At the moment, Beta Main is sort of like a sunflower seed. It's perfect and nourishing in its own right but, given the right conditions and care, it will grow into something grand, towering and breathtakingly beautiful. Open since October 2016, Beta Main is phase one of the Main Museum, a massive adaptive reuse project that will eventually (come 2020 or so) comprise three adjacent downtown buildings — for a total of 100,000 square feet — and will include a rooftop garden, a cafe and an amphitheater. In its current incarnation, Beta Main is a somewhat modest, 3,500-square-foot exhibition space with high ceilings and ancient tile floors. L.A. Weekly arts writer Catherine Womack cleverly referred to it as an “artistic amuse-bouche” when it opened last year, and, in fact, the programming has already given L.A. a taste of what it will do when it's fully fledged — and it's been good. As museum director Allison Agsten told us last year, “Women will always have a very important place in the program of this museum,” and so far they've lived up to that promise, opening with Suzanne Lacy and Andrea Bowers as resident artists, and later inviting East Los Angeles photographer Star Montana and L.A.-based artist Carolina Caycedo to display their work as resident artists. The application process for 2018 residencies closed Oct. 2, but we can't wait to see what's in store. The year 2020 can't come quickly enough.
Credit: Gwynedd Stuart