9 Must-See Alternative Art Spaces in Los Angeles
by Diane Williams
Monte Vista Projects
Monte Vista Projects is an artist-run space based in Highland Park. Through exhibitions, lectures, events and performances, MVP has served as a space to share ideas and cultivate exhibitions articulated in experiments and play. We also encourage forms which break entirely from these existent threads.
MVP is a self-determining space– a space that speaks to the ways in which we are scripted to produce as artists and creatives. We believe this position allows us to visualize patterns of making in order to break from them.
Since 2007, MVP has collaborated with artists and practitioners in and around the greater Los Angeles arts community. We are especially interested in working with under-represented artists and minorities. In addition to curated shows organized by board members, exhibition proposals are accepted year round.
West Los Angeles
Opening it’s doors in September of 2009, JAUS continues its mission towards delivering curatorial projects, by both in-house and outside curators, with an ample range of themes, genres, and media by artists from around the world in diverse stages of their careers.
From 2014, JAUS has focused primarily on solo and two-person exhibitions.
Commonwealth and Council
Commonwealth & Council is an intergenerational community of artists extending our multiple realities through the shared experience of art. Our goal is to learn along the way, how generosity and hospitality can sustain our co-existence.
Elephant is a contemporary artist-run space in Glassell Park, Los Angeles. Elephant houses six working studios, a central exhibition space and an outdoor event area. The studio artists collaborate to provide outside curators and artists a physical location for exhibitions, events and gatherings.
Tiger Strikes Asteroid
Downtown Los Angeles
Tiger Strikes Asteroid is a network of artist-run spaces with locations in Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles. Each space is independently operated and focuses on presenting a varied program of emerging and mid-career artists. Our goal is to collectively bring people together, expand connections and build community through artist-initiated exhibitions, projects, and curatorial opportunities.
Our exhibitions and projects have been featured in numerous print and online publications including The New York Times, Art F City, Hyperallergic, The Huffington Post, L Magazine, Whitehot Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Two Coats of Paint, Artinfo, Artnet News, Beautiful Decay, and the artblog.
Art + Practice
Founded by artist Mark Bradford, philanthropist and collector Eileen Harris Norton, and social activist Allan DiCastro, Art + Practice Foundation (A+P) is an arts and education private operating foundation based in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. A+P’s mandate is to create an educational platform that supports the acquisition of practical skills for foster youth and stresses the cultural importance of art within a larger social context.
To support its goals of empowering foster youth and strengthening communities through contemporary art, A+P oversees three areas of focus:
• a technology lab and classrooms
• a curated film and lecture space
• an exhibition space for visual arts
Together, these three embody A+P’s commitment to art and social practice.
Eastside International (ESXLA)
Eastside International (ESXLA) is an artist-run contemporary art exhibition space and international artist residency based in Los Angeles, California, directed by artist Jason Ramos.
Founded in 2014 by Ramos and artists Michelle Carla Handeland Molly Shea, Eastside International’s artist in residence program hosts up to five artists to live, work, and immerse themselves in the Los Angeles art community. ESXLA’s parallel exhibition program features the work of local, national, and international emerging and established artists in a non-commercial alternative venue.
Eastside International is one of the EMERGE Projects fiscally sponsored by the Pasadena Arts Council.
Advisory board:Michelle Carla Handel, Jay Erker, John Mills
Eastside International is located at 602 Moulton Ave, on the grounds of the Brewery art colony complex, in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood (90031), on the eastside of Los Angeles, California, USA.
Human Resources is a team of creative individuals which seeks to broaden engagement with contemporary and conceptual art, with an emphasis on performative and underexposed modes of expression.
Human Resources is entirely volunteer run and seeks to foster widespread public appreciation of the performative arts by encouraging maximum community access. Human Resources also serves as a point of convergence for diverse and disparate art communities to engage in conversation and idea-sharing promoting the sustainability of non-traditional art forms.
BLAM is an innovative exhibition model focused on creating a synergy between artists in Los Angeles and Brooklyn. These bicoastal, multiplatform exhibition spaces in downtown Los Angeles and the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn are designed to showcase a wide range of artists and curators from both sides of the country.
The BLAM project encourages artist curators and outside curators to create exhibitions. The goal is to introduce the wealth of talent in both communities to a wider audience of art lovers, art writers, curators and collectors. The spaces also will bring selected international artists to audiences in the two cities.
The project aims to create dialogues between artists, critics, galleries and collectors with programming that goes beyond the traditional gallery model, including collaborations and a unique cooperation of artists from both coasts. The dialogues continue outside gallery walls as BLAM partners with other alternative spaces, publications and organizations.