Gala Honorees


Community angel: sunny Bak


"For me, photography is magic.” 

Raised in New York City, Sunny began taking pictures when she was only 12 years old. Telling her mom that she was going to the library, she’d head down to Broadway to see standing-room-only shows for $2.50. She loved the theater and her first subjects were actors, shot with her box camera until her dad, a reporter covering the U.N. for a Korean newspaper and passionate about photography, gifted her his Nikon Rangefinder.

When Sunny’s work was featured in the teen magazine, Tiger Beat, her path was set. She spent the 80's as a fashion photographer, with work featured in Time, Details, and British Elle, with more than 20 covers for Woman's World. During this period, she befriended the Beastie Boys and shot their first album cover, as well as the photo spread for their book. She spent the 90's as a celebrity photographer, shooting Jackie O, Andy Warhol, and Elizabeth Taylor, among others. 

As much as she loved to shoot, she valued being involved in her community, If you say Sunny Bak in Venice, someone is bound to know her, has met her, or has heard of the legend. A resident since 1995, she spearheaded the Venice Art Crawl, was VP of the Venice Chamber, involved in Venice Pride and the Neighborhood Council, was named “Woman of the Year” by Assemblymember Autumn Burke, and is currently on the board of the Venice/Mar Vista Arts District.

“Venice has historically been an arts community,” Sunny said, “and I want to keep the arts alive for future generations. One way I do that is through supporting Venice Arts.” 

Sunny: A true community angel.