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Los Angeles

Contested Development: One Person's Growth Is Another's Destruction
by Lauren McQuade

The Arts District farmers' market in Los Angeles is a recent addition to a small but growing community wedged between Little Tokyo and west of the L.A. River. Since June of last year, local sellers, artisans and patrons gather at what is known as the Triangle, or Joel Bloom Square—within sight of what was once legendary West Coast punk venue Al’s Bar. 

Al’s opened its doors in 1979 to a sparse population of artists who had been working, and often living illegally, in the decaying warehouses and factory spaces abandoned following the post-WWII period of industrial boom in the early 1970s. 

Manufacturers either moved on or went out of business, leaving industrial space that was rented for only pennies per square foot. A vast surrounding area contributed to a seedy, crime-ridden urban landscape that was not yet appealing to profit-driven investors. This scene was described to me by Mark Walsh, sculptor, video artist, and owner of Downtown Artist Space, a creative workspace for artists of all mediums to rent located in the AD along Skid Row.

 MaRS, Museum as Retail Space, Anderson Street. Photo: Lauren McQuade


By the time Walsh moved to the district in 1987, the City of Los Angeles had already passed the Artist-in-Residence ordinance in 1981, which allowed artists to legally live in the vacant buildings. 

“No one cared what you did just so long as you didn’t burn [the building] down or maybe hoping you’d burn it down because it’s worth more as a parking lot,” said Walsh.

Artists first trickled, then flocked to the AD, during the time Al’s Bar was becoming a well-known venue across the Southland—upcoming bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Misfits, and Sonic Youth played there throughout the 80s and 90s. While Al’s Bar was the early pulse of what would later become the AD, as most would attest, it was Joel Bloom who brought the district its soul.

Bloom arrived in 1986 a year before Walsh—who witnessed his reign as first official Arts District advocate and revered curmudgeon. Bloom’s General Store was founded in 1994 in the same building as Al’s Bar. Today, the AD still benefits from his efforts and countless victories. The pioneer and activist passed away in 2007, but his recognition of the Arts District as a separate entity, a place with its own identity, was something he took upon himself to foster and maintain, and remains a sentiment long-time residents remember and still work to uphold.  

Photo: Lauren McQuade


The DJ at the farmers' market is set up nearby under an E-Z Up in a line of tented vendors selling natural sponges and handmade jewelry, turning the music volume up as the sun sets. Walsh is there getting tacos from a food truck vendor, and pulls up a chair at the far end of a long communal table where Laura Velkei is sitting. 

“I’m kind of the voice of the Arts District because I’m the one who does communication for most of the boards,” said Velkei, who will periodically catch eyes and wave at an old neighbor, or someone else she knows from serving as board member for several AD organizations, including as founding member and Treasurer of the non-profit Arts District Community Council LA and Historic Cultural Neighborhood Council. She formally served three years on the LARABA board, Los Angeles River Artists and Business Association, where Walsh sits as a current board member.

A farmers' market in the Arts District signals that the 52-square-block neighborhood has reached a population and economic tipping point—a fact Velkei is all too aware of.

Velkei has been a community activist for over 30 years and evokes a brazen self-confidence that demands attention. She lived in the AD for four years and today operates her non-profit out of the Toy Factory. She continues to channel her community activism toward helping the neighborhood she loves for its passion fight against “cagey” developers and works hard to keep its quiet legacy alive and well.

The tenacious philanthropist has encyclopedic knowledge of both finished and upcoming developments planned for the AD—good and bad—that include everything from outdoor malls to mega-complexes for hundreds of pricy live/work lofts with indefinite hoards of uppity residents to match.

“We’ve literally seen huge cars roll up, people get out of the car, and realtors standing next to a purchaser saying, do you want that building or that building?” said Cheyanne Sauter, Executive Director at Art Share. She sat down next to Velkei with a bag full of fresh produce after making her round at the market vendors. 

Photo: Lauren McQuade 


Art Share is a non-profit creative art center in the AD that operates as a two-story, 28,000-square-foot safe haven for emerging artists, offering them creative space for rent at below market value (the only low-income housing option in the AD) with exhibition space and a theater to engage the community.

“Artists are getting priced out 100 percent of this neighborhood,” said Sauter, “It just doesn’t matter if it’s a 500-square-foot micro-loft or 750 and above, three dollars a square foot prices them out 100 percent.” Only established artists can afford to both live and work in the AD—the rest scatter to the fringes of Downtown to Boyle Heights, or to Culver City East, she said. 

The skyrocketing price of land in the AD has also meant developers prioritize cost-cutting over sustainability, in order to increase profit from their original investment. 

The previous night’s Arts District Community Council meeting bubbled up some long brewing tensions between community leaders and the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. The conflicting entities have been at odds since developers started cashing in on properties in the AD three years ago, constructing new apartments and live/work lofts, transitioning from a long period of adaptive reuse of existing structures to the construction of new buildings. 

Community leaders have spent hours with the Planning Department hashing out how best to evolve the neighborhood’s defined ethos and to facilitate viable population growth by establishing some ground rules such as an affordable housing bracket that must be tailored to artists as defined by HUD guidelines, which defines "Artist" as an income discriminated group—considering how to put brakes on the transformation of a once affordable, low-key community of artists and creatives into a walkable retail and restaurant mecca for professional. It’s a balancing act, according to Thed Jewel, designer and AD business owner. 

Jewel’s high-end retail store 12345 is getting priced out as the AD struggles to find that balance between residents who have little disposable income and retailers that must rely on those residents for business. The neighborhood is not “retail friendly,” according to Jewel, who explained business has remained stagnant since he opened the store at 811 Traction three years ago. 

“Now, I can understand if it was jumping over here and it was very retail-heavy and I was making money, yes, you raise my rent I completely understand that but it’s like we’re polishing shit right now,” explained Jewel. “I’m not making money, [the building owners] are just making money off of me.”

As of August 1, rent for the storefront would have more than doubled based off of what the building owners consider the market value. Jewel suspects they are “trying to capitalize on something that the papers and everybody is saying is the new jumping spot.”

“It’s like fake fame,” said Jewel. “I’ve just found that it’s a cheap way of making money—I’m of the understanding that clout is expensive too.”

Photo: Lauren McQuade


Behind 12345, in the early 19th century old flour mill building on East Third Street, will be the location of the new Hauser Wirth and Schimmel Arts Center, spanning an entire block of the AD, or 100,000-square-feet, opening early next year. 

“It’s probably just a next step,” said Brant Ritter, artist and furniture designer, of the moneyed mega-galleries like Hauser Wirth and Schimmel moving into the area. Ritter has lived in his live/work loft in the AD since 2002, and plans to open his own pseudo-gallery space in September of this year at his studio, taking full advantage of the ample foot traffic Urth Caffe provides across the street. 

“It’s either you get in or get out. You either monetize what you have or just go, just leave now, because this wave is coming,” said Ritter.

  Brant Ritter's live/work space, Photo: Lauren McQuade


Across the Sixth Street bridge just outside of the AD is MaRS, Museum as Retail Space, on Anderson Street, the next developer-decided creative hub, according to Ritter. Demolition on the upcoming Sixth Street Viaduct Replacement Project has already begun and investors are buying up properties on the desolate street in anticipation of its completion in 2019, which will provide space underneath for community programming.

Ritter hopes to counterbalance the commercial galleries that are moving in by providing an exhibition showcase to feature underrepresented artists. The idea is to put on interesting shows without worrying about feeding the machine of a traditional art gallery.

“It’s just by dumb luck that I’m here,” said Ritter. “If I’m not actively participating in the neighborhood, what’s the point?”

Living in this once tiny community of artists felt akin to living on a desert island, according to Walsh. He recalls a few “false starts” of gentrification throughout the 80s and 90s, and before the economic crash in 2008, but he recognizes that it is now fully underway. “You could feel the ground shaking and the peak smoking then the volcano hit; it happened really quick but it wasn’t unexpected,” he said. “We’re just trying to ride the wave instead of getting swept up with it.” 

The first interim ordinance written by city planners missed the mark, according to Velkei. “It was a lot of bullshit and stuff that catered to developers who had bought into the community and couldn’t get their projects built because we were cock-blocking them.”

The community regrouped and together drafted their own ordinance to provide a real-world framework for the growth of the Arts District as a productive, mixed-use neighborhood. They presented it to Planning, but despite their efforts working with the City, the draft (along with hundreds of signatures urging the City to adopt the Community Ordinance) remained largely unchanged.

“The core of what we think would drive and make sense for sustainable growth for [this district] they left out and blatantly so,” said Velkei.

The Planning Department’s second draft also altered the original name of the ordinance from Arts District Interim ordinance to the Hybrid Industrial ordinance and now not only affects the AD, but also what turned out to be an industrial district in Boyle Heights.

“I think it’s important that we keep fighting. I think we might just have to embarrass these guys,” said Velkei. 

Garey Street, Arts District, Photo: Lauren McQuade 


Amid recanting a heated discussion from the previous night’s community meeting, Velkei sees Yuval Bar-Zemer, partner and real estate developer at Linear City, LLC, arrive at the farmer’s market.

When asked if he would like to give a statement regarding the other developers in the Arts District, Bar-Zemer responded, “Suspicious.” 

He followed up with a question for Velkei, “Are you sure she’s not sent as a spy for the Planning Department?” 

“I’m pretty sure,” Velkei laughed.

“This is a guy who I’d lay down for any day of the week,” said Velkei. Bar-Zemer is a long-time Los Angeles resident who lives in the AD and has committed to the preservation of the neighborhood since the establishment of Linear City in 2001. He is a “good” developer who has worked with the Historic Biscuit Company Lofts and Toy Lofts under the adaptive reuse ordinance. 

At this point, the City is not bending, and neither is the Arts District community. What’s at risk for the AD? According to Velkei: The OC.

“Orange County is what we don’t want and we don’t go down without a huge battle and there will be a huge battle that will ensue—I don’t know what it’s going to look like but it will get much bigger than it has been,” Velkei said.


—Lauren McQuade


Image at the top: MaRS, Museum as Retail Space on Anderson Street, Lauren McQuade


Posted by Lauren McQuade on 7/8 | tags: Hauser Wirth and Schimmel Museum as Retail Space Joel Bloom Mark Walsh Laura Velkei art share LA thed jewel live/work studios artist studios LA Galleries Los Angeles art scene gentrification LA Arts District Conscience ArtSlant Editions

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Adpromo-david1 LA Arts District is Now a Commercial Nightmare! for the Actual Artists
I moved into the LA Arts Distric in the earlie 80's when they created the Artist in Residence laws. But in the last 10 years, the sleazy greedy developers like Paul Solomon have turned what was a creative enviromnment into a commercial yuppie nightmare in order to line their own plutocratic pockets! I was literally badgered out of my long time studio by Paul Solomon and the sleazy owners of Wurstkuche restaurant who Solomon let illegally use an actual artist loft directly next to my studio as an illegal 24 hour commercial warehouse for their restaurant next door. And despite both Paul Solomon and the owners of Wurstkuche both being cited by the city of Los Angeles for that illegal use, they both refused to stop that disruptive usage. After two years of putting up with this illegaly nightmare Solomon created, a nightmare that made my live work space, totaly unlivable, I left because they blatantly refused not stop. Paul Solomon, Joseph Pitruzzelli and Tyler Wilson are all pathetic self serving scumbags that have ruined a long time treasure for the actual artist they have now thoughtlessly displaced. The only thing left in the LA aRTS district is a noisy congested nightmare that makes money for the invading commercial businesses and the sleazy developers like the thoughtless scumbag, Paul Solomon. It is no longer a creative haven for actual artists and in no way resembles the LA Arts District I once knew and loved. What's left is nothing less then a commercial yuppie nightmare! -David Goldner


Los Angeles to Open Its Largest Free Contemporary Art Museum
by Kimberly B. Johnson

Los Angeles’ latest contemporary art access point, The Broad Museum, will officially open its doors to the public on September 20. This is exciting news for Angelenos, as the 120,000-square-foot structure will house more than 2,000 works from the Broad Art Foundation and the personal collections of long-time philanthropists and art enthusiasts, Eli and Edythe Broad.

According to Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad and chief curator of The Broad Art Foundation, this means access to more than 30 works by Jeff Koons, 120 images by Cindy Sherman, 26 Andy Warhols, and additional works from German photographer Andreas Gursky, conceptual artist Barbara Kruger, and paintings from icons Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

A digital rendering of The Broad Art Museum. Courtesy The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro


The museum is quite arguably the most anticipated museum launch in recent years, with a $140 million price tag and an ambitious undertaking by museum coordinators. The Broad will be a multi-level structure with two full floors of exhibition space, and several enticing amenities including a 24,000-square-foot public plaza in the works. This communal space is being designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and will house a slew of 100-year-old Barouni olive trees alongside the avant-garde building design and futuristic architecture. Additionally, an adjacent restaurant developed by top LA restaurateurs Bill Chait and Timothy Hollingsworth will be erected to accompany the museum space.

This new addition to the landscape of Downtown LA will likely prove itself to be historical—high attendance and public attention is anticipated, with good reason. Not only will the space hold a permanent collection including works from several of the leading authoritative figures in contemporary art, general admission to the museum will be completely free. You can keep up with the building’s construction and development at The Broad Museum’s official website.


Kimberly B. Johnson


(Image at the top: (Takashi Murakami) Installation of Takashi Murakami's 10-feet-high and 82-feet-long "In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow" at The Broad Art Museum on July 1, 2015. Photo by Anne Cusack for Los Angeles Times.)

Posted by Kimberly B. Johnson on 7/23 | tags: Bill Chait and Timothy Hollingsworth architecture Diller Scofidio + Renfro art collectors Eli Broad LA museums free museums Broad Museum museums

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The Best Non-Profit Art Spaces in Los Angeles
by Lauren McQuade

Like other industries, the art world should come under the scrunity of fair and equitable business practices. With so much privatization in the gallery and museum world, it's as good a time as any for consumers of culture to question where funds come from—and where profits are going. This summer, we're seeking out the best not-for-profit and community conscious art spaces in the most commercial cities on the global art circuit. As part of our mission to give art a social slant, the first stop in our series exploring these venues is gallery hotspot, Los Angeles.



Art + Pratice. Photo: Lauren McQuade


Art + Practice (A+P) is a nonprofit founded by artist and Leimert Park native Mark Bradford, philanthropist and collector Eileen Harris Norton, and social activist Allan DiCastro. With the South Los Angeles neighborhood’s reputation as an African American cultural destination, the so-called “Leimert Park Renaissance” will no doubt feed off of A+P’s community-centered programming—A+P has already been providing the 90008 ZIP code with life-skill training for foster youth and will soon provide free, museum-curated art exhibitions and moderated art lectures to the Leimert Park community, encouraging education and culture in the area.

The organization encompasses nearly 20,000 square-feet and multiple buildings that will not only be exhibition space for visual arts, a bookstore and classrooms, but space for artists’ studios. Committed to art and social practice, the multi-use space works in partnership with UCLA’s Hammer Museum that will curate exhibitions and public programs on the A+P campus; The RightWay Foundation, which oversees the foundation’s foster youth services by delivering mental health services and job training to foster youth (the highest concentration of the county’s foster youth live in South Los Angeles); and EsoWon Bookstore, a black-owned business, community hub, and neighborhood institution, which directs A+P’s lecture series. Also part of its mission: A+P has been providing studios to three artists in residence since last August, and among the first to participate is Dale Brockman Davis, founder of LA’s first African American-owned commercial gallery, Brockman Gallery, which operated in Leimert Park from 1967 to 1989.



Art Share LA. Photo: Lauren McQuade


Art Share LA is a self-described sanctuary for the arts in the heart of downtown LA’s Arts District. The 28,000 square-foot former warehouse provides 30 subsidized live/work lofts for artists on the second level and a community-focused programming facility on the ground floor, offering affordable studio space for local artists, classes, an exhibition space, and a theater for performances and community council meetings. 

The building has gone through a couple of phases, starting as a single family residential home in 1912 and transitioned into a textile recycling, or “rag shop,” in 1928. The building was purchased in 1997 and Art Share LA has made it their permanent home, adding a necessary safe-haven for artists in a developing area that is becoming less and less affordable for practicing, up-and-coming artists. Today, Art Share LA acts as the Arts District’s only low-income housing option, easily attracting arts practitioners with its artist-friendly aesthetic and resources. Their upcoming programming includes dance workshops, poetry readings, and film screenings.



Santa Fe Art Colony, LA Art Tours Visiting Don Lewis' Studio. Photo: Lauren McQuade


The Santa Fe Art Colony (SFAC) is a live/work studio complex in Downtown Los Angeles whose residents work to teach and promote art not only in the region but also across the globe. SFAC residents are professional artists who have been holding an annual open studios walk-through for outsiders to see where artists who show in commercial galleries live and create since 1988, when the building was renovated and developed into artists’ lofts. 

The annual tours equip those curious with knowledgeable guides who spout historical factoids and insight into this rather hidden community located on the industrial outskirts of DTLA. There are 57 spaces in total, giving residents solitude to work and engage with the greater community—those who do opt for the annual tour of the SFAC have the opportunity to meet the artists in person, see them at work, and even interact with them in ways not possible in the conventional gallery setting.



 Photo: Lauren McQuade


The Avenue 50 Studio calls Highland Park home. Since its founding in 2000, the self-described arts presentation organization has been committed to providing a space where the life and artistic interests of an under-served community can become visible. Avenue 50 works to represent their Northeast Los Angeles community by providing an ongoing structure that enhances public recognition and appreciation of their multicultural art community with supporting visual artists, writers, and poets.

The nonprofit has grown from a small gallery to an active arts nexus in a part of the city known for being a traditional arts enclave. A now important arts destination in Northeast Los Angeles, Avenue 50 grounds itself in Chicana/o and Latina/o culture and visual arts with emphasis on showing art rooted in the Highland Park neighborhood. The space operates as a venue for up-and-coming local artists and poets and includes two galleries, a community art space, and three resident artist studios. Their monthly art openings and varied literary events, including workshops and poetry readings, are part of their efforts to bridge the diverse cultures of Los Angeles. The space hosts an annual Dia de los Muertos event and is currently exhibiting renowned Chicano artist Roberto Gutierrez’s latest series that grapples with upcoming demolition of the iconic 83-year-old 6th Street bridge along the LA River.



Judy Baca and SPARC have collaborated with wHY Architects to complete the designs for a “Green Bridge” which will be composed in part from the debris of the Los Angeles River with interpretive panels along the expanse of the Bridge from which the public can view the river and the ½ mile of mural along its banks.
Photo: Lauren McQuade


Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), located in Venice, Los Angeles, was founded in 1976 by Chicana muralist and educator Judy Baca, filmmaker/director Donna Deitch and artist/teacher Christina Schlesinger. The gallery at SPARC became the Durón Gallery, named after Armando and Mary Durón, art collectors and long time SPARC supporters, and seeks to bring socially conscious art to underserved audiences by way of exhibitions and performances in an effort to engage. SPARC aims to communicate with the larger public through forms including architectural monuments, murals, or new technology spaces such as the internet.

Since 1976, SPARC has been working across Los Angeles, including poor and immigrant communities, with youth and their families as participants in the production of public monuments, which make these communities' stories visible to local, national, and international audiences alike. 

The Center operates under the notion of art as public property—as expressed by famed Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros. SPARC’s Artistic Director and Founder, Professor Judy Baca, asserts that the ideals of the Mexican social mural movement, which began in 1913, inspired Los Angeles muralists in the 1970s. Her work, too, was inspired by the art movement: Baca painted murals with at-risk youth, forming the basis of the first citywide mural program eventually leading to the creation of SPARC.



Forest, 2009, by Sarah Newey and Christy McCaffrey. Courtesy Machine Project


Machine Project in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles is an educational institution that teaches whatever Executive Director and Founder Mark Allen and his loose group of artist/performer collaborators find interesting: electronics, sewing, pickling, computer programming, and car theft—among other niche topics not otherwise supported by educational institutions in the LA area. The artist, educator, and curator has directed over 1,000 free events, workshops, and installations at the non-commercial gallery space since its founding in 2003.

Allen and his colleagues use the art gallery as a vehicle for other social interests. They work together to create, study, and share new forms of culture and ways of living by collaborating with artists, thinkers, and local communities to produce non-commercial projects in the space and beyond that encourage conversations. These projects investigate art, performance, technology, science, music, literature, and new ideas for creative engagement.

The nonprofit keeps the lights on by hosting workshops at about $20 a contact hour (materials included) and, of course, through receiving tax deductible donations either online or in person with their pneumatic cash machine. At certain events, there is a “beerhole” in the corner of the space that dispenses cold cans of beer through the floorboards after a thirsty patron first rings a doorbell above and places $2 in a mechanical hand.



Sarah Dougherty and Iris Hu opened Rafa Esparza’s new revolving installation Con/Safos with new works created specifically for the C/S surface, February 28–March 31, 2015. Photo: Matt Rose Photography


Clockshop, located in what is known as “Frogtown” along the banks of the LA River, is a multifaceted arts organization working at the intersection of politics, urban space, and cultural production. The nonprofit uses its varied artist projects and collaborations along with events and screenings as a means to explore the forces that shape our lived environment. Clockshop operates out of Elysian, a bar/restaurant and event venue, and also works throughout the city in uncommon and undiscovered locations to bring people together to share in the strange particularities of Los Angeles and the global creative practices and politics that affect its residents. 

The Bowtie Project, a collaboration between Clockshop and California State Parks, activates an otherwise overlooked 19-acre post-industrial lot known as The Bowtie, located along the LA River in Northeast Los Angeles. The site had been closed to the pubic for over a decade until Clockshop was invited to bring a broad and experimental blend of artists’ projects and collaborations to the desolate outdoor space. Con/Safos (C/S) by Rafa Esparza is the most recent Bowtie program in collaboration with Self Help Graphics & Art and California State Parks. C/S is a site-specific sculpture built with 1,500 adobe bricks handmade by Esparza and his father on site that form two intersecting walls. The adobe walls will act as a year-long revolving installation where graffiti artists, painters, and sculptors are invited to design, paint, and build onto the surface of Con/Safos, creating temporal artworks.



A Women’s Dinner in the City, November 16, 2013. In the shadow of the historic Woman’s Building, in the Anabolic Monument Native Plant Garden, LA State Historic Park, near Downtown LA., 100 women formed a gathering in the urban landscape to examine our civic histories of place-making—
thinking about intentional spaces old and new. 
Photo: Gilda Davidian


The Women’s Center for Creative Work (WCCW) is a Los Angeles-based network of self-described "rad women" who are engaged in conversations about contemporary feminisms and creative practices. WCCW exists as both a women-led creative co-workspace and, on a broader scale, an enabling architecture providing professional, emotional, and artistic nourishment for female-driven creative projects. Since its founding in November 2013, the WCCW has built a network of over 1,500 women who are committed to support each other socially, creatively, and economically by building the structures—physical and transcendental—that maximize connectivity and empowerment.

WCCW's founders recognized a need for a contemporary feminist community center of sorts. Artist Katie Bachler, graphic designer Kate Johnston, and producer Sarah Williams filled the void themselves. The three women decided to bring their community together to talk about the present state of feminism with two large dinner events: one in Yucca Valley and one near Downtown Los Angeles. The two events galvanized their community in unanticipated ways and WCCW was born. WCCW is growing its female and female-identifying creative community in Los Angeles as the organization readies itself to move into new offices geared toward even more creative practices like writing, design, sculpture, weaving, filmmaking, painting, and more, while also working to expand the definitions of what is considered creative work to encourage finding creativity and a feminist angle in all labor.



Artist Amy Von Harrington presents her work. Courtesy of Analog Dissident. Photo: Jimena Sarno


Analog Dissident functions as a free monthly discussion group aimed at queer/radical/feminist/politically inclined artists to critically engage outside of traditional art institutions, gallery openings and social media. Since December 2014, artist Jimena Sarno runs the space at her studio to feed a need for unmediated, meaningful interactions between artists beyond so-called “virtual nods of approval” within social media or mere minutes at art events or openings. Sarno curates the programming to engage an inclusive dialogue that goes well beyond the traditional white, male, straight, gender-conforming privileges rampant within mainstream and traditional art institutions.

The events offer a non-hierarchical discussion group aimed at "queer/radical/feminist/politically inclined" artists and curators that features two guest artists in an informal, open studio visit. Guests are encouraged to bring work in progress or that is being completed for a specific exhibition and all in attendance engage in the discussion.

Analog Dissident is being displaced due to DTLA’s rapid development, which is kicking out low-income artists and residents. The space will host a group show in August to bid farewell to its current location and will continue its monthly gatherings at a TBD location that Sarno hopes to eventually expand into an exhibition space.



PAPILLION, founded by Michelle Joan Papillion, moved into historic South Los Angeles neighborhood Leimert Park in 2010 and was the first gallery space to contribute to the area’s so-called “renaissance.” The contemporary art gallery’s decided focus is on emerging artists and includes a project space in Downtown LA called P.I.A. Projects, which serves as an artist residency to start or complete a new project.

The space has some historic roots in the noted African American cultural hub: brothers and artists Dale and Alonzo Davis opened the Brockman Gallery in 1967, where PAPILLION’s pink neon sign now stays lit day and night. The neighborhood was once home to iconic African American figures like Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles, along with many important black LA artists, like David Hammons, Samella Lewis and A+P founder and artist Mark Bradford. Up next for PAPILLION is performance artist and filmmaker Terence Nance performing Black boys 1-18 and Black girls 1-18 to a live soundtrack. The gallery is currently closed for the summer. 


Lauren McQuade


(Image at the top: Art +Practice, Map of Leimert Park, LA)

Posted by Lauren McQuade on 8/2 | tags: los angeles art spaces non-profit art spaces leimert park PAPILLION Analog Dissident WCCW Women's Center for Creative Work Clockshop Machine Project duron gallery SPArC avenue 50 studio art galleries santa fe art colony art share LA Art + Practice art space guide LA art guide

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