LA is a city that was built on the arts! So it stands to reason that we have some of the finest art galleries to be found. We have put together a guide of some of LA’s best art districts and galleries just for you!
And if you are looking for the perfect gift to give someone, nothing tops art. Long after that kitchen appliance or electronic gadget has broken, art will be adding beauty, vitality and emotion to the home it is in.
The recipient will have fond memories of you each time they see it. And in many cases art will increase in value so it is also an investment. There just isn’t a better Christmas gift to give someone than a work of art.
So I decided to compile a short list of art districts and art galleries for you to check out and a few online art resources as well. Also see our guide to the best art museums in Los Angeles.
Bergamot station is the first on my list due to the concentration of art galleries in one space, and the ease of finding parking! It’s located at 2525 Michigan Ave in Santa Monica and is open 10 AM – 6 PM and 11 AM – 5:30 PM on Saturday. Hours could change as the holidays approach, so be sure to check their website before going. You can also find a comprehensive list of their galleries and events.
The art galleries at Bergamot are among the finest. You will find photography, painting, mixed media, sculptures, found art, and more. Something is sure to resonate with you. Art galleries at Bergamot include:
Peter Fetterman Gallery
Gallery Luisotti / RAM Publications
Santa Monica Auctions
The Sculpture Foundation
Duncan Miller Gallery
Kevin Barry Fine Art Associates
Shoshana Wayne Gallery
Patrick Painter, Inc.
Craig Krull Gallery
Skidmore Contemporary Art
Richard Heller Gallery
Lora Schlesinger Gallery
Leslie Sacks Gallery
Robert Berman Gallery
William Turner Gallery
Latin American Masters
Lois Lambert Gallery | GFA
Building Bridges Art Exchange
Ruth Bachofner Gallery
Beyond The Lines Gallery
William A. Karges Fine Art
and Sulkin / Secant Gallery
DTLA Arts District
The DTLA Arts District is both an area where artists live and work, and one where you can find unique art galleries. The Arts District, roughly bounded by Alameda, the Los Angeles River, the 101 Freeway and the 10 Freeway, is known to many as the creative and cultural hub of Los Angeles.
This is an area that had fallen into a state of disrepair and it owes its new vitality in large part to the artists who have taken up residence there and pumped life and beauty into the area. It has resulted in an influx of new businesses, residential developments and the rebirth of older industrial buildings that have contributed to returning Los Angeles into a city with a thriving urban core.
You won’t find the same easy parking here as at Bergamot, but you will find much more unique galleries and a gain a better chance at getting to spend some one on one time with the artists. You will also be giving back to those who have done so much to revitalize our city. Click here for listing of galleries.
Though it is in LA’s Historic Core, not the Art District, there is also the DTLA Art Walk that occurs in the area bounded by 1st St on the north, Olympic on the south, Grand St on the west and Los Angeles St on the east… with most of the action centered around Spring St. (see also the Unofficial Art Walk that centers on Spring St. where much more economical art can be found.)
The Downtown Art Walk is on the second Thursday of each month, though you can visit the galleries at any time during their normal business hours. More information and a listing of galleries on the tour can be found at the Downtown Art Walk website.
Culver City Arts District
Another thriving art district in Los Angeles is the Culver City Arts District. The CCAD encompasses more than 35 contemporary art galleries, 17 specialty restaurants and 25 boutique and design retailers.
The Culver City Arts District is located on Washington Boulevard between Helms and Fairfax Avenues as well as La Cienega Blvd. between Venice and Fairfax Avenue. And if you want to include home furnishing and decor as art, then stop on by the Helms Bakery District while you are there and check out the shops there as well.
Visit the Culver City Arts District website for a listing of galleries and other attractions.
Santa Monica Arts
I can’t find an “official” arts district for Santa Monica, but the oceanside city is a thriving hub of the arts. With over 120 museums, galleries, and public art installations it isn’t taking a back seat to anyone. The art galleries are scattered throughout the town. A couple of notable ones include include Bergamot Station which, mentioned at the beginning of this article, houses Santa Monica’s single largest concentration of art galleries, if not the largest concentration of galleries in Los Angeles.
Santa Monica Art Studios also houses a large collection of artists and gallery spaces. It is a newer arts complex in a 22,000 square foot historic hangar at the Santa Monica Airport. A community of visual artists who are at various levels in their profession careers work in private studio spaces under a soaring roof dotted with skylights that spread natural light year round.
Located at 3026 Airport Ave in Santa Monica, it primarily houses artists, but a number of shows and opportunities to buy art exist there. Check the Santa Monica Art Studios website for more info.
San Pedro Waterfront Arts District
San Pedro is part of Los Angeles with a thriving arts district. The area boasts over 34 exceptional art galleries and holds first Thursday and 3rd Saturday art walks. I have not yet had the pleasure of spending time in the district but I hope to very soon. Meanwhile check out the art galleries and art events on the San Pedro Waterfront Arts District website!
Beverly Hills is also home to a number of high end art galleries featuring blue chip art and artists, but I have not found any official arts district there. They do tend to cluster near Rodeo Drive, Camden Drive, Beverly Blvd and 3rd St.
I have always been amazed at just how much Los Angeles shows its support for the arts in terms of art events, districts, galleries, museums and programs.