Art requires room to grow. Artists themselves benefit from places where they can stretch out and feel at ease. Community, collaboration and classes are ways in which the art world can help to strengthen itself, its audience, and the abilities of the individual. In every major city, there are a host of non-profit art spaces dedicated to supporting the work of established and emerging artists, curators, and communities. In a previous blog, we told you about some of New York’s top nonprofit spaces. Today we move west to the streets of Los Angeles where the art world is alive and vibrant. Read on to learn about ten of the top spaces creating collaborative art and offering a nurturing environment for artists from every imaginable discipline and background.
Art Share L.A. Entering into its tenth year, Art Share L.A. offers a tremendous opportunity for growth and collaboration. The 28,000 square foot warehouse sits in the midst of the Los Angeles Art District. 30 subsidized living/studio spaces offer artists a chance to immerse themselves in their work. Art Share L.A. offers classes, events, and exhibitions. Art Share L.A. also has a theater, gallery, and two classroom spaces available for rent.
Art + Practice Founded by artist and L.A. native Mark Bradford along with Eileen Norton Harris, a collector and philanthropist, and community activist Allan DiCastro, this non-profit situated in the Leimert Park neighborhood offers support to area youth as well as museum quality exhibition opportunities to neighborhood residents.
Women’s Center for Creative Work This non-profit has a little bit of everything. There is a co-working space, there are project incubation facilities, residencies, and ample opportunity for artistic and professional development. WCCW was founded in 2013 as a way to nurture feminist creative culture in and around Los Angeles. The founders, artist Katie Bachler, graphic designer Kate Johnston, and producer Sarah Williams created a space where female artists could experience respect, care for self and others, and work in an environment grounded in feminist principle.
Fellows of Contemporary Art While not a dedicated art space, FOCA is a non-profit aimed at supporting emerging and mid-career artists and curators. The organization funds exhibitions, publications, and other work through multiple awards and fellowships as well as experiential opportunities. Their Curatorial Lab program allows emerging curators to come together with emerging artists in order to create exhibitions that support a curatorial thesis.
Santa Fe Art Colony Don’t be fooled by the name of this artist collective, Santa Fe Art Colony is a living and working space for artists in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. SFAC holds exhibitions and offers many unique opportunities for contemporary artists of every background. SFAC participates in Los Angeles open studio tours bringing the community in and offering exposure for artists.
Avenue 50 Studio Founded in 2000, this arts organization in North Los Angeles is rooted in visual arts and grounded in Latino/a and Chicano/a culture. The Highland Park studio opens its doors to artists in underserved populations providing exhibition opportunities in the center of an established arts community in Highland Park. In addition to exhibitions, Avenue 50 Studio offers workshops and other educational opportunities.
Coaxial Art Foundation This relatively nascent organization supports artists who work in the medium of video art. CAF provides studio space with access to professional video making equipment as well as exhibition space. In the nearly two years since their inception, they have mounted over 100 exhibitions and staged 40 live events.
The Machine Project The Machine Project seeks to explore the line where the arts meet the sciences. This organization provides collaborative opportunities for artists interested in creating innovative work. The Machine Project is strongly based in the principles of inclusion, engaging its audiences to not only experience but participate in the art being presented. Their unique style has been heralded as possessing “the distinct feel of a summer camp. The Machine Project was founded in 2003 by artist Mark Allen.
Clockshop Located in a former porcelain mold factory in the Frogtown area of Los Angeles, Clockshop seeks to promote political and cultural dialog while creating art utilizing public space. Their Bowtie series partners with California State parks to create art and experiences on a plot of disused public land. Here they host campouts, readings, and other social and cultural activities.
LA Artcore Since its inception, LA Artcore has sought to nurture the careers of artists from diverse backgrounds with the aim of uplifting careers and bringing contemporary art to the city of Los Angeles. LA Artcore sees opportunity from both sides, the opportunity for artists to find a supportive community in which to grow, and the opportunity for the larger community to experience art in their daily lives. The organization prides itself on promoting diversity free of outside political influence, allowing for truly independent work.