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18th Street Arts Center Celebrates Its Remarkable Past and Exciting Future


VENUE ADDRESS: 1639 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404
CONTACT: crystal am nelson or Amber Jones
PHONE: 310-453-3711 103 or 108

ArtNight: Pacific Standard Time: Saturday, September 24, 2011, 6–10 pm

ArtNight VIP Reception: Saturday, September 24, 5:30 pm
Cover art for Collaboration Labs catalogue, designed by Jessica Fleischmann/still room. Original art by featured exhibition artist, Barbara T. Smith. Original artwork courtesy of the artist.


Santa Monica, CA—

Ms. Jan Williamson, Executive Director of 18th Street Arts Center released this letter to the Friends of 18th Street.

Dear Friends,

18th Street is proud to present Collaboration Labs: Southern California Artists and the Artist Space Movement, a groundbreaking exhibition guest curated by Alex Donis and featuring the work of five seminal artists and artist networks: Electronic Café International, EZTV, Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz-Starus, Rachel Rosenthal and Barbara T. Smith. This offering to the Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA, 1945–1980 story is inspired by the historical threads that led to the founding of 18th Street Art Center—a beehive of artmaking that is and always has been a place for a disarray of provocative artists to call home.

Three years ago, 18th Street embarked on a strategic plan to realign our renowned exhibition and residency programs so that they both reflected our commitment to supporting the many emerging, underrepresented and established artists we admire who provoke public dialog. Having reached our initial goals for the exhibition and residency programs, as we began a new plan, our Artistic Director Clayton Campbell of 16 years resigned in January to pursue new opportunities, followed more recently by Program Coordinator Ronald Lopez accepting an exciting job leading an emerging arts organization. We are proud of their years of service to 18th Street and wish them the best in their new endeavors. With the guidance of 18th Street’s Board of Directors we considered these major changes in staff as an opportunity for 18th Street to identify new priorities for the next three years. Our new plan focuses on four crucial areas: appreciating artists through an enhanced arts laboratory environment, inspiring and provoking the public to engage with contemporary art as an agent of social transformation, enhancing 18th Street’s outreach efforts in order to better serve the arts and culture community in Los Angeles and beyond, and creating a thriving and sustainable organization with the capacity not only to meet its current goals but also to put 18th Street at the leading edge of arts presenting. As a first step, we created two new positions, an Outreach Director and a Director of Residency Programs. We have appointed as Outreach Director crystal am nelson, who comes to 18th Street from Yerba Buena Center for the Arts where she served as the graphic designer and as an innovation champion. Our search for a Director of Residency Programs is coming to a close, and we expect to have the position filled by the end of the year.

We are excited to mark the beginning of this new phase with our participation in Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA, 1945–1980, an unprecedented collaboration initiated by the Getty that brings together more than 60 cultural institutions from across Southern California. Our opening reception of Collaboration Labs is the perfect opportunity to honor all the past artists, staff and board members who have given so generously of themselves to make 18th Street the thriving arts center that it is today.

We open Collaboration Labs on Saturday, September 24, 6–10 pm with a special VIP preview event followed by an incredible party featuring live Indonesian-inspired music, complimentary beverages courtesy of PAMA Liqueur and IZZE Sparkling Juice, an unique artists market and, of course, the incomparable artists who were instrumental in not only making this landmark exhibition possible but also in making 18th Street a landmark in itself.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Jan Williamson


For more information on Collaboration Labs: Southern California Artists and the Artist Space Movement and the artists involved, visit:

Gallery hours are M–F, 11 am-6 pm. 18th Street Arts Center is located at 1639 18th Street in Santa Monica.

18th Street Arts Center programs are generously funded by the City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Arts Commission, California Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the James Irvine Foundation, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Getty Foundation.

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