By Cathy Kisakye
Next month, the Los Angeles Center For Digital Arts (LACDA), currently located Downtown on W. 5th Street, will have a new home. The space will be the former location of the Old DVD Bank, a mere two blocks away on W. 4th and Main.
Gallery director and principal curator, Rex Bruce, is no stranger to relocating. When the first LACDA gallery opened in 2004, it was situated in Hollywood near Melrose and Vine. Shortly afterward, the center moved Downtown in a small space right across from the current location. Eight years later, LACDA found its present home on 5th Street. But there was a caveat. “We took over this place knowing they were going to rehab the building,” Bruce explains. “This building is going to have a seismic upgrade. Everyone is being moved out.”
When Bruce set out to find a new home for LACDA, he considered several locations around Los Angeles. Fortunately, construction on the 5th Street location is a federal project, and Bruce received a grant to fund the gallery’s move. With the help of Tom Gilmore of Gilmore Associates, Bruce secured the 4th Street location. Designing the new space begins this month. “It became clear that the best option would be to stay downtown,” says Bruce. “The big upside is that I’m part of the community. The support of the community is here.” According to Bruce, one of those supporters is Gilmore. “Tom is wonderful in supporting the arts. He gave me a great deal.”
The new location promises to elevate LACDA to the next level. While the center will retain a similar set up as the current location– with four galleries –there will be a lot more room to play with. For one, the gallery will gain 60 more feet of wall space. “The largest walls we have now are 21 feet. If you imagine three times that equivalent of wall space, that’s what we’re going to have,” Bruce explains “It’s an opportunity to generate more excitement and interest in the gallery.”