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Cindy, We Miss You! Interview with new L.A. transplant, Cindy Rehm

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The beach down the street.

Cara: How long did you live in Baltimore? What are your fondest memories or experiences? What do you miss about Baltimore?

Cindy: I came to Baltimore in 1992, so that makes sixteen years! I’ve always loved the DIY spirit of Baltimore. It’s an easy place to live, so there always seems to be a healthy underground of people making art and music.

My fondest memories of Baltimore include eating at Cultured Pearl, hanging out at the old Rendezvous (it’s where my dog Gromit was put into my arms as a stray pup!) and dancing really hard at the Depot and Zodiac. When I first moved to town I loved the 14K Cabaret and the Charles Theater. I also have a giant soft spot for the St John’s Church space. It’s where I did my first public performance, and I organized several events there. It’s such a beautiful space, I’m really happy folks have started using it on a regular basis. My time doing spare room was also wonderful! I got to connect with so many talented artists and it was super cool to have a room full of art in my house every month.

I miss all my Baltimore pals, Golden West on a Sunday morning, Robert E Lee Park, vintage shopping in Hampden, Atomic Books, AVAM, haircuts at Sprout, Woodberry Kitchen and the Book Thing.

Cara: Why did you choose to move to Los Angeles?

Cindy: For the past three years I’ve been living between Baltimore and Murfreesboro, TN (it’s just outside of Nashville.) I went there for a teaching position, but my husband, Bill Sebring, had to stay in Baltimore for his job. We were sick of the long distance and decided to move to a city where we could both find work. Bill was able to transfer here, so that part was easy. I’m in the process of looking for teaching positions. Over the past few years, we’ve spent some time in LA and we both loved the climate and the rich culture. We were ready for a change, so we just took the leap!

Cara: So far, how is LA different than Baltimore?

Gromitt in the backyard

Cindy: To state the obvious, it’s not freezing in the winter. I hate being cold, so I’m really loving the 70 degree weather! The landscape here is really stunning, full of palm trees and mountain ranges. When I drive to the dog park, I can catch a glimpse of the ocean. Also, LA is a gigantic and diverse city. The museums here are top notch and they have really great public programming.

Cara: What are your newest projects – either stuff you are currently working on or are about to begin?

Cindy: Sadly, there hasn’t been much time for art in the last month! I finished a video piece just before the final pack in Baltimore. For my past few video pieces, I’ve had other women perform. It gives me the opportunity to focus on filming and I get a better variety of shots. My last piece was a kind of lovelorn piece with red flowers and the gutting of fish. I’m happy to say it’s just been selected for screening at LACE here in LA. It’s an event called My Bloody Valentine, so I think my work will fit right in!

Gutted Video Still

I don’t know many people here in LA, so I anticipate I may be back in front of the camera for my next video. I have no idea how the work will transpire, but I think it’s going to be filmed outdoors. I’m also itching to start drawing again. I got a few sheets of lovely gray paper today. I’ve been into really labor-intensive mark making with ink and brush; making hair veils one stand at a time. My new studio is really bright with a view out to the backyard. I don’t know if I’ll be able to make the same things I made before, but I’m not sure what
comes next!

Cara: What opportunities for artists will you take advantage of in L.A.?

Cindy: There is a healthy gallery scene here, which has really grown in the past ten years. I’ve found the galleries to be much more approachable than their counterparts in Chelsea. I haven’t been with a gallery for a long time, and for a while, I was more interested in installation and temporary materials. These days I’m more open to the idea and I may pursue it more intently in the future.

There’s also a thriving scene of artist collectives here, which I’m hoping to tap into. There’s a space called Machine Project that does a hybrid of art projects and community education. I haven’t been to the space yet, but I’m always fascinated by their offerings. http://machineproject.com/

Cara: What already pisses you off about California? If anything …

Cindy: I know it’s cliché, but the traffic sucks! My other big complaint is the crappiness of the 99cent stores! I always haunt the dollar stores for good finds, but the stores here are terrible!

Cara: What galleries and museums are nearby? What shows are up? What are you seeing or about to go see?

Cindy: It’s really exciting to live in a town with several major museums. I missed the Francis Alÿs, Fabiola show when it was in NY, so I was really happy it was here. It’s one of the best things I’ve seen in a while. It’s a collection of hundreds of renderings of Saint Fabiola hung together floor to ceiling in a single large room. I want to go see it again before it leaves. http://www.lacma.org/art/ExhibAlys.aspx

Fabiola

The Louise Bourgeois show is here now. I saw it in NY, but want to go again. It’s an incredible collection of her work. She’s one of my heros! The show will be in DC in the spring, so go if you haven’t seen it!! http://www.moca.org/museum/exhibitiondetail.php?id=412

There’s also a book show at the MOCA, To Illustrate and Multiply: An Open Book which looks really good and they have an excellent website for the show http://www.moca.org/openbook/

There are gallery openings every weekend, so I’m hoping to get an art day soon!

Cara: I am glad you are enjoying the warmth and new experiences. Remember you will always have a home here in Baltimore and lots of us miss you!! You are great.

To keep up with Cindy, please check her website at http://cindyrehm.com.

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