Society6 is a global art and design community, so we're excited to announce the launch of our city guides: a monthly feature on a select city's art scene. This isn't your typical city guide; we go deep into emerging and lesser known art spots from a local's point of view. We kick it off in our home base of Los Angeles and we asked Ada Rajkovic of sunday los angeles to take us on a tour of the best neighborhoods for art in LA. What are your favorite art spots in LA? Share in the comments below.
In 2009, I moved from Houston to a town outside of Los Angeles to go to CalArts. After graduating in 2013, I moved to the city and started an art space/collective called sunday in East Hollywood. I was able to start my own community pretty quickly from the network I had grown at art school. There wasn't a lot to compare it to at the time, but soon after many DIY and smaller art spaces started opening up. I feel super lucky to have been able to be a part of an emerging art scene for young people.
The art community in LA is really exciting right now, lots of artist run spaces and important and innovative work being shown. These are some spaces that should be on your radar if you live in LA or are just visiting.
SADE Gallery - 204 S Ave 19, Los Angeles, CA 90031
Around the same time that sunday was opening, some classmates of mine transitioned their secret nightclub, "top 40" (formerly Night Gallery) into SADE gallery. Located in Lincoln Heights, a cute neighborhood in Los Angeles on the east side, along the outskirts of downtown, SADE is located in a storage space building/strip mall next to a Mexican restaurant named Maya's. Openings here are normally pretty chill and range from emerging to more established artists. They also have events like poetry readings and secret bars.
Chin's Push - 4917 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042
A little down the road in the neighborhood Highland Park, resides another small, artist run space: Chin's Push. Run by Lydia-Glenn Murray, Chins Push is a storefront/gallery/house. I have mostly attended parties there in a trailer in the backyard, but they do host art shows, events and residencies.
Human Resources - 410 Cottage Home St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Human Resources is a non for profit, volunteer based organization. This is probably one of the first spaces that I went to as a student to see a show in the city. I think it was my friend Keith Ballard's video screening. They have a strong connection with CalArts and are always hosting events and shows that aim to broaden the scope of art in a non traditional sense. I also saw Audrey Wollen and Cali Thornhill DeWitt's 24 hour fantasy reality which was a 24 hour show. There is a political edge to a lot of the work as well as you can most times feel the intention behind the work which is not always common but much appreciated!
Embassy - 422 Ord, Suite G, Los Angeles CA 90012.
Embassy is an artist run space ran by fellow Calarts alum Sarah Manual, with Anna Breininger and Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothrigen. They say they are "a platform for provocations, for emerging artists and for critical discourse." Seems like there should be an exclamation point at the end of that!
Leimin Space - 443 Lei Min Way, Los Angeles, CA 90012
One of my favorite new spaces, Leimin Space recently opened in Chinatown on Lei Min Way. The gallery is run by Schelsey Mahammadie-Sabet, who curates exclusively female artists. The space itself looks like a futuristic Apple store gallery with a shiny silver staircase in the middle and is constantly being filled with beautiful art from butterfly installations to neon sculptures. Some artists who have shown recently are Anja Salonen and Brittney Scott.
Ooga Booga - 943 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Located down the street from Leimin Space and up some stairs is Ooga Booga a little book store specializing in independent art, books, zines, music and clothing. They have a second location in downtown which brings me to...
Downtown Arts District
356 Mission - 356 S Mission Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90033
The arts district is transforming Downtown LA into a hub for arts and culture. Just before starting Sunday, I worked at 356 Missionwhich is a massive, multidimensional/functional space that hosts all kinds of events from music and art shows to video screenings, book signings, lectures, panels and meditation seminars (to name a few). I always loved the ambiance there, intimate and not as pretentious as your typical art gallery. Ooga Booga's second location, Ooga Twooga shares a space with 356 and this one is probably twice the size as their Chinatown location.
MAMA Gallery-1242 Palmetto St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Also in the arts district, MAMA, is a contemporary art gallery showing more established artists, and hosting various social events. The gallery is Downtown but has a Hollywood vibe, kind of like industry meets high art. They host events and showings with everyone from Daniel Johnston to Mattea Perrota and more.
Fahrenheit - 2245 E. Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90021
Fahrenheit is a non-profit space with an emphasis on community outreach in los angeles. They support the exchange of french artists and curators and have an interrelated residency program, having exhibitions, performances, film programs and talks.
Basic Flowers- 242 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Based in a semi-secret Downtown location (not really, address above), Basic Flowers is an experimental multipurpose performance art space that hosts events on the regular. The interiors are decorated with found objects and their original Basic Flowers sign is maintained from a previous business out front. Keep up with their weird and rad events on their Facebook page.
Club Pro - 1525 South Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Run by a former sunday partner, Ryan McGuffin and Kyle Patrick Roberts, Club Pro LA is a new art space in the fashion district in downtown. Named after the sign outside their space, this second story warehouse hosts art shows from local emerging artists as well as music shows and late night extravaganzas.
The Broad - 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
The Broad is downtowns newest and most coveted/attended attraction, a free museum open to the public and home to 2,000 works of contemporary art including yayoi kusama's mirror infinity room (my personal favorite). The only downside is the hour long line you will have to wait in to get in, but trust me it's worth it!
ARTBOOK at Hauser & Wirth - 901 East 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90013
Hauser Wirth & Schimmel is a contemporary and modern art museum with locations in LA, Zurich, London, Somerset and New York. While the building itself is an architectural dream in itself, my favorite is the bookstore highlighting current exhibitions. Their first thematic exhibition is devoted to books about women artists featuring an epic "category of women artists by featuring practitioners working in a wide variety of styles, media, and genres spanning generations, races, nationalities, and religious and sexual identities."
Echo Park Film Center - 1200 N Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
a non profit media arts organization on Alvarado street in echo park that hosts workshops and screenings as well as provides a variety of film rental equipment. They also have artist residencies and their they aim to inform, inspire and educate at risk youth in surrounding communities.
Projection by Vincent Lamouroux - 4301 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029
The abandoned Bates Motel on Sunset Blvd was transformed into a giant public art installation by Vincent Lamouroux last year by being entirely painted white. Even the surrounding palm trees were spray painted white. Definitely worth checking out.
sunday (formerly 4308 Burns Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029)
sunday (my art space) used to be located in silverlake/east hollywood. Across the street from the infamous bar smog cutter, on the second floor of a weird warehousey office space type buildiing- I used to live and curate art shows! It was super fun and we had a good run but then we had to move due to landlord complications. In our time there (two years) we had over twenty art shows, with solo shows from Audrey Wollen, Yung Jake, Sofia Arreguin and a few huge group shows, the most recent hot in here and what a time to be alive both which garnered a lot of press for sunday. We also did art workshops with kids in the community where we just laid out a bunch of art supplies and paper sometimes inside or outside and had a karaoke set up. Kids went crazy singing and painting all over the walls. Made lots of lasting friendships and have learned a lot from it! We are now taking a short leave while we regroup and plan our come back next fall!
PAPILLION ART - 4336 Degnan Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008
I recently went to Leimert Park for the MLK day parade and stumbled upon this space when my friend and artist Lauren Halsey led me there for an after party. It's a relatively small space with bright lights and a pink neon sign on the outside that says PAPILLION. I have always found it limiting as an art space to stay within the guidelines of a gallery especially when you are producing as much innovative work as PAPILLION is. The recent art installation by Zoe Buckman called Every Curve is a testament to their innovative thinking. The artist statement reads: The installation of hanging vintage lingerie reveals the artist's fascination with femininity throughout time. The antique undergarments, relics from our past and windows into cultural ideas of female objectification, are reworked using musical text from a very specific time and place.
Steve Turner - 6830 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Contemporary art gallery with an eye for multi-media and conceptual art. They show artists like Jonas Lund, Maria Anwander, Michael Staniak and up and coming artists like Yung Jake and Michael Ray-Von. Currently there is a group show up called Desert Now with works by Julius Von Bismarck, Julian Charriere & Felix Kiessling.
Regen Projects - 6750 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Right down the street from Steve Turner is Regen Projects where I have seen large scale interactive video installations by Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch. They have represented artists such as Matthew Barney, Richard Prince, Cathie Opie and Wolfgang Tillmans. They have a show up right now by Lawrence Weiner called MADE TO BE - up until May 7th, 2016.
FAMILY - 436 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Another place I worked before starting Sunday was a book store on Fairfax called FAMILY. Fairfax is located on the west side and is best known for its flea market and street wear stores. The area is always littered with skater boys and tourists so it's not the ideal place to chill but if you are looking for something to do during the day Family books is really nice and one of a kind. They sell art books, zines, prints and occasionally hold art openings, book signings and talks. I went to one of my favorite ever artist lectures there between Vivian Fu and Molly Matalon! It's also a really good place to gift shop for unique reads.
Sticker Planet - 6333 W 3rd St # 220, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Also on the west side and right down the street from FAMILY is Sticker Planet. Located in the Grove's farmers market, Sticker Planet is an amazing store that has ribbons of shiny sparkly stickers from floor to ceiling. You can buy the stickers individually or in heaps.
Tops Art Supplies - 3447 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Been open since the 1980's has fine art supplies and fashion designing materials. They also have handmade decorative papers from different parts of Asia. My friend patty described it as sort of like your neighborhood Blick. You have to ring a bell to get into this store and it's run by an old couple that listens to a lot of Backstreet Boys.
Underground Museum - 3508 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018
Founded by artist, Noah Davis, who recently passed, the underground museum is an inspiring project. Davis collaborated with MOCA to bring in pieces from their permanent collection in an effort to bring art to underserved communities in los angeles. Located in a diverse neighborhood of mostly families in small apartments and houses, the space looks more like a store-front than a gallery and is hard to know about unless you've heard something word of mouth. Younger emerging artists like Ariana Papademetropoulos have also shown work there.
Kanye Griffin Corocan - 1201 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90019
They have shown more prominent artists like James Turrell and David Lynch. Currently there is an exhibition up called "The Diet" by Michael Bell Smith - up until May 28th.
Cherry and Martin - 2712 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
Cherry and Martin is a contemporary art gallery in Culver City. I spent some time coming to openings here while still in school and found most of them not for me except for a Brian Bess show I saw here and a Rashid Johnson show at David Kordansky gallery. (Not to say I am an expert and I don't attend all of them so there probably are some good shows in Culver City but I don't go there often, and it's SO far from the East side).
Richard Heller Gallery - 2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Contemporary art gallery showing a lot of paintings and most notably the works of Devin Troy Strother (look him up because he's really great).
Art Discovery Tools
5everyday (@5everyday) also an app!
An app that tells you five things in los angeles to do everyday! One is food, one music, one art, one historic and one miscellaneous to fill your day!
Curate LA (curate.la) also an app!
An interactive map of the art world in los angeles with the most up to date information on upcoming shows, exhibitions, galleries and events.
Grab a taco and check out more work from LA artists and LA inspired-art from our collections!
Guide by: Ada Rajkovic/sunday los angeles
Photos by: Stefan Wigand
(not shot by Stefan: sunday, MAMA, Projection)