The core of LA Artcore evolved out of the social and artistic interactions of students in at Cal State LA’s fine arts department, under the tutelage of Lydia Takeshita during 1960’s and 1970’s. Students would meet regularly outside of class to discuss what would become a cumulative involvement in Downtown LA’s aesthetic movement of the late-70’s, 80’s and early-90’s, and its budding fine arts culture.
Following her Cal State LA tenure, Ms. Takeshita and many of her students relocated their activities to Downtown and established a gallery space on San Mateo street in what is now the Arts District. LA Artcore was formally incorporated as a 501-c3 nonprofit corporation in 1979. During the 1980’s, Takeshita and LA Artcore produced numerous exhibits and along with an in-house publication entitled Visions Art Quarterly that brought local and regional coverage until 1991. Concurrently, Ms. Takeshita established LA Artcore’s International Exchange Program with then-visiting artists, Kamol Tassananchalee, Yoshio Ikezaki, and Nobu Kano, who have been longtime partners in this collaborative exchange that allows artists to travel and exihibit in a foreign country. Since then, LA Artcore has conducted exchange programs with Thailand, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Italy, San Luis Obispo, and Albuquerque.
In addition to its Downtown space Takeshita secured another gallery space in 1998 at the Brewery Arts Colony, a former Brewery transformed into the country’s largest live-work artist’s complex. This gallery space is still in operation today with regularly scheduled monthly art exhibits.
Around this same time, and with help from the City of L.A., the Little Tokyo Service Center administered the redevelopment of an abandoned church building on Judge John Aiso St. into an multi-use arts complex where LA Artcore along with East West Player and Visual Communications currently reside.
With over 1600 exhibits in its exhibition history, Artcore maintains a schedule of at least twenty-four exhibits per year across its two spaces, conducts artist receptions and hosts conversations with the artists during exhibit receptions. In addition to solo and group shows, special exhibits have included partnerships with the Women’s Caucus for Art, Jovenes, independent curators, student groups, and self-taught artists. In 2015, Ms. Takeshita produced an interdisciplinary program of music, live painting, and dance.
With over 38 years in existence, LA Artcore continues to adapt to the changing artistic and cultural landscape of Downtown LA by continuing to develop and build upon interactive artistic programming and community involvement.