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stARTup Art Fair LA returns to transform a Hollywood hotel into gallery spaces

stARTup Art Fair LA
Photograph: Courtesy stARTup Art Fair LA stARTup Art Fair LA

Art pops up in unexpected locations all the time in Los Angeles—on the streets, in hidden spots across the city and in various pop-up galleries inside shops, lobbies and more. But one organization is taking things a bit further. For the second year, stARTup Art Fair LA will transform rooms in Hollywood's Highland Gardens Hotel into art gallery spaces for more than 50 artists. Visitors can roam around and enter the hotel rooms, or galleries, as they please. 

Co-founded in 2015 by artist Ray Beldner, the concept first started in San Francisco but has extended to L.A. and Chicago. As the art world changes, not all artists are working with galleries or have a desire to show their work in a traditional environment—it can also be prohibitively expensive. To combat this, stARTup Art Fair provides a professional exhibition venue for independent artists. 

This year's artists, who are chosen by a selection committee, include Audrey Heller, who creates miniature sculptures that play on the idea of feeling small; Kimberlee Koyumi-Murteira, who uses various everyday materials to create installations that delve into the human experience; and painter Wayne Chang. In addition to independent artists, rooms will also be taken over by local nonprofit partners 18th Street Arts Center, the Torrance Art Museum and PØST's Friction, which is a series of work from up-and-coming L.A.-based artists. 

There's also a variety of special programming taking place, from the Lancaster Museum of Art and History holding artist portfolio reviews to personal "Art Tarot" readings by performance artist Alexia Lewis. To to kick off the three-day event, there will be an opening night reception (taking place 7-9pm January 27) featuring musical guest Ohr and performance artists Allison Wyper and Erika Katrina Barbosa. A full schedule of the jam-packed weekend of events can be found here

stARTup Art Fair LA takes place at the Highland Gardens Hotel in Hollywood on Friday, January 27, from noon-10pm; Saturday, January 28, from noon-9pm and Sunday, January 29, from noon-7pm. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 


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