Art Share L.A. is a sanctuary for the arts in downtown LA. 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…
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. Art Share also hosted a 7-week summer series, consisting of live music, film screenings and improvisational theater, to which the community responded with resounding excitement.