LACE both champions and challenges the art of our time by fostering artists who innovate, explore, and risk. We move within and beyond our four walls to provide opportunities for diverse publics to engage deeply with contemporary art. In doing so, we further dialogue and participation between and among artists and those audiences.
Founded in 1978 by a core group of committed artists, LACE is an internationally recognized pioneer among art institutions. LACE is a nonprofit venue that exhibits and advocates for innovations in art-making and public engagement. Uniquely positioned among commercial galleries and major art establishments at the heart of Hollywood as a free, open to the public experimental space, LACE has nurtured not only several generations of young artists, but also emerging art forms such as performance art, video art, digital art, and installations. LACE presents significant and timely exhibitions, performances, and public projects, which are complemented by education initiatives.
The thirteen founding artists of LACE were Sarah Parker; Bill Fisher; Robert Gil de Montes; Harry Gamboa, Jr.; Gronk; Richard Hyland; Joe Janusz; Marlyn Kemppanien; Ron Reeder; Alexander Sauer; Barry Scharf; David Scharf; and Nancy Youdelman.
LACE’s core values have remained the same since its founding in 1978:
A dedication to the art of our time that focuses on freedom of expression; experimentation with ideas, materials, and new forms; and content that is challenging and socially engaging
In nearly 40 years of consistent, high quality programming, LACE has presented the work of more than 5,000 artists in 3,000 programs and events, providing the impetus for dialogue about contemporary art and culture. Some of today’s most influential figures who received early support from LACE include Mike Kelley, John Baldessari, Bill Viola, Adrian Piper and Gronk. LACE has consistently given voice to the visions of Los Angeles’ diverse makers and curators, offering a 3,500 sq. foot gallery storefront space facing Hollywood Blvd., intimate programming in a 350 sq. ft. Project Room gallery and an ongoing educational series of online videos targeted to a broad public. Visitors come from all over the U.S. and the world.
SUPPORT AND PARTNERS
Major funders such as the Getty and Warhol Foundations have invested in LACE for major presentations. LACE is deeply rooted in and embedded in the arts culture of Southern California. Interns who are trained in all aspects of arts administration come from UCLA, the Cal States, USC, Occidental, CalArts, and Otis. LACE has partnerships with diverse organizations such as Hollywood Business Improvement District, Heidi Duckler Dance Company, Southern California Institute of Architecture, Metabolic Studio, LGBT Center, My Friends Place, ArtworxLA, Yucca Corridor Coalition of Property Owners and Managers, Metropolitan Water District, and Hollywood High School.
LACE relocated to Hollywood in 1993 with the assistance of the CRA, and has served as a cultural anchor on Hollywood Blvd. for more than 20 years. With neighboring Woodbury University’s architecture gallery and the Cupcake Theater, Hollywood Boulevard’s cultural nexus attracts those who visit bars, restaurants, theaters, and shops. It is also an amenity for residents in the new Metro station apartment complexes. As the arts scene in Hollywood develops, this strength will continue to impact the economic development of the Boulevard.
AUDIENCES AND COMMUNITY PROJECTS
While the contemporary art community in Los Angeles has grown and expanded over the years, LACE plays a unique role in the L.A. art scene. Without the constraints of a commercial gallery, LACE is free to serve as venue for the incubation of and discourse on emerging and experimental works. LACE maintains long-term relationships with a community of artists who value the support of its staff and interns. More than a venue in which to hold exhibitions or events, LACE is a partner in highlighting a diverse array of works and ideas for the public, including those from outside the traditional art world.
The L.A. art community is an essential audience since the abundance of art schools and cultural and entertainment climate are a huge attractor to the region. LACE is a gathering place central to creative life. Hundreds of people participate in exhibition openings and panel discussions. LACE is committed to creating online content in support of artists and artistic dialogue but the physical community gatherings are key to its success.
In addition to the artists and members of the cultural community that seek out LACE for its programs, the gallery’s accessible and free-to-the-public storefront location attracts business travelers and tourists as well as a growing group of Angelenos that live nearby.
Many spaces claim to be artist-centered – LACE fulfills that goal through offering artists and curators a real partnership for experimental work that will be shared with a large and significant audience. In addition to exhibitions, LACE supports artist development and builds community through educational events like Creative Capital Workshops and the Sustainability Network, and partnerships with organizations like ArtworxLA and PEN USA.
LACE was an early proponent of “Public Practice” projects. The tradition has continued with recent exhibitions such as After the Aqueduct, which explored Los Angeles’ water source; and Cocina Abierta Collective’s Help Wanted project, which exposed the lives of L.A.’s restaurant workers. Ongoing public practice projects include Chats About Change, a series that helps define what it means to be an L.A. artist committed to exploring the political and social arena of art making and communication.