To the community of artists, critics, writers, collectors, staff members, and anyone else who has or continues to support CB1 Gallery and its owners, Clyde Beswick and Jason Chang:
We are a community of artists who have worked for or with CB1 Gallery in some capacity over the past five years. Clyde Beswick, the owner and director of the gallery, and Jason Chang, co-owner, have consistently failed to honor the gallery’s contracts, both written and verbal, with the artists they have worked with, resulting in financial damage and extensive harm to the studio practices among the community they supposedly foster. This abuse appears to us to be systematic and so we feel it is time to speak out.
The gallery has:
1) Consistently failed to pay according to the terms of contracts with the artists it has worked with.
2) Failed to pay even on terms of legal judgment, as several artists have already filed lawsuits against the gallery and its owners.
3) Consistently written checks that bounce and promised checks that never arrived.
4) Repeatedly sold work without informing the artist.
Many of us have ended our relationship with the gallery as a result of Mr. Beswick’s and Mr. Chang’s dishonesty and failure to live up to even the most basic requests such as small payments paid out over long periods of time.
Mr. Beswick’s history of fraud and embezzlement was described, along with his gallery and his supposed re-commitment to the arts community, in the LA Times article, The fall and rise of Clyde Beswick and his CB1 Gallery’s new downtown digs, by Carolina Miranda (Jan, 2015). We believed, as much of the LA arts community apparently did, that Mr. Beswick’s reform was an honest one. We were grateful for the opportunity his gallery provided as a space for exhibiting work and building a web of engaged, active members of the larger Los Angeles art community.
Unfortunately, our experience has proven otherwise. Mr. Beswick, along with Mr. Chang, have squandered the good will that the paper of record granted them and in so doing have not only caused financial damage to the artists but also have fractured and insulted the community they have worked with. Because the legal system has not yet afforded us any resolution and because Mr. Beswick and Mr. Chang persist at the abovementioned behavior, we are sending this letter so that anyone involved with the gallery may make their own informed decision about their future dealings with the gallery and its owners.
We hope that our actions will help to uncover the wrong-doing done to our community, that artists get paid for their portion of the work that has helped to keep the gallery in business, and that we may find strength in working together rather than be fractured by these experiences.
We* sign below as
1) Artists currently affected by the gallery's mishandling of its business (with outstanding receivables from sales as far back as 2012)
Emily Davis Adams
2) Artists previously affected by the gallery's mishandling of its business and others who sign in solidarity with those affected
*If you would like to add your name to the letter, please email ArtistsvCB1Gallery@gmail.com with 'Add my name' in the subject box and the category to which you would like to be added in the message. Thank you for your support.