Our mission is to support artists by providing them a creative environment for them to reside, develop, perform and exhibit. Art Share L.A. inspires artists and provides connection to the community for shared benefit. We maintain a 28,000 sq-ft warehouse in the heart of the arts district. Upstairs, we provide 30 subsidized live/work lofts for artists. Downstairs, we have a community programmed facility offering classes, exhibitions and events.
BUILDING DETAILS & HISTORY:
In 1912, the lot was a single family residential home. The property was bought in 1928 and a 28,800 square foot, 2-story textile recycling (“rag shop”) was constructed.
During the mid-80’s the area surrounding this warehouse, now called the Arts District, experienced a major influx of artists who sought the large, open, industrial spaces for creative purposes. This trend continued throughout the 90’s and with the increasing interest in loft-living came a drastic increase in property value.
In 1997, the building was purchased and Art Share L.A. was born. The top floor was converted into 30 affordable micro-loft live/work spaces with a large common room. Part of the roof was removed to allow for natural light, and to create an outdoor patio area—complete with koi pond. The bottom floor was compartmentalized into a theater, gallery, painting studio and office with 3 additional multi-purpose classrooms. Remnants of the industrial era are still present at Art Share—brick walls, wooden support beams, sliding freight doors and old train tracks in our alley…
Since early 2013, Art Share L.A. has become the creative art center that is preserving arts in the Arts District. As the neighborhood continues to grow and new developments pop-up, our organization stays committed to giving access to work space, studio space, performance and exhibition space.
Our building propels our mission and artists are free create their vision within our space.
Art Share L.A. was founded as a community arts center and affordable housing complex during a time when inner-city arts programming was non-existent and artists were being displaced by the skyrocketing property value and rent increases. The average rental rate for a loft in 1990 was $0.25cents/square foot – today, the average rental rate is pushing $1.35/square foot.
At the turn of the century, Art Share flourished as an after-school arts center for youth ages 12-18, and experienced tremendous success shaping student lives through exposure to the arts. Following the 2008 recession, the non-profit landscape and demographics of the neighborhood had both changed drastically, and Art Share found itself in dire need of programmatic reassessment and building repair.
The summer of 2012 was a revolutionary period for Art Share, in which we re-opened our doors and re-launched our programs. The organization underwent a strategic rebranding and assessment, with help from our neighbors at brand consulting firm Innovation Protocol, and new board members and new managing staff joined the team. The building’s exterior received a killer paint job with help from international street artist, INSA—transforming the space into a vibrant downtown landmark. In addition, that summer Art Share hosted the largest community exhibition the gallery had ever seen. Entitled “25 Cents a Square Foot”, the show involved over 100 pieces that told the story of the Arts District.
Kevin Rodin – President
Kevin Rodin has worked in the Arts District for most of the last five years as a developer of innovative and sustainable affordable housing. He has been working in nonprofits and nonprofit management for over ten years. He currently is Vice President of Development at the Michaels Organization, the nation’s largest affordable housing development company, where he runs the largest active public housing redevelopment west of the Mississippi. Music is his thing.
Mark Walsh – Secretary
Mark Walsh has lived and worked in the Arts District since 1987 as a sculptor and freelance designer. He owns the Downtown Artist Space, which rents out workspace and tools. He also produces web videos that promote the arts in Los Angeles.
Mona Lee – Treasurer
Mona has been a resident of the Arts District since the early 90’s and has seen the gentrification of our neighborhood. She has been a long time supporter of artists their works. Mona joined the board to further that involvement.
Tanner Blackman (New Member)
Dave Hunt (New Member)
Daniel Lisi (New Member)
Daniel is the CEO of Game Over, an independent video game development studio. Lisi produces a range of literary events, gallery exhibits, and film projects in Los Angeles. He is the author of World of Warcraft, a book on the social and cultural effects of the online game World of Warcraft.
Samantha Martin (New Member)
Tara Thomas is the owner of Traxx Restaurant inside Union Station and an avid collector of contemporary art. Prior to Traxx, she owned 410 Boyd, a restaurant that was a legendary haven for artists to congregate, eat, drink and make merry. Tara has lived and worked in Downtown Los Angeles since 1992 and never plans to leave.
Rick Robinson – Former President
Rick Robinson is a fine artist and advertising professional. His has been a deeply immersed citizen of the LA Arts District since 1992, working with community-based groups from the start. He is the outgoing Art Share Board President, having served since 2012. His current professional assignment is that of Chief Strategy Officer for Billups – http://billupsww.com/. You can see his artwork at http://primitivepop.net/