Lacey Alyson Bryant works around the clock creating her own artwork while also running Kaleid gallery in downtown San Jose. Hosting over 80 artists since 2006, Kaleid—an extension of the Phantom Galleries project and Anno Domini—serves as an open studio for local artists. On the third Tuesday of each month, Kaleid throws an art party called “Two Buck Tuesdays” featuring live performances and select artwork on sale for $2.
Name: Lacey Alyson Bryant
Occupation: Artist/Manager of Kaleid Gallery
How long have you lived/worked in San Jose?
I grew up in Milpitas. Moved here in 2003. I started to run Kaleid in 2008.
At what point did you decide to stay in San Jose and pursue your career?
In 2004, I became serious about my painting career, but did nothing super awesome until 2008.
What is your favorite thing about San Jose?
The people, especially the art community. They are so open, friendly, and inspiring.
What inspired you to run Kaleid gallery?
There’s nothing like this gallery, as big and diverse. It’s something special.
What was the first painting you ever sold?
Oh, I don’t know…that was such a long time ago (laughs). Lets see… I went to college in Fremont when I was around 18 or 19. I had done a little square painting from a random photograph of my father with cats.
Most of the subjects you paint seem to be children and animals, many of which have birds and little girls. How do you decide what your are going to paint?
I… can’t really describe what I’m thinking at the moment. Something in my head just comes out (laughs). I don’t just paint children, but there’s something about a child’s face that means who we are. I like that sort of innocence playing against dark elements.
Are they usually symbolic?
I like them to be symbolic or ambiguous… or interpreted in a couple of ways. A bird, for example, could mean freedom or escaping. I painted a bird coming out of a girls mouth… it was more about the bird as sort of a representation about what you make, not knowing where they come from.
You are also a belly dancer, a tree climber, snorkeler, a baker. Which has had the most impact on your art?
Painting is my biggest passion. But I value all these other talents that come in. I did theater for years, so I’d often paint the stage scenes. I’ve painted Great America’s Haunted House. I like creating large environments.
Where do you go to unwind when you are not making art or working at the gallery?
I like to bake, a lot of knitting, except… that turns into special orders for people, so it’s still working I guess (laughs). I don’t normally get that much free time. Just go home, eat, and watch a couple of movies.
Who is the most interesting person you know in San Jose?
That’s a hard one! My favorite are the random people. Like Darius B’Alexander, who comes in a lot. He works at Fed Ex on the Alameda. He’s always making something weird out of trash. That’s the cool part about working here, you meet random people.