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LACMA – LA’s Leading Art Export

LACMA – LA’s Leading Art Export

Known as LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the western United States

If you’re lucky enough to live in or visit Southern California, then you’ve got access to some of the best art in the world via the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA.

It’s the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection of over 142,000 objects that cover 6,000 years of artistic expression.

Sound cool? It is. Here’s why you should drop by.

LACMA’s history and impact

Established in 1961, LACMA is the largest museum in the U.S. after the National Gallery of Art in D.C.. LACMA grew fast, with donations flooding in. They expanded rapidly, including the Anderson building for modern art and the Pavilion for Japanese Art.

And the growth isn’t stopping anytime soon; the museum has doubled in size and scope since 2007, and they’re still expanding and upgrading.

All of that art has had a definite impact. LACMA serves Los Angeles County by providing hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in income. In addition, LACMA offers meaningful cultural and educational experiences for a huge audience made up of people from all around the world.

Julie Mehretu painting - LACMA
Through March 22, the LACMA is featuring an exhibit by artist Julie Mehretu, well known for her multi-layered paintings of abstracted landscapes. [Photo by Sean O’Donnell/Artistic Fuel]

Exciting current exhibits

Among the current exhibits at LACMA, one of the most exciting is their mid-career retrospective of Julie Mehretu’s work. With 75 works spanning 1996 to now, the exhibit covers Ethiopian-born Mehretu’s contemporary art. The collection examines topics including history, colonialism, capitalism, geopolitics, war, global uprising, diaspora, and displacement… for starters.

Another must-see exhibit is Chris Burden’s Urban Light. It’s an ongoing exhibit starting in 2008 that has since become a local icon featured in several movies and countless Instagram posts.

Consisting of 202 historic street lamps, the sculpture is nothing short of an internationally known destination piece.

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Urban Light - LACMA
The late artist Chris Burden’s work, Urban Light, is drawing art-lovers from around the world to the LACMA. [Photo by Sean O’Donnell/Artistic Fuel]

Supporters of art in the community

If you can’t or don’t want to make your way to visit the main LACMA campus, LACMA can come to you. The museum’s mission is to bring more people face to face with visual art in their everyday lives.

In the pursuit of accessibility, community impact, and broadening participation in cultural experiences, LACMA offers workshops in Compton, MacArthur Park, South L.A., Watts, and Willowbrook. They also make themselves present at free community events across L.A. county, like street fairs and music festivals.

So whether you’re looking for a way to spend an afternoon, seeking a free art-making workshop, or want to have a transcendental cultural and intellectual experience (don’t we all?), you should be checking out LACMA, like, ASAP.

LACMA is all about making art more accessible, so its admission is free for L.A. County residents after 3 pm on weekdays; it’s free to all kids 12 years old and younger any time and day of the week; and it also offers discounts for seniors and students.

LACMA
As one of the largest museum’s in the country, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art makes a special effort to reach all corners of Los Angeles with its art. [Photo by Sean O’Donnell/Artistic Fuel]
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