George Lucas and Mark Bradford to Share Stage at LACMA's Art + Film Gala

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The event, always an intersection of art, film, fashion and entertainment notables, will once again be co-chaired by Eva Chow and Leonardo DiCaprio.

George Lucas and Mark Bradford have a date with LACMA this fall.

The museum announced today that the legendary filmmaker and the beloved local artist will take the stage as honorees at the 2017 Art + Film Gala on Nov. 4. 

Though the event puts Art + Film on the invite, fashion is always a headliner, and this one, its seventh annual, will be the same as Gucci returns as a presenting sponsor. Also back: Co-chairs Eva Chow, a LACMA trustee, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Proceeds from gala benefit LACMA’s initiative to make film more central to the museum’s curatorial programming, while also serving the museum's broader mission. The 2016 outing — honoring filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow and artist Robert Irwin — pulled in nearly $4 million with north of 500 guests, all of whom gathered in a special tented structure behind the museum. 

In making the announcement, LACMA CEO Michael Govan praised his institution's history with Bradford as well as Lucas's upcoming museum of his own. “LACMA has enjoyed a long relationship with Mark, from our first purchase of his work in 2002 as part of the museum's 'Art Here and Now' program to the acquisition of his monumental 2013 painting Shoot the Coin. He was also co-curator and artist of our founding exhibition at Charles White Elementary School, which set a new direction for our many education and community programs,” said Govan, who also serves as Wallis Annenberg director. “George is known worldwide as having made some of the most innovative and beloved films in history. He has also been devoted to collecting a wide variety of narrative visual arts, with his efforts culminating very soon in the construction of a new museum in Exposition Park. George’s epic new museum is one of the greatest cultural philanthropic gifts ever made in Los Angeles, and will benefit local communities as well as encourage a deeper understanding of narrative arts.”

In its release, the museum also noted the duo's shared commitment to education. Bradford has invested in the Los Angeles community with Art + Practice, an organization that brings museum-quality art exhibitions and youth services to Leimert Park. Lucas founded the George Lucas Educational Foundation, which provides real-world information at the parent, teacher and school level along with community connections to impact the course of learning and promote lifelong achievement.

Lucas, born in 1944 in Modesto, Calif., is best known for marrying storytelling and cutting-edge technology in franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. In addition to his George Lucas Educational Foundation (Edutopia.org), he serves on the board of The Film Foundation and the USC School of Cinematic Arts Board of Councilors. Among his many honors are the National Medal of Technology; the National Medal of Arts; the NAACP Vanguard Award; and the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal. In 2017, the Los Angeles City Council approved plans to build the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which will include galleries, theaters, lecture halls, a library, classrooms, green space and a cafe and restaurant. The self-financed institution is being prepped to open in 2021 in Exposition Park.

Bradford, born in L.A. in 1961, lives and works in the city. He's a grad of the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, Calif., and is coming off a well-received run representing the United States at La Biennale di Venezia with a major solo show in the U.S. Pavilion. "Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day" is on view from through Nov. 26, in Venice, Italy. Up next: In November, Bradford will present Pickett's Charge, a monumental commissioned cyclorama of paintings at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

Among his other honors, Bradford received the David C. Driskell Prize (2016); the U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts (2015); elected as National Academician by the National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts in New York (2013); the MacArthur Fellowship (2009); the Wexner Center Residency Award (2009) and the Bucksbaum Award, granted by The Whitney Museum of American Art (2006).

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