Marlaya Charleston signature


Artist Statement

Marlaya CharlestonI experience much joy expressing my ideas and passions through my art. I am always surprised at the result as I am working spontaneously, focusing on the process as opposed to working for a particular outcome. In my recent work, I am enjoying the playfulness I experience when making my whimsical animal watercolors and my mixed media/collages.

Recently, in my spiritual searching and exploring, I have been breaking apart the ideas and meanings that I have given to myself and this world. I am allowing myself to let these ideas go and become open to new possibilities and ways of seeing. I am applying this same process with my mixed media/collages where I break up images and shapes, add colors and lines, move them around and allow the energy to flow. The joy of this new openness is expressed through both my mixed media pieces and my imaginary animal watercolors.

~ Marlaya Charleston ~


Artist Bio

Marlaya Charleston has been drawing and painting since the age of twelve. She began her formal training at the age of sixteen at The Art Students League in New York City. Growing up there, she had the privilege, at a young age, to visit the Modern Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Guggenheim Museum where she was moved and inspired. She continued her studies in New York at Parsons School of Design, Cooper Union and eventually earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from The School of Visual Arts.

Her influences are African Art, The German Expressionists, Picasso and Matisse.

In her latest work, Marlaya continues her artistic exploration by making compositions combining realistic images with abstract shape, texture and color and whimsical animal watercolors.

Her works have appeared throughout the Los Angeles area and are collected internationally.




School of Visual Arts     New York, N.Y.     Bachelor of Fine Arts

Parsons School of Design     New York, N.Y.

Cooper Union     New York, N.Y.

Art Students League     New York, N.Y.

Creativity, Visual Art, Movement, and Performing Workshops and Classes
    New York and Los Angeles     student and teacher

Carol Bodlander     Venice, CA

Right Brain Drawing     Whizin Center for the Arts


Selected Group Exhibitions:

bG Gallery   @   L.A. Art Show     Los Angeles Convention Center     Los Angeles, CA     2020

bG Gallery   @   Bergamont Station     Santa Monica, CA     2020

Nutra Gallery and Museum     Silver Lake, CA     2020

bG Gallery     Ocean Park, CA     2019

Blue7 Gallery     Santa Monica, CA     2017, 2018, 2019

San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center     Tarzana, CA     2017, 2018

La La Ling     Los Feliz, CA     2016

Lark Gallery     Hawthorne, CA     2016

Brentwood Library     Brentwood, CA     2015

Dysonna City Art Gallery     Los Angeles, CA     2015

Hale Art Space     Santa Monica, CA     2015

11:11 Creative Collective     Tarzana, CA     2014

L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center     Ed Gould Plaza     Los Angeles, CA     2014

Colorgraphics     Los Angeles, CA     2014

Whizin Center for the Arts     Imagine Exhibit     Bel Air, CA     2012, 2013

Encino Terrace Center     Encino, CA     2012, 2013

West Hollywood 25th Anniversary Art Exhibit     West Hollywood, CA     2010

Brand Library Art Gallery     Glendale, CA     2010

Women's Club of Hollywood     Hollywood, CA     2009

Watts Towers Art Center     Los Angeles, CA     2009

Howeeduzzit Gallery     Alhambra, CA     2009

William Grant Still Arts Center     Los Angeles, CA     2008

Burbank Creative Center     Burbank, CA     2008

Los Angeles Sentinel     Los Angeles, CA     2008

Long Beach Arts     Long Beach, CA     2008

Viva Gallery     Sherman Oaks, CA     2008

Artpeace Gallery     Burbank, CA     2008

Howeeduzzit gallery     Alhambra, CA     2008

626 Art Gallery     Los Angeles, CA     2008

Bird Fine Art     West Hollywood, CA     2007

The Johnson Art Collection     West Hollywood, CA     2004 - 2007

The Orlando Gallery     Los Angeles, CA     2004 - 2006

The Carol Lawrence Gallery     Beverly Hills, CA     2006

Agape International Spiritual Center     Los Angeles, CA     2006

Blue Music     Los Angeles, CA     2006

Beverly Hills Art in the Garden     Beverly Hills, CA     2006

Brentwood Art Show     Brentwood, CA     2006

Venice Art Festival     Venice, CA     2006

Sweet & Hot Jazz Festival     Los Angeles, CA     2005


Selected Solo Exhibitions:

Agape International Spiritual Center     Los Angeles, CA     2008

The Palmer Room     Los Angeles, CA     2006

The Blue 7 Gallery     Santa Monica, CA     2004

The Gallery Wall     Santa Monica, CA     2003



Grant received through Los Angeles City Council - 10th district


Art Instructor

Los Angeles Unified School District / Adult division
    Los Angeles Community Adult School
    Westside Community Adult School

Los Angeles Public Libraries

Los Angeles County Libraries