants. “It has been nearly six years, and I'm proud of what the local artists, galleries and community [members] have accomplished. With everyone’s participation, gallery night has achieved all the goals that were initially set.”

One of the premiere cultural events in Northeast Los Angeles, gallery night brings thousands of art lovers to Highland Park on the second Saturday of every month as gallery and studio owners open their doors to the public.

Mallman said he is handing gallery night’s reins over to owner Cathi Milligan, who has stepped up in previous months to assist him with coordinating the event.

“This change was needed,” Mallman said. “Gallery night has grown quickly and Cathi brings skills to this that are needed at this level.”

Milligan said she is eager to help “move gallery night forward.”

“I can’t see this thing die,” she said. “My goal is to make sure everyone is on the same page, and I’ll be doing outreach to local gallery owners to learn what they want.”

Mallman, who organized gallery night for six years, said it was critical that participants in the event rallied around Milligan in her new role as director.

“This is a good thing, and it had to happen,” Mallman said. “If the community wants this thing to thrive, they have to get behind this transition.”

He said he would remain involved in gallery night in a limited capacity to help guide Milligan through the transition.

Gallery Night in Transition

Milligan is stepping into her role as Gallery Night director in the wake of Owner Glare Graham's decision to close his doors to the public.

Graham posted on his blog he would no longer be able to participate in gallery night due to

Zenay Loera, a field deputy for Huizar’s office who spoke directly with Graham, told Patch on Monday that the city has no intention of charging fees to gallery night participants.

“I think it was a misunderstanding,” Loera said “Maybe it was the terms we used that possibly set him off. We didn't talk about fees, we did talk to him about liability and we wanted to make sure he knew what his liability was as a participant in the event and talk to him about the city’s liability is as well.”

Loera added that she hoped that Graham would reconsider his decision to stop participating in Gallery Night.

“We’re here to assist,” Loera said. “I don't know, to be quite honest, where that miscommunication occurred. I hope he would reconsider and see the potential of what’s to come.”

Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch has reached out to Graham via email but has yet to hear back.

Mallman said, given what has happened over the last week, it was important for the arts community to not get hung up on fears about fees or assigning blame.

“If we get caught up in assigning blame and ‘who said what’ this whole thing is going to fail,” Mallman said. “If everyone can be cool and relax, we’ll be fine. But, we’ll kill gallery night if we resort to the blame game.”

Rob Schraff October 18, 2011 at 04:04 PM
WHEW! Thank goodness councilman Huizar and his staff have stepped in to try and save Second Saturdays – from councilman Huizar and his staff. And let’s remember there was never any mention of “fees” – just some friendly CD-14 staff complaints about disorderly behavior and helpful legal advice about liability exposure and such. I'm glad that "misunderstanding" has been cleared up. I also didn’t realize the councilman and his staff had a plan for Second Saturdays and I’m looking forward to hearing soon from Councilman Huizar and Ms. Loara of “the potential of what is to come” now that they have seemingly stage-managed this transition. Thank you Brian and Clare for years of selfless service and some great Saturday nights. It was fun.
stuart rapeport October 18, 2011 at 04:12 PM
Brian thanks you for all your efforts to create, organize and maintain Gallery Night. The generosity of Clare Graham to open his studio to the public. Their contributions have been priceless. Looking forward to see Brian's new work. good luck Kathi.
Mark Reback October 18, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Yes, thanks to Brian for all your hard work, and Cathi will be a great steward going forward!
HPLA October 18, 2011 at 05:46 PM
"Maybe it was the terms we used that possibly set him off." Maybe it's Huizar's staffers' inability to communicate in a professional manner, or to articulate a thought clearly, that caused this "confusion."
Janet Alvarado Dodson October 18, 2011 at 06:22 PM
The supportive, professional, and articulate staff of CD 14 did not "stage manage" this transition. It was Brian's decision to step back, and Cathi's to step up. She is highly capable, and she is not alone. Cathi will be helped by many in the Highland Park art, business, and civic community who understand the potential of art in HP. This wonderful project will grow and develop beyond a once a month single night. Thank you Brian for all your work, and for the vision. See you on the street.
David Fonseca (Editor) October 18, 2011 at 06:33 PM
I didn't include this in the story, but maybe I should have: Brian assured me that he was not being forced out by CD 14. I asked this question at least three times, and he dismissed it out of hand each times. "Definitely not."
Cathi Milligan October 18, 2011 at 09:52 PM
Rob...no one has said the Councilman's office has stepped in. This is a grassroots operation that is done for the love of art and of the NELA community. The event will continue and I'm hoping it will grow into something more than it already is. Continue to attend and have a good time because I plan to continue to have monthly events and show great art.
Alberto October 20, 2011 at 09:40 PM
Definitely from the outside but big up to Brian Mallman for directing such a positive, enlivening activity in Highland Park. I've talked with Cathi just a couple of times and wish her - and Second Saturdays - continued success.
anita acosta October 22, 2011 at 07:15 PM
Wow, I leave town for a week and return to this!! Brian Mallman gave blood sweat and tears into developing the idea of the NELA Map on his own time and of course for no pay. I am saddened that he is leaving, his own art and smarts put NELA on the Map, pun intended!! Brian's Map!! He gave personal time relentlessly because he is a good guy with community spirit in mind. Seven years is a long time for sure. La Vida Loca galeria multicultural community center will hold a Roast for Brian within the next 3 weeks, Keep posted, a good guy, an artist and a humanitarian thats Brian. He deserves a toast on his way to paint in his own studio!!! Thanks again Brian for been so considerate when we opened our store and taking your time to come by with your boy and look around, chat etc...aaacosta Note: will communicate re: date for Your Roast....
Susan C November 03, 2011 at 07:04 PM
You rocked it Brian... You are and will always be a positive force in NELA!
Marla Street November 08, 2011 at 12:09 AM
Cathi! OMG! I can't seem to pull the map off the NELA site?! I keep getting an error message, please help.
anita acosta November 10, 2011 at 04:58 PM
Cat, looking for map? your neighbor aaa
Cathi Milligan November 10, 2011 at 05:51 PM
Hey Anita...click on the link. The map is there. Has been. Enjoy...
anita acosta November 17, 2011 at 12:50 AM
thanx Cat.

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