UPDATE 3/17: Since publishing this item last week, every institution has shuttered, and about 1/3 of the smaller galleries remain open by appointment only.
Along with the big-ticket cultural disruptions like SXSW, Coachella, PaleyFest, DragCon and the suspension of the NBA season, the art world has had its own hard choices to make. To begin with, the very idea of the crowded international art fair model itself is under scrutiny, as Art Basel Hong Kong canceled a while ago, and Tefaf Maastricht closed early just this week after a gallerist tested positive for the virus. Major spring fairs are announcing cancellations every hour — along with Broadway, Disneyland and March Madness.
The dynamics of even modestly attended gallery talks and opening receptions is on the table, too, with literally hundreds of venues including independent galleries, artist-run spaces, and big names) announcing that while their exhibitions will go on as planned and be open during regular hours or perhaps by appointment, no receptions or special events would be held until further notice. Many are choosing to close altogether until the March 31st date being widely observed on the advice of City Hall. We are updating at our Arts & Culture Twitter as announcements are released.
The not-as-terrible news for art shows compared with one-night or performance-based gigs is that because like museums whose shows are on view for months, galleries leave their exhibitions on view for between three to six weeks after their opening nights, so the artists still have at least a chance of getting people to see their work.
In a sense, gallery-going offers a fairly low-risk activity for the home-office-bound and stir-crazy, as for the most part you’ll have them entirely to yourselves, especially weekdays — and you’re not allowed to touch anything in there anyway.
But what about the higher profile, destination, one-off events like festivals, conferences, and community gatherings? Well, that is where the hits are coming, and quickly now. Within the last few days alone almost a dozen major cancellations have decimated the L.A. art world calendar — disappointing thousands of people who have been working hard and thousands more who’ve been looking forward to gathering, experiencing, and spending money…
UPDATE 3/17: The Huntington has closed.
UPDATE 3/14: The Los Angeles Public Library is closed through March 31, a position that has become something of a default for the majority of large-scale operations. A plurality of smaller venues like commercial galleries remain open, during posted hours and by appointment.
UPDATE 3/13: MOCA closing its locations effective today. USC’s Fisher Museum of Art closing. Hammer closing. Natural History Museum closing. LACMA closing as of Saturday, as is the Fowler Museum, and CAAM.
A small but growing number of galleries are also now closing temporarily such as LA Louver, Regen Projects and Roberts Projects, while technically they and others still remain open by appointment.
Westweek 3/18-19 at PDC is cancelled.
Here’s what’s off as of Thursday, March 12 (will be updated as needed):
- Other Places Art Fair was March 14-15, postponed until September 19-20. (They say it’s at least partly due to the rainy weather forecast though, as it’s an outdoor event.)
- Not Real Art Creators Conference was March 21, postponed until 2021.
- Art Night Pasadena on March 21 canceled.
- YoungArts Los Angeles March 24-28 canceled.
- Printed Matter LA Art Book Fair at MOCA Geffen April 3-5 canceled.
- Brewery Art Walk April 4 canceled, per an email Wednesday. The next one is in October.
- Venice Art Walk May 3, online only, studio tours canceled.
- Sawtelle Japantown Festival May 3, postponed until October 4.
- ArtCenter’s Grad Show has been canceled (and classes suspended).