The Arts District Welcomes New Contemporary Art Museum ICA LA

by Flaunt Intern

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Last month (September 9), the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA) opened its doors to the public as the Arts District's newest art museum. Although ICA LA shed its old identity as the Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA) founded in 1984, they are still determined to keep the important mission "of fostering artistic experimentation with bold curatorial choices, and connecting with various communities via timely, meaningful, and engaging public programs."

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“The Santa Monica Museum always had a commitment to social action and social justice, but because of our new location in a very diverse neighborhood downtown, we feel we can do even more important programming to involve the community,” ICA LA Director Elsa Longhauser told the LA Times.

From the outside, you may rapidly notice the space due the building's stimulating bright yellow paint with the brand's large ICA LA logo. The inside of the museum is spacious and amiable as if they have left a welcome mat for guests in front of the entrance. Admission into the museum is free, as the ICA LA is committed to making their programs and galleries easily accessible for all people.

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Art by twentieth century artist Martín Ramírez, was one of the featured exhibits during ICA LA's opening. Ramírez was a Mexican immigrant who found refuge in art after being institutionalized in psychiatric hospitals for schizophrenia for 30 years. In addition to Ramírez's His Life in Picutres, Another Interpretation exhibit, Sarah Cain's Now I'm Going to Tell You Everything exhibit and Abigail DeVille's No Space Hidden (Shelter) exhibit were also featured during opening weekend, and will be available to view until December 31.

The museum does not have have a permanent collection, allowing many diverse artists to come through to showcase their work. The ICA LA is also set to host workshops and panels with a bookstore and a cafe for visitors. 

Museum hours: Wednesday-Friday 11am-7pm & Saturday-Sunday 11am-6pm
Address: 1717 E 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90021


Written by Kelly An