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Debra Burchett-Lere

Sam Francis Foundation
Executive Director
Pasadena, California
Author, curator, and fine art appraiser Debra Burchett-Lere first started working with Sam Francis in the mid-1980s when she was the director at Gemini G.E.L. (the renowned contemporary print publishing company in Los Angeles with Francis, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, among others. In 1992 she became Francis’s curator and co-director of his business and print studio, The Litho Shop, Inc. where she handled his day-to-day correspondence, exhibition coordination, museum and book projects, and his art sales with galleries and dealers throughout the world. Upon his death in 1994 she became the director of the Sam Francis Estate and subsequently the executive director of the artist’s foundation in 2004. The mission of the foundation is to research, document, protect, and perpetuate the creative legacy of the artist by promoting awareness and knowledge about the art of Sam Francis through education and information. One of the major projects undertaken includes the publication of the Sam Francis Catalogue Raisonné of Canvas and Panel Paintings, published in 2011 by the University of California Berkeley Press.  Burchett-Lere currently also serves as the President of the Sam Francis Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors. She also serves on the board of the southern California chapter of the national arts organization, ARTTABLE, New York dedicated to the visual arts and to advancing women's leadership in the field; and continues to be affiliated as a member of the Appraisers Association of America, New York, and the Brand Library and Gallery Associates, Glendale, California. Prior to her work with Francis, Burchett-Lere worked for years as magazine editor, exhibitions curator, and grant writer for the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, the first major alternative exhibition space for international artists in southern California; a precursor to LACE and the Museum of Contemporary Art.