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MOCA to take over city-owned Municipal Art Gallery in Hollywood?

September 3, 2010 |  2:34 pm

MunicipalArtGalleryL.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art is interested in running the city-owned Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Hollywood’s Barnsdall Park, as the cash-starved city government tries to outsource eight arts facilities in hopes of saving about $1.3 million a year.

MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch has toured the 10,000-square-foot gallery with curators on his staff, said Olga Garay, executive director of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

The prospect does not sit well with Municipal Art Gallery supporters, who cherish its tradition of including Southern California artists who haven’t gotten the broader art-world acclaim.

“It’s a very democratic space. It’s open to just about anybody. A lot of emerging and mid-career artists would not have the opportunity to exhibit in a space like that, and that would be a major loss,” said Mark Steven Greenfield, who, until he recently took an early retirement that the city offered as a cost-cutting measure, had been director of the Municipal Art Gallery.

Turning it into a satellite of a museum with much bigger fish to fry, he said, could “go a long way toward greater stratification of the arts in Los Angeles. Eli Broad and his buddies are already carving up the city culturally the way they want to see it, and a lot of people are going to be left out of the mix.”
Click here to keep reading about the plan to turn over the Municipal Art Gallery operations to MOCA.

-- Mike Boehm

Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery Associates