The art chapel at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles during the exhibition "Simon Toparovsky: Vessels and Channels," Nov. 9, 2014–Feb. 15, 2015. Photographer: deMonica Orozco.

The art chapel at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles during the exhibition "Simon Toparovsky: Vessels and Channels," Nov. 9, 2014–Feb. 15, 2015. Photographer: deMonica Orozco.

TOP TEN LISTS By Leanna Robinson

Unconventional Spaces; Best Bars; Best Bites; 10 Conversation Startes

Top Ten Unconventional Art Spaces

1.    Kingswell
This skate shop in Los Feliz has had some surprisingly good art shows—most recently by the LA-based illustrator, Bonethrower.

2.    The Standard
This downtown hotel is known to host performance and nontraditional art. Recently they held a 24-hour exhibition featuring performance art and artist-decorated rooms.

3.    Café de Leche
Art at cafés is decidedly uncool. However, this Highland Park café manages to host established contemporary artists in its small, eclectic space.

4.    Pehrspace
Part gallery, part community space, part music venue, this downtown-adjacent small space not much larger than a living room has hosted a number of art shows. Unfortunately, Pehrspace is about to close its doors, although they still have hopes of moving to a new location.

5.    The Handbag Factory
Mostly known for throwing raves these days (don’t tell them I told you), this DIY space also hosts art shows and performance art events.


Cathedral of our Lady art space hi res TOP TEN LISTS By Leanna Robinson

The art chapel at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles during the exhibition “Simon Toparovsky: Vessels and Channels,” Nov. 9, 2014–Feb. 15, 2015.

6.    Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
LA’s Catholic cathedral downtown is known to house art exhibits and openings on nights that it is not having services.

7.    The Women’s Center for Creative Work
While this functions primarily as a community space for women in Los Angeles, WCCW hosts art openings, and often has exhibitions running.

8.    Non Plus Ultra
This DIY space often hosts music events, but is known to house various performance and visual artists, even hosting a short experimental film showcase recently.

9.    Club Pro
Another warehouse space downtown, Club Pro hosts raves and all-night events to fund its art shows.

10.    Pieter
This Lincoln Heights community space focuses on dance and performance art, especially experimental work.


10 Things to Talk About at Openings to Make You Seem More Interesting


mike kelley thought bubble TOP TEN LISTS By Leanna Robinson


What gallery you’ve recently been picked up by, even if it’s still “in the works”

Mike Kelley

Wherever you have recently vacationed. Bonus points if it’s somewhere in the south of France

Transcending the art market


Which famous (or B-list) actors have your work hanging in their house

Which artists you talk to on the phone regularly

What grants, rewards and other unnecessary cash you have been awarded lately

Emerging artists from third-world countries that you have taken under your wing

New York


Best Bars Near Galleries

Mandrakes interior bar TOP TEN LISTS By Leanna Robinson

The Mandrake bar in Culver City Arts District

1.    The Mandrake
This laid-back artist-run bar is smack dab in the middle of gallery row in Culver City.

2.    Molly Malone’s
If you’re spending the day at LACMA make sure to walk a block down Fairfax to this Irish pub.

3.    The Resident
This no-frills Arts District spot has everything you need: a patio and cocktails.

4.    Barkowski
Just a hop, skip and jump away from Santa Monica galleries, this Charles Bukowski-themed bar is not to be missed.

5.    Villain’s Tavern
Wash down bourgeois conversations with boozy shaved ice drinks at this classic Arts District watering hole.

6.    Blind Barber
Enter this Culver City bar through what appears to be a closed barber shop. Keep going through the dark hallway until you reach dive-bar goodness with a full cocktail menu.

7.    Next Door Lounge
Near the new gallery district in Hollywood lies this 1920s-style speakeasy. Their happy hour is from 5 to 8 and they make a great whiskey sour.

8.    Melody Lounge
If you’re stopping by Chinatown galleries, this beer and wine hideout is a perfect place to stop by. Sometimes they have bands or karaoke.

9.    The Arsenal
Another Santa Monica/Mid-City spot—this weapons-themed bar is charming, has great bar food and craft cocktails.

10.    The Edison
An obvious choice for museumgoers in Downtown LA; this sprawling bar has something for everyone (also, it may be haunted).


Art Spaces With the Best Bites

Kayne Griffin Corcoran exterior TOP TEN LISTS By Leanna Robinson

Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery outside entrance

1.    Kanye Griffin Corcoron
This gallery serves tacos, beans, chips and beer, and the food is made right in front of you, making it the best art-snack deal in town.

2.    Commonwealth & Council
Expect Korean fried chicken and other potluck favorites at this Artist-run
Koreatown gallery.

3.    Hammer Museum
Cheesy bread sticks, (although sometimes we wish there was something more).

4.    356 Mission
If you catch a talk here, expect grapes, strawberries—and Mexican Coke!

5.    Vincent Price Museum
They don’t have booze but this museum pulls out all the stops with various spreads, crackers, veggies and punch.

Hive interior crowd TOP TEN LISTS By Leanna Robinson

The Hive gallery on an opening night.

6.    The Hive
If beer is a snack then the Hive is your place. They surprisingly serve craft beer for free at their openings, so drink up!

7.    The Good Luck Gallery
This Chinatown gallery once served Chinese egg rolls with hot mustard and good quality wine. Maybe if we rally they will continue to step up their snack game.

8.    Bergamot Station
The galleries in this arts complex tend to add flare like hummus and salsa to the quintessential cheese plates.

9.    CB1
Greasy crisp potato chips and assorted nuts keep this gallery in the running.

10.    Loft at Liz’s
This gallery has huge spreads of hummus, olives, pita and veggies served with wine.