Living legacy: LAXART brings new life to a historic recording studio
Converting a historic recording studio into a multi-functional gallery for visual arts is not a straightforward task. Elvis Presley, Frank Zappa, Stevie Wonder, Billie Holiday and Jimi Hendrix are noted among the artists to record at the iconic Radio Recorders space on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles.
To create LAXART’s new home at the legendary Hollywood location, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects were tasked with building out office spaces and erecting walls suitable for hanging art - while preserving some of the space’s original features that date back to 1928 (brick walls and concrete floors). Alongside a garden for sculptural art outside, a lofted recording studio was transformed into an educational lab; a wooden sound panel dating from the ‘70s was preserved so that it can be revealed or concealed according to artist’s needs. The resulting space is far from the typically sterile white cube.
At twice the size of LAXART’s previous location in Culver City, the new art space expands the possibilities of the organization’s diverse work with artists through exhibitions, talks, community-building initiatives and their onsite educational programme, L.A.P.D.
As a non-profit founded by artists with an experimental approach, LAXART’s mission over the last decade has been to facilitate a relationship between new audiences and innovative contemporary art in and in response to Los Angeles and its multi-faceted social and creative environment. In the past they’ve worked with the late Noah Davis, (founder of the Underground Museum) and other LA-based artists, such as Alex Israel, Melanie Schiff and Mark Bradford. LAXART celebrates its 10 year anniversary with a benefit this month.