Shane Guffogg, executive director; Rebecca O'Leary, gallery director
Pharmaka has lost our gallery at 5th and Main but not our dedication or our sense of purpose. We will be returning in a new space in the near future. Please keep monitoring this website to find out where and when that will happen, as well as to be kept apprised of any special exhibitions and events. We will also continue to produce Podcasts at www.Pharmakast.com.
PHARMAKA is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization located at the corner of 5th and Main streets in the heart of the Historic Bank District of Downtwon Los Angeles. The exhibition space is devoted to exploring contemporary painting in all of its forms through shows, panel discussions, figure painting workshops, community events, experimental projects, critiques, podcasts and more. The gallery was conceived of and constructed in late 2004/early 2005 by a group of LA based painters who had been meeting since 2003. Exhibitions explore specific facets, trends and issues of painting, and are curated by the artists of Pharmaka or by guest curators brought in for a specific project.
Pharmaka is a unique and dynamic gallery because it is run by artists motivated by the love of their medium. The energy, commitment, and integrity of Pharmaka is a major factor in the current renaissance occuring in Downtown LA.
The gallery space was designed by world-renown architect Christoph Kapeller, lead architect on the new Alexandrina Library in Alexandria, Egypt. Kapeller's Pharmka design includes a long curved wall that places Pharmaka well outside of the "white box" trend of modern art galleries.
In May of 2008, Pharmaka became the first contemporary art gallery in the United States to go "green" using cutting edge technology and design to decrease the carbon footprint of the gallery. All of the exixting lights in the gallery were replaced by GreenTorch LED lights that far exceed the energy efficiency of standard light bulbs and last thousands of hours longer. Along with a first-of-its-kind air circulation system provided by Big Ass Fans and 100% sustainable material furniture by Ford Brady, the makeover is both environmentally conscious and beautiful. The process of the transformation of the gallery will be featured in an episode of the Alter Eco television series on the Discovery Channel in July of 2008.