This piece is part of our 21 Local Innovators To Watch roundup in the August 2022 print issue of District Fray. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Leona is the curator and owner of Arts in Color. Visit their location at 1843 14th St. NW or visit artsincolorcuratorial.com to shop their inventory and peruse the artists she represents both domestically and internationally.
District Fray: D.C.’s Art Scene
Satarra Leona: I’ve lived in the DMV a majority of my life, but growing up, I used to travel a lot. I also lived in Tokyo, Japan, lived in Honolulu and also visited different countries. I’ve seen how big the art scene is, and how it can really become something huge. My dad would always take me to different art galleries and museums, and when I was a teenager I got jobs and internships at different galleries here in D.C. I noticed the galleries didn’t offer a lot of opportunities for local artists, especially exhibition space. I’ve always had a goal and aspiration to give back to local artists. I want to give artists opportunities. In February 2021, I opened up Arts in Color, which features local and international artists. We also offer exhibition space for artists in general, including visual artists, photographers and designers.
Age in art
This past semester, I was blessed enough to teach a curation course at Howard University. I’m 23 now, but was only 22 when I was teaching. I was a little nervous because most people that are involved in the art world, especially gallery owners, are aged 35+. Some people don’t take me seriously because I’m so young, but I quickly realized I know who I am. I’m very confident and don’t really focus on anything else. I want to encourage people to do anything they want and be anything they want. I went to school for business, and I always knew I wanted to be a business owner. Being young and Black, there are a lot of things stacked against me, but I want to show I can overcome [any odds] and be successful.
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