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PRINT May 2019

CASE STUDY

Sign in the window of La Conxa Autonomous Community Space, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, February 22, 2018. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon.

356 S. MISSION RD., an art space that once served as a studio for painter Laura Owens, opened in 2013 in Boyle Heights, a largely Latinx neighborhood east of downtown Los Angeles. Then came eleven more galleries, including Maccarone at 300 South Mission Road and, one block away on Anderson Street, Venus Over Los Angeles both in 2015, followed by UTA Artist Space and Ibid the following year. But what spurred the first protests against the art world’s migration into the area was a boosterish New York Times article from September 16, 2015, that framed Boyle Heights as an art-world discovery, quoting gallerist Michele Maccarone as saying that the area “still has a dangerous quality.” In November 2015, a group of local high-school students cited the article as the impetus for Ambularte, a guerrilla protest exhibition that projected messages such as RESISTANCE IS FOR EVERYONE onto the

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