Studio Brunstrum

Winging My Way to LA – Day 3

March 5, 2014

OK, I am officially tired but enthused about every minute of my time in LA so far... and was I in for a real treat on Saturday.

OK, I am officially tired but enthused about every minute of my time in LA so far... and was I in for a real treat on Saturday. Mid-day we toured two private art collections with FOCA (Fellows of Contemporary Art)- a group Connie recently joined and has traveled with both in the states and abroad. The first collection was at the home of Blake Byrne. Remember I mentioned him earlier? Mr. Byrne gave us quite a tour (I think this is not his first rodeo!) and told us how he got his start in 1986 - a newly divorced TV executive with Disney that had an adventuresome spirit and an extra $60,000 to spend on a starter collection of contemporary art. He attended the Basil Art Fair in Switzerland made a list of what he liked, contacted an art dealer in NY whose gallery he walked by every day to and from work, then bought his first 6 pieces by such artists as James Turrell, Marlene Dumas and Juan Munoz. Now considered one of the premier collectors in  LA and across the country, he has gifted and or loaned many of his pieces to museums  across the country so that others may share and enjoy in his vast collection.  He is a full time philanthropist running Skylark Foundation and is more than an avid collector. Based on his musings to our group, he loves discovering artists and is happy to let those who view his collection share their own opinion as to what pieces of art "call their name" and  say "stop, look at me"! He enjoys the individuality of it all.Photo Courtesy of

For our next private collection we went to the home of Mary Morris. Interestingly, the two live within a few blocks of each other. A petite white-haired fireball with Harry Potter like black glasses, I so enjoyed her dedication and passion for art! Well known for finding young artists, her home did not feel "collected", instead it felt more personal, an extension of each artist and their time collaborating together... pieces that had meaning to their relationship. And, the homemade cookies from her grand-daughter were a bonus. Mary is someone I want to learn more about... she has shaped and been involved with much of the public art commissioned for the streets and buildings in LA.

Photo Courtesy of

A quick trip to the Mark Moore Gallery to pick up a piece of art that Connie recently purchased and then onto a late afternoon of jewelry shopping at the home of Krista Everage.  Check out her website at for one of a kind beautiful pieces. Krista is an interior designer as well as a jewelry designer. To have two talents... I only wish! We met Wendi Young, our dear designer friend from Newport Beach at Krista's. The three of us had delightful time drinking champagne, eating strawberries and determining what  "jewels" of Krista's we could not live without! I can't wait for my ring and earrings to arrive as I was only able to wear one ring home. Having received many compliments on it, I think it will need to replace my boy-toy ring from Paris as my signature ring! Hmm, we will see.. plus I keep mulling over a gorgeous pearl necklace that Connie, Wendi and I all loved. Why can't we all have the same one? We each have different styles so it will unique on each of us. Or maybe we can each wear it for four months and then send it on... sounds reminiscent of the Traveling Pants book.

Photo Courtesy of

To end our day we had dinner at Red O with both Wendi and Brandt.  Renowned Chicago chef, Rick Bayless known for the Frontera Grill (one of my favs) and Topolobampo is the force behind the Red O in LA and Newport Beach and is responsible for changing the image of Mexican food.  Mexican food is not one of my go to's but his dishes I love. My salmon was delicious and so were my vodka mint gimlets, however the music was less than desirable. We all thought it was karaoke night and it was NOT.

Photo Courtesy of Red O

Susan Brunstrum
Previous article Next article

You Might Also Like

Connect With Us

Our monthly journal and weekly blogs are designed to inspire.

Studio Brunstrum