Friday, May 11, 2007

Pharmaka is Cool - so help them out

One of the galleries that spearheaded the burgeoning (perhaps it's beyond burgeoning?) arts district in Downtown LA is Pharmaka, which opened its doors in 2005 with a mission very different from the typical commercial gallery: to "actively pursue an intellectual and verbal dialogue with painting and its place in history and today's society."

Basically, the founders, who are painters and dealers themselves, wanted a venue to show paintings that challenge the "superficial, market-driven cacophony that has displaced real critique," extending from their belief "in the power of painting as a visual and emotional language, a language that has existed and flourished for millennia, serving a myriad of social, political, religious, and even mystical purposes." Wow!

They actually curate shows with purpose, much like a museum does, but in more of a gallery setting. You can read more about their mission here, but suffice to say it's SO REFRESHING to check out gallery shows that are actually addressing an issue and showing works to reflect that (rather than, as its web site states, galleries that emphasize "shooting stars and signature styles").

Pharmaka is indeed a non-profit organization, which means it needs the help of art lovers like you! Click here to become a member now. Better yet, pay Pharmaka a visit. It's a gorgeous space with a great show right now, "Dear Mr. Saltz," and you can mosey down to Pete's for a drink afterwards.

Downtown LA Artwalk

So if you peeps have yet to explore the spate of new-ish galleries that have sprung up along Main and Broadway in Downtown LA (at least a couple dozen of them - just look at 'em all!), get off your keester and head down there! Not that you should wait a whole month to go, but a really great time to check out the scene is the 2nd Thursday Art Walk (happened last night). Eric and I went last night, and it's such a refreshing atmosphere - if you squint, you might convince yourself you're in New York, with all the great old architecture that can be so hard to find 'round here. There are such gorgeous old buildings down there, some restored, some in dire need of restoration, and the galleries are just a cauldron of interesting shows by some really fantastic artists.

More on that in the next entry. Plan now, the next one is Thurs., June 14.