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2011 Rings in a Gallery Row Shuffle

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, January 06, 2011, at 08:07AM
'Water and Power' at BGFA Ed Fuentes

Richard Ankrom’s neon abstract “Water and Power” in the windows of BGFA during January 2009 Downtown Art Walk. BGFA is moving out of the space, LACDA is moving in.

5th and Main has long been considered the heart of Downtown Art Walk, both literally and figuratively. Not only has it been the hub of all of the action, but it is easily recognizable by the neon heart 12 stories above on the roof of the Rosslyn Lofts. That heart will beat a little differently after a trio of changes involving galleries located on the corner.

On December 22nd, Bert Green formally announced that his gallery space at 5th and Main Bert Green Fine Art (BGFA), will close on March 1st. This switch is only the beginning of the Downtown art gallery shuffle, which will include a relocation of Edgar Varela Fine Art (EVFA) and Rex Bruce’s Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (LACDA).

Green will continue to sell works out of a private space and will offer viewings by appointment only.

The news from Green shortly followed the announcement by Varela, who briefly shared the BGFA space, that his Edgar Varela Fine Art would be relocating to 727 S. Spring.

During the holiday break, Varela has been renovating the space that was, until recently, Gallery 727.

EVFA is slated for a soft opening that will host an artist reception for photographer Michael Grecco during Downtown Art Walk on January 13.

The gallery’s official reopening on Spring is planned for Saturday, January 15.

Moving in to BGFA’s space across the street at 102 W. 5th is the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art.

“We just signed a lease last Wednesday,” says Rex Bruce, LACDA’s owner and curator who plans to make full use of the space. “Everything about this is right. [With the windows] there are more opportunties for public art; light boxes, live video feeds, flashy windows.” LACDA will move into the space in March.

The September 6th, 2004, issue of Downtown News listed the eight galleries on the inaugural art walk roster as Gallery 727, The Geffen Contemporary, ArtShare (Arts District), and the Museum of Neon Art (MONA, at its former Olympic location), The Space, Bank, sixspace, and Milla Angelina Gallery. LADCA and El Nopal Press joined Art Walk soon after, starting a wave of galleries to open in Gallery Row.

While they are downsizing their space, Adrian Rivas will keep the Gallery 727 brand alive via programming and curation.

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