Friday, November 10, 2006

Is LA an "Art City?"

even with all that is being done to enhance the arts in LA, people still sometimes perceive Los Angeles as a city without great culture. And, unfortunately, perception is often a reality for the perceivers.

Well, we can change that.

Over the next few months, American Style Magazine will be conducting their 10th Annual poll to find the top 25 "arts destination" cities. The magazine touts itself as "the nationĂ‚’s premier arts lifestyle magazine for enthusiasts, collectors and travelers." They are asking the public to vote for their selections. All you need an email address to fill in, and an understanding that the reason this is being posted on LA City Nerd is because you should be voting for Los Angeles - and ONLY Los Angeles. If you go to their site, just click on the "American Style TOP 25 Art Destinations" button at the bottom right of the screen. Again, vote only for Los Angeles.

Last year in the 2006 poll, LA was #12 of the top 25, but look at who beat us out:

Category 1: Big Cities
(Populations of 500,000 and over)
1. New York, N.Y.
2. Chicago, Ill.
3. Washington, D.C.
4. San Francisco, Calif.
5. Boston, Mass.
6. Seattle, Wash.
7. Baltimore, Md.
8. Philadelphia, Pa.
9. Columbus, Ohio
10. Portland, Ore.
11. Austin, Texas
12. Los Angeles, Calif.

Columbus, Ohio? Portland,Oregon? We're the creative capital of the world. The goal for 2007 is that we at least make it into the Top 10. Right? And in 2008, we should move to within the Top 5. Realistically, we should be #1 or #2 - only because New York is a bigger city - it's a fact we cannot deny.

So, get out and vote!


Anonymous said...

I just spent several days in Portland meeting with artists (read my rant about the disaster that is the Portland Art Museum here, if you're so inclined) and it's surprising that we were beaten out by Portland, given that although Portland does have a great "yuppie centric" gallery scene and some fantastic attractions, I have trouble seeing Portland's institutional scene competing with Los Angeles based "big guns" like the Getty, Huntington and LACMA.

A thing to keep in mind - magazines like American Style serve a pretty narrow demographic of readers. Los Angeles has a piss-poor reputation as a "destination" city in general and the poll results possibly have a lot more to do with Los Angeles failure to be tourist friendly in general. The issue is not the quality of art in Los Angeles, it's about the disjointed way it is presented to the national and global public.

Anonymous said...

I just voted for New York City and Portland, Oregon

Anonymous said...

That's true what Marshall said, it's the public's lack of perception and the dominance of Hollywood that's playing against LA. Even though LA has always been regarded in art circles as one of five art capitals of the world together with New York, Paris, Berlin and London. LA is more like Berlin, an art production center. This is where art is produced or created but not necessarily sold or exhibited. So, there's nothing wrong with other cities beating LA out in this's only a poll anyway based on the general public's views.

mughound said...

I'm surprised LA isn't number 1 for MOCA alone. Nothing can compete with Hollywood, but I think LA's problem is that Hollywood publicizes Hollywood, and the city of Los Angeles doesn't really advertise itself. So everything great in LA is always these insider or best kept secrets. It also doesn't help that people loathe Los Angeles, so it may be the contemporary art capital of the country, but no one would dare concede that statement.