Gianna Drake-Kerrison Joins Board of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts

The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts announced today the appointment of Gianna Drake-Kerrison to its Board of Directors. She joins other members Elizabeth Armstrong, Connie Butler, Glenn Kaino, Miwon Kwon, Claire Peeps, Ed Rada, Gary Simmons and Pilar Tompkins Rivas.

“It is our great honor to welcome Gianna to the board of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts,” says Foundation Board Chair Miwon Kwon. “She brings a deep understanding and love of contemporary art and a sense of commitment to community, as well as a financial acumen that will be invaluable to the Foundation as we continue our work to fulfill its mission of advancing Mike Kelley’s spirit of critical thinking, risk taking and provocation in the arts.”

Based in Orange County, Drake-Kerrison is a highly accomplished and trusted wealth management advisor with over 25 years of experience in the financial services sector, who collaborates with her husband Dee Kerrison at UBS Financial Services, Inc. Drake-Kerrison also serves as a member of the Multicultural Investor Financial Advisory Board at UBS, contributing her insights to foster diversity and inclusion within the organization.

Passionate about the arts, she and her husband have been dedicated contemporary art collectors for over two decades, enriching their lives with a deep appreciation for creativity and expression. She is especially committed to empowering women and supporting her community and has done so through her past philanthropic leadership roles, including her tenure as the former Board Chair of Girls Inc. of Orange County and her involvement as an Advisory Committee member for the Girls Inc. National Board. She has also contributed her expertise as a former Board Member of New Directions for Women. Currently, Drake-Kerrison is actively involved with The Hammer Museum, where her husband serves on the Board of Advisors.

“I’m thrilled to join the board of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts—I am passionate about art and the ways in which it positively impacts lives. I look forward to being able to support artists and arts organizations through the work of the Foundation,” said Drake-Kerrison.

The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts was founded in 2007 by artist Mike Kelley and is led by Executive Director Mary Clare Stevens. Through grants such as the Artist Projects Grants and Organizational Support Grants, the Foundation seeks to further the artist’s philanthropic work, supporting innovative projects and organizations that reflect Kelley’s multifaceted artistic practice. Since 2016, the Foundation has awarded close to $400,000 annually to support the creation of vital and often difficult-to-produce work in Los Angeles County.

“Gianna has been an important figure in the Southern California art world for years, and her love for art, combined with her understanding of what it takes to fund it, is a rare thing. Her enthusiasm for the Foundation’s work is infectious—we are lucky to have her join the Board and to be guided by her expertise,” added Stevens.

About the Foundation

The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts advances the artist’s spirit of critical thinking, risk taking, and provocation in the arts. Established by Kelley in 2007, the Foundation seeks to further Kelley’s philanthropic work through grants to arts organizations and artists for innovative projects that reflect his multifaceted artistic practice.

The Foundation also preserves the artist’s legacy more broadly and fosters the understanding of his life and creative achievements through educational initiatives including exhibitions, educational events, publications and the preservation and care of the Foundation’s art collections and archives.

About the Artist

The work of artist Mike Kelley (1954–2012) embraced performance, installation, drawing, painting, video, sound works, and sculpture. Kelley began his career in the late 1970s with solo performances, image/text works, and gallery and site-specific installations. He came to prominence in the 1980s with a series of sculptures composed of common craft materials. The artist’s later work addressed architecture and filmic narratives using the theory of repressed memory syndrome coupled with sustained biographic and pseudo-biographic inquiry into his own aesthetic and social history. Regarded as one of the most influential artists of our time, Kelley produced a body of deeply innovative work in dialogue with American popular culture as well as both modernist and alternative traditions.