Home > Art, Downtown, East Village > What I Love About LBC: Art and Growth

What I Love About LBC: Art and Growth

During my first several weeks  living in Long Beach, I noticed something interesting and unique on several downtown streets: public art galleries in unused storefronts. After passing by the paintings and sculptures on 3rd Street multiple nights in a row, I grabbed one of the postcards tucked into the small plastic holder on the door out of curiosity. What I found was the web address and some basic information for Phantom Galleries LA, a Los Angeles County-based private organization which places work from local artists in vacant storefronts as a means of attracting businesses to the retail space, while promoting the arts and L.A. culture. Often times, this operation is run without funding and relies on community volunteers.

3rd Street Phantom Gallery temporary art installations

The four temporary art instillations from Phantom Galleries LA on East 3rd Street make the block look more attractive and alive. Much better than bare plywood.

Blogging on the important role of street-level activity in community revitalization has become a common topic in recent years, as interest has grown in urban living. A boarded first floor can make an area look like a ghost town and can be unattractive to potential residents, stagnating economic growth and development. The effect that these temporary art instillations has is multifaceted and can easily transform a dead city block into something exciting. Here we have the artist and business communities working together to create excitement and opportunities for one another, as well as do something positive and fun for the surrounding community.

The Press-Telegram’s report of Fingerprints record store and Portfolio Coffeehouse coming to 4th Street in the East Village only further demonstrates the opportunities for growth downtown. While the businesses will not occupy a current Phantom Gallery, their joint venture is another transformation of dead space, and a win for the community.

Sources: phantomgalleriesla.com, Press-Telegram

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  1. April 11, 2011 at 5:21 PM

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