by Laurie Rosenthal
When married couples reach their 10-year anniversary, they often celebrate with gifts made of aluminum or tin.
Art advisor Jacquie Israel is now celebrating the 10th anniversary of her popular Art House, and although metal wasn’t involved, she did have opening-weekend festivities that included a virtual reality demonstration by artist duo Friends With You, as well as a tea tasting and poetry on demand.
Despite a decade of hosting successful Art House exhibits in Pacific Palisades, Israel does have moments of uncertainty, almost wondering if she’s throwing a party that no one will attend. She is always pleasantly surprised.
“I was really so grateful to see so many people came out for it,” she said, noting that hundreds of people of all ages (including kids) attended her open house in March. Some came to look, some came to learn, some came to buy, and many came for a combination of the three.
There is no discernible pattern to how Israel’s clients purchase art. For some, it’s an instantaneous decision, and they buy a piece before the weekend is over. Others are more circumspect and may take days, weeks or even months to commit.
“Often people come to my event to see the different styles of work, and then invite me to their homes so I can get a sense of their style,” Israel said. She truly enjoys advising people, and working with them to find something that they love.
Israel has eclectic taste, and chooses a wide variety of pieces for her shows, knowing that there are often intangible reasons people like certain works. Over the years, she has observed that nature images are well liked.
“I am noticing a lot of artists are working with nature, which I’m happy about, because for a long time it was hard to find natural images that weren’t cliché.”
She has been showing artist Ed Freeman, based in Chinatown, for 10 years. “People still love his work,” she said. A more recent find is artist Lisa Golightly’s paintings, which are “nostalgic images of pools and the beach” that resonate with people.
Art is Israel’s passion, and she loves observing what individuals are drawn to.
“Every person has all these different facets, and they all respond to something differently. It’s so interesting, for me, to see what people like.”
Heidi Brooks first attended Art House about six years ago and has bought pieces from Israel.
“I love the way Jacquie describes the pieces she shares,” Brooks said. “I’ve learned there is always a great story to uncover behind the piece or the artist.”
Israel has branched out and is now committed to using her art knowledge to help others, or “curating for causes,” as she puts it. She also has offered her services as a fundraising and auction person for various organizations, including neighbor Cathy Salser’s A Window Between Worlds, Juvenile Diabetes and the Venice Art Walk.
“When Jacquie opens her Art House doors, it feels like Iliff Street nourishes the whole neighborhood with creativity,” Salser said. “She has opened her heart and home to support AWBW over the years to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by violence and trauma.
“The relationships that have been created between our supporters and her artists have deepened our mission,” Salser added. “What an inspiration it is being Jacquie’s neighbor. It feels like you walk out of her home seeing with new eyes, and that’s truly a gift.”
In addition to consulting and curating, Israel takes people on tours of galleries. Her Art House Art Adventures include visits to artists’ studios, well-known galleries and up-and-coming art spaces.
“A lot of people don’t go out and see art,” she says, adding that going downtown to galleries feels like a vacation to some who never venture east. Educating people about art fulfills her, and she is happy that the response to the tours has been overwhelmingly positive.
Art forms are constantly evolving, and Israel is always looking to see what’s next. Since Los Angeles is now considered a serious art city, she enjoys enlightening people about “these insane developments that are happening in the world of creativity and visual arts.”
Though Israel has had hundreds—possibly thousands—of pieces of art on her walls over 10 years of Art House exhibits, she has only bought one, which holds a prominent position in the dining room.
“The one piece of work says ‘YES’ in neon, which I never knew I was a fan of until it was in my home. But I love what neon does. It’s kind of like art that says, ‘You have to look at me; you cannot not look at me.’ And it says the word ‘YES,’ and I think yes is a good word to say.”
She jokes that one day, when she stops doing Art House (if that ever happens), “I will probably have the most bland walls.” Recently the artist Chase, whose work Israel has been showing for years, painted something on her outside patio wall. An image he did years ago remains on her garage door.
A native New Yorker, Israel was exposed to art from a young age, but is sensitive to the fact that not everyone has had that opportunity. For many, galleries are overwhelming and intimidating.
“I’ve reaped the rewards of what it’s like to look at something and not understand it, and then learn about it and be so excited about what I’ve learned. And I feel that I want other people to share that,” she said.
Putting on Art House is a lot of work for Israel, who does everything herself, but the results are extremely gratifying.
“I feel that people really appreciate having a place to see art. In that way, I kind of think of it as a service that I’m providing to people.” Israel’s home always has art on the walls, and she welcomes visitors.
If time permits, she may do a second exhibit this year, as she did last year.
Family support is important to Israel, and her husband, David, and sons Orly, 23, Erel, 19 and Rafe, 15, are all used to art enthusiasts roaming through their house.
“David has a visceral appreciation for the art, and loves having the wide variety of work around the house,” Israel said.
She loves the creative process, and being around those who express themselves with new ideas.
“It’s where I like to live the most.”
Art House is up through April, and can be seen by appointment. For more information about Israel’s art advising or guided gallery tours, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.