Gianna and Dee Kerrison are married executives who work in the financial service sector. But you could say their life's work is collecting art, specifically, the work of African Americans and other artists of color.
They're among Southern California's best-known collectors of work by such artists. KPCC's Josie Huang spoke to the couple before the holidays and Dee explained how they first got started after moving from New York to Orange County almost 20 years ago.
"We were used to a huge amount of culture, and Newport Beach was relatively culturally bereft," said Dee Kerrison, "especially when we moved down there. So, we always went to Los Angeles."
Their collecting started with photography, but when they began to hyperfocus on Los Angeles, it shifted to contemporary art.
Dee: "We like work that reflects our experience. You know, we're African American, my parents are from the south, they're part of that great migration. So, we sort of like work that tells a story, arguably, work that's political."
For the Kerrisons, it wasn't only about collecting art but helping artists navigate the intimidating waters of the art world.
Gianna: "We may not be able to financially pay for or financially afford the work, but what we find important is being there to support them...I think it's a really important thing to follow them through their journey."
The Kerrisons also spoke about how things have changed for artists of color since they began collecting and where they hope things will go in the future.