While most museums remain closed due to the pandemic, many have pivoted online, hosting digital exhibitions, panels, and workshops. In doing so, these creative spaces have been able continue to serve their communities, proving that art transcends physical gallery space and white walls. In honor of Black History Month, we’ll be taking a look at just a few Black-owned museums and galleries dedicated to bringing art to LA’s residents.
The Underground Museum
Founded by Karon and Noah Davis, The Underground Museum is a space for exhibitions, events, and artist collaborations. Located in Arlington Heights, The Underground Museum is a cultural outpost complete with a garden and film screenings, dedicated to ensuring access to contemporary art and ideas for all of LA’s residents. Though the museum is currently closed, they have an online bookstore where you can find an assortment of art catalogues, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and kids’ books.
The Crenshaw Dairy Mart
Founded by Patrisse Cullors, Noé Olivas, and Alexandre Dorriz, the Crenshaw Dairy Mart is home to an artist collective and art gallery. The space is dedicated to shifting the trauma-induced conditions of poverty and economic injustice, bridging cultural work and advocacy, and investigating ancestries through the lens of Inglewood and it’s community. The space currently offers both public art and exhibitions that can be viewed upon appointment.
Art + Practice
Conceived and founded by artist Mark Bradford, activist Allan DiCastro, and philanthropist and art collector Eileen Harris Norton, Art + Practice is a private operating foundation based in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. Their mission is twofold: (1) collaborate with a nonprofit social service provider (i.e. First Place for Youth) to support the needs of 18 to 24-year-old foster youth who are transitioning into adulthood, and (2) provide free access to museum-curated contemporary art celebrating artists of color. Art + Practice is currently closed, but still offers virtual tours and panels to the public.
Band of Vices
Band of Vices serves as a platform for emerging, mid-career & established contemporary artists. One of the leading contemporary art spaces in the West Adams Arts District of Los Angeles, Band of Vices was founded in 2015 by veteran actor & art curator Terrell Tilford. His first gallery, Tilford Art Group (1999-2010) was launched in New York City, then relocated to Mid-City, Los Angeles. In addition to its contemporary art base, Band of Vices also offers rare works by Modern American Masters. The space currently offers limited hours and walk-thrus by appointment only.
Justen LeRoy launched SON. Studio operating within his father’s long-standing barbershop in South Central LA. SON. is a platform for the multi-faceted experiences of black men. What started as a one-off photography exhibition is now a series of programming, events, and information sharing. The barbershop and studio space is located at 3733 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90018