co-LAb gallery showcases emerging local artists

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Author: Taylor Majewski

Along York Boulevard’s bustling stretch of assorted storefronts and twinkle-lit eateries, there are two doors, freshly painted in vibrant pink and blue. The doors mark the entrance to co-LAb gallery, Highland Park’s latest addition to the community’s burgeoning art scene and a space that is turning the gallery concept on its head.

co-LAb gallery was founded in 2010 by owner Galo Medina and curator Kristin Hector. It originally made its home in Koreatown but relocated to Highland Park Feb. 21 with hopes of becoming a part of Northeast L.A.’s rising art community.

“There’s a huge pool of people who are pursuing their own creative careers in Los Angeles, and we want to connect with them,” Hector said. “The idea behind the gallery is to promote up-and-coming, early career artists by having contemporary, curated works at affordable prices.”

The staff at co-LAb gallery plans on organizing workshops and classes in which both customers and artists can participate. For people who may not have access to an art community and want feedback on their work, the gallery will hold critique sessions open to the public.

In terms of art installments, co-LAb will feature a new show every two to three months and put on sporadic pop-up events to keep the rotating showcase of work fresh and new. The current exhibit will be open until May 9.

The space itself is even catered toward community engagement. Upon entering the gallery, visitors are warmly greeted by staff members, and immediately enveloped by a varied array of paintings, prints and sculptures. The current exhibit, as part of the gallery’s launch show, is an eclectic mix of new surrealism, neon colors and quirky doodles. Some of the show’s highlights include Bethany McCarty’s colorful portraits of Alpacas, miniature house sculptures by Nargol Arefi and Noah Emhurt’s outside-the-lines painting of coffee cups. There are small trinkets, one-of-a-kind cards and silkscreened pillows atop a vintage secretary desk, courtesy of co-LAb gallery’s vintage store neighbor, The Hunt Village. It is a creative Mecca.

co-LAb staff said that they hope to create long-term, lasting relationships with local artists. For Occidental artists, the gallery could potentially become a resource for students hoping to show their work.

In keeping with the gallery’s name, co-LAb seeks to provide a more collaborative space for amateur and professional artists. With this unique mission, co-LAb Gallery is Highland Park’s must-see newcomer, and is sure to fit in perfectly.

co-LAb gallery is located at 5319 York Blvd. and is open Wednesday through Sunday, 12 pm to 7 pm.

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