Once upon a time, art galleries kept shorter hours and hung light-hearted group shows in the summer months. Many even took the whole month of August off. Well, those days are largely over, with many galleries setting up important programming in the off-season, including the dog days. But that doesn’t mean we have to totally forget it’s summertime.
Here’s an appreciation of some L.A. galleries whose names, at least, conjure up the lemonade. Don’t let the breezy campground- and road trip–inflected names entirely fool you, though, because these galleries are up to some serious business when it comes to contemporary art. Many are artist-run and/or collectives; all offer eclectic, engaging and relevant programming on the edgier end of the new art spectrum. Some even have more upcoming July and August shows still in the offing, which is way better than the summer school I remember.
Established in 2015 by Alice Lodge, the gallery presents about half a dozen exhibitions per month across painting, photography, installation and interdisciplinary genres in a brightly renovated storefront on Western Avenue. Its next show, of works with an eccentric palette and expansive abstract architectural quality by Robbie Simon, opens Saturday, July 21, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. The Lodge. 1024 N. Western Ave., East Hollywood; (323) 745-0231, thelodge.la. Thu.-Sat., noon-6 p.m.; thru Aug. 18; free.
Artist and collector Danny First built a tiny house in his backyard and dedicated it as a tiny art studio, inviting one artist at a time to spend a month or so living in L.A., creating new art in response to the experience, and showing it on-site. The semi-private exhibition space is open by appointment only except during its culminating receptions, often Sunday afternoons, when all are invited to explore. The Cabin. 451 N. Citrus Ave., Hancock Park; (323) 559-2346, thecabinla.com. Open by appointment and for receptions only; free.
The Shed Collective
When four friends — artists Kristine Schomaker, Cathy Immordino, Sheli Silverio and Diane Williams — had the brainchild that became The Shed Collective, it was kind of a joke. They each have access to unconventional spaces, including random porches and outbuildings and even a water closet, and someone said they should make them into galleries. Be careful what you wish for, because their “alternative to alternative galleries” is now a peripatetic pop-up reality, with shows in offbeat locations from the Brewery to Silver Lake Terrace and a Facebook-only HQ.
Winslow Garage is Elizabeth Wild’s artist-run project space in Silver Lake exhibiting local and international contemporary art, as time permits. “The Symphony of Names: No Man Is an Island” is a video and sound installation by L.A.-based artist Elizabeth Withstandley, opening on Sunday, Aug. 5, with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m.. The piece is a collaboration with Icelandic composer Gunnar Másson, created during a monthlong residency in 2017 in Reykjavik. Winslow Garage. 3540 Winslow Drive, Silver Lake; (213) 841-9617, winslowgarage.com. Open by appointment and for receptions.
Visitor Welcome Center
This beguiling gallery space is an oasis of transformed domestic comfort and empathy along an urban stretch on the eastern edge of Koreatown. Artists exhibiting here frequently show work and make installations dealing with ideas about community and placemaking, as well as responding to the private-seeming environment. Currently on view through Aug. 11 are three concurrent shows, including folk-ritual sculptures by Ciriza, a tactile and chromatic materials array by Paula Wilson, and deeply emotional allegorical narrative paintings by Julia Schwartz.
Visitor Welcome Center. 3006 W. Seventh St., Koreatown; (213) 703-1914, visitorwelcomecenter.org. Wed.-Sat., noon-6 p.m.; free.