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doing something I wanted to do,” she said, while pointing out, “now it seems ‘doing what you want to do’ can be risky!” However, Open, the inaugural exhibit, was well-attended and critically acclaimed, and the gallery is now considered a core cultural space in the neighborhood. Papillion explains, “I plan on being in Leimert Park for as long as it makes sense for me to be here. I love this neighborhood; it’s been good to us and we to it.” The same enthusiasm for Papillion greeted Art + Practice, which opened its doors in February, 2015. Conceived of by philanthropist Eileen Norton, artist Mark Bradford, a MacArthur genius grant recipient who grew up in the neighborhood and has his studio there; and Allan DiCastro, Bradford’s partner and former president of the Mid-City Neighborhood Council, the complex features exhibition space (its first show featured the work of Charles Gaines, and was organized in partnership with the Hammer Museum), art studios, space for Eso Won, and offices for the RightWay Foundation, which provides social services for young people aging out of the foster system and vulnerable to living on the streets. The opening of Art + Practice and the debut of the Gaines show was a star-studded affair that brought out Mayor Garcetti as well as major art world figures. On view through June 8, A Shape that Stands Up, is a Hammer Museum off-site exhibition curated by Jamillah James. This survey of paintings, drawings and sculpture founded in figurative abstraction features the work of established and emerging artists. James told Fabrik that the Hammer is committed to further work with A+P: “Leimert Park has long been an incubator and anchor for the arts in Los Angeles, and in its partnership with Art + Practice, the museum has been able to continue its involvement in the neighborhood.” Art + Practice has been justifiably praised as a welcome addition to Leimert Park. The fact that it was founded by people who have either lived or worked there, and that Bradford and DiCastro financed a great deal of it with their own funds, seems to augur good things. The future Village Metro stop along the Crenshaw line, slated to open in 2019, only adds to the sense that the neighborhood is shaping up to be a destination for arts-and-culture seekers. Of course, like many Los Angeles neighborhoods, Leimert Park has a complicated relationship with the forces of gentrification. While those seeking to revitalize Leimert Park seem to be demonstrating a great deal of respect for the uniqueness of the neighborhood, there are still questions about future develop-


Fabrik - Issue 31  
Fabrik - Issue 31  

This issue coincides with Fabrik’s Photo Independent Art Fair, and the Month of Photography LA. The photography theme crops up in our covera...