"One of L.A.'s best and most adventurous arts institutions, the LA Artcore Center promotes art that captures the culturally diverse spirit of the city."
(The Los Angeles Times)
LA Artore is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public benefit organization that has served LA for 31 years.
LA ARTCORE helps develop the careers of visual artists of diverse cultural backgrounds, bringing innovative contemporary art to the public, and provides educational programs by professional artists for people of all ages.
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From its inception, as a not for profit organization, Artcore has dedicated itself to the task of finding and exposing artists locally and internationally whose work shows dedication, excellence and originality. Artcore focuses on artists of all walks of life spurring the creativity of both emerging and established artists. Artcore's operative word has always been "opportunity," both for the artists, and for the community to have access to art. Artcore is committed to its mission of making art accessible without the constraints of the market economy. As such it exercises freedom of choice based strictly on quality and contribution to the community.
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- We support a community that recognizes the vitality of art and diversity.
- We encourage diverse points of view as essenital to a dynamic and creative community.
- We support independence from political pressure and inappropriate outside influence.
- We support passion and individual expression.
- We support lifelong learning for artists and art viewers as essential to a balanced and dynamic society.
- We believe every person has a creative capacity that enables multiple perspectives and the ability to know and change our world.
- We support cultivating the capacity to appreciate the arts as the simplest and most direct route to free thought, individuality and sustainable community.
- We support mentorship in the arts that awakens awareness of choices and appreciation.
- We support revealing our gifts for seeing and creating that strengthen our communities, understanding each other as equals and appreciating the continually refreshed examples of difference, beauty and love in our world.
- We support art education programs for those who seek to develop a passion for knowledge, sensitivity for life, and the poetic ability of the human spirit.
Our goal is to play an instrumental role in the future of a healthy, dynamic community where the value of art is clearly understood: to give the public insight into what art has to offer the community as a whole; participation in a constructive way of life; activation of the humanity that results from a lifelong pursuit of self-knowledge.
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One of our strategies is to expand contact between visual artists regionally and internationally by seeking the artists’ involvement in our vision. Another strategy is to draw increasingly diverse audiences from the widest possible spectrum of our community. Mature developed artists will establish year-round art programs and workshops designed for children, youth and adults to discover visual arts and its core values.
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LA Artcore was formed in 1979 to participate in a boom of galleries and artist studios forming around the downtown area. Founded by Lydia Takeshita, an art educator at Cal State LA with lifelong roots in Little Tokyo, the organization initially served to facilitate the professional development of artists by networking professional advice, portfolio reviews and studio visits, legal advice and printing resources.
In 1998, as the development of suburban art centers began to attract organizations away from the city core, LA Artcore centered its operations in the Brewery Arts Complex, then the largest art colony in the United States, where it is the longest established gallery. At that time the Union Center for the Arts was being designed, the renovation of a historic abandoned Japanese Union Church in Little Tokyo as part of the downtown museum hub. Due to its significance in LA contemporary art history and the heritage of its founder, LA Artcore was chosen to be one of the occupants for the new Union Center for the Arts.
LA Artcore published a magazine for nine years, Visions Art Quarterly, that did much to establish and further the careers of Los Angeles artists. Prior to the internet, printed materials framed much of the art world's communication, and provided archival records for an artist's career. LA Artcore positioned itself to produce publications and shows that featured these materials as a nonprofit service, making it a pioneer in the promotion and connection of artists based in Los Angeles and throughout the West Coast.
For the last 11 years, LA Artcore has settled into a self-sustaining, lean operating niche with a minimal staff of three individuals. Primarily relying on annual charity auctions and donations, it has operated a continuous calendar of art exhibitions at both locations, with a service record of exhibiting 1,600 artists over three decades.
One of its primary programs has been to include an artist’s talk with each reception, with a member of the Board of Directors introducing the artist to the public, and frequently including the demonstration of traditional or innovative techniques that may originate in various cultures. In addition to solo and group shows focused on the diversity of artists in the city, special shows have included exhibits for women, the disabled, the self-taught, homeless youth, student groups, senior citizen artists, and shows by other advocacy groups.
LA Artcore’s other primary program has been facilitating international exchange shows, where Los Angeles artists are sponsored to exhibit in other countries, while artists from host countries are given the opportunity to exhibit in Los Angeles.
Over the last two years, LA Artcore has been making strategic additions in its approach. In the time that LA Artcore has been in operation, it has developed a deep pool of professional artists as supporters, many of them art educators, and it is this resource that is being employed to launch into a new capacity for innovative, supplemental instruction for the community. Changing economic conditions, a concern for making a continued legacy out of its long service history, and an awareness of changes in the educational climate of the city has led to the decision to use our exhibition facilities to provide high quality art workshops free of charge to the low and middle income community that surrounds our locations.
With over 31 years in the core of Los Angeles, we continue to adapt and improve to serve our city.
James Patrick Finnegan
Won Sil Kim