ACME Gallery, By The River
By Patrick Quinn
Through February 18th
The on-going gentrification of L.A.’s lower-income districts is a subject worthy of a PBS documentary. One can connect the gentrified dots on a map from Silverlake to Echo Park to Chinatown to Highland Park to Boyle Heights. Dictionary.com has a surprisingly on-point definition of the term gentrification: “The buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper or middle-income families or individuals, thus improving property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses.”
Elysian Valley, better known as Frogtown, is the latest Los Angeles neighborhood to struggle with these urban growing pains. Since the late 1980’s, artists have been drawn here by the cheap rents and large industrial spaces. The Frogtown Art Walk has become a major event that attracts Angelinos from all parts of the city. 2016 saw the influx of new restaurants, coffee houses, and what has become the official stamp of hipster approval, a local brewpub. It also saw the arrival of ACME, its first major art gallery.
ACME originally opened in Santa Monica back in 1994. Then they moved to the 6150 Wilshire Complex near LACMA. After 19 successful years in that location, the gallery pulled up stakes and came to Elysian Valley. It was a bold move and it will be interesting to see if others follow in their footsteps. They are currently displaying By the River, a group show featuring a variety of artists, some of whom they represent. This is only the third show at the new location, but judging by the crowd at the recent opening, they made the right move.
The show features a wide variety of styles and mediums, but the new space is large enough to give each piece some breathing room. Another positive is that this is an industrial building with the intimacy of a gallery, unlike some of the warehouse-sized venues that have become all the rage downtown. A full list of the artists in the show is as follows: Tanya Aguiñiga, Miles Coolidge, Tomory Dodge, Natalie Frank, Terri Friedman, Gregor Gleiwitz, Iva Gueorguieva, Michael Henry Hayden, John Houck, Matthias Merkel Hess, Noa Kaplan, Kurt Kauper, Aaron Morse, Heather Rasmussen, Emette Rivera, Julian Rogers, Maja Ruznic, Allison Schulnik, Stephanie Washburn, and Amir Zaki.
By the River will be on display until February 18th. ACME Gallery is located at 2939 Denby Ave. LA CA 90039.
Regular hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 11am-6pm.
For more information, call (323)741-0330 or visit their website at http://www.acmelosangeles.com/