Nonprofit Gallery JOAN Moves to New Space in Downtown L.A.

Interior view of JOAN’s new location in Downtown Los Angeles.


The nonprofit gallery space JOAN has relocated to a new location in Downtown Los Angeles from the city’s West Adams neighborhood. A solo exhibition of the L.A.-born, New York–based artist Sam Anderson will inaugurate the space, with an opening on February 17 for a show of new sculptures and a video work.

The new 3,000-square-foot gallery, which is almost twice as big as JOAN’s previous space, is on the seventh floor of the Bendix Building, a Los Angeles icon with a red neon rooftop sign visible from the 10 freeway.

Summer Guthery, a founder and director of JOAN, said she looked forward to operating Downtown in the same building as the gallery Chateau Shatto and a number of artist studios as well as near the new Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Night Gallery, and Commonwealth and Council.

Guthery described the move as part of a process to further solidify JOAN’s curatorial aims with space for major performance work as well as institutional aspirations including board expansion, a membership program, and raising funds to provide artists with more support for projects. “We’re thrilled to be able to move into this new space and make these major developments with the program toward growth,” Guthery told ARTnews. “A lot of context is spaces that started in the ’70s and ’80s, so it feels great to be able to take that model of supporting artists at an early stage in their career.”

The gallery’s former location in West Adams was close to other art institutions including the Underground Museum and Art + Practice, but Guthery attributed the move in part to rising rents in that neighborhood as civic developments loom, among them the planned completion of a light rail extension line next year.

JOAN was founded in 2015 by three independent curators—Guthery, Gladys-Katherina Hernando, and Rebecca Matalon—and has since presented the work of more than 80 artists. Of those artists, 60 percent have been L.A.-based and 65 percent have been women. Among them was an excellent presentation of Aura Rosenberg’s historical “Head Shots” series in 2016.

JOAN’s future programming now includes a performance by Zurich-based artist Sophie Jung and a group show of work by Eva LeWitt, Ragen Moss, and Madeline Hollander.

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