Santa Monica Art Studios is a 22,000 square foot hangar where artists work in private studio spaces and can participate in classes, lectures, and exhibitions and take advantage of discussion critique and collaboration. An integrated and vibrant community of artists, it was initially conceived by founder Yossi Govrin four years ago at the height of competition from dot com companies and film studios for affordable spaces in Santa Monica. A study commissioned by the City of Santa Monica documented that more than half the artist studios in the city had been eliminated in a three-month period while the report was being finalized.
Drawing on 18 years experience of creating and running one of the first such art centers in Santa Monica, Govrin approached the city of Santa Monica in 2000 and was awarded the project in early 2001. With partner Sherry Frumkin who has owned a gallery in Santa Monica for the past 14 years, the project was finally approved for construction in December 2003.
As part of the project, 2400 square feet were dedicated for ARENA 1 Gallery, an exhibition space where cutting edge work is featured in shows organized by curators across the globe. Santa Monica Art Studios is at the heart of a series of arts related improvements at the airport that will anchor the area and contribute to the growing reputation of Santa Monica as a cultural mecca.
Designed by Villya Karalius, with concept design by Tanja Rector and construction by Uri Mizrachi of AVI, the interior takes full advantage of the soaring airplane hangar roofline. Skylights and a Plexiglas opening cut around the entire building allow light to pour in at all angles. Twelve foot white walls against the aged patina of the exposed metal structure provide the perfect environment for creative endeavors.