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MOCA Is Quietly Bringing Art Where You Least Expect It

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MOCA has been quietly lending out its artwork from its permanent collection to an art space out in Arlington Heights in an effort to bring art to an underserved community.

The Underground Museum, which is nestled in Arlington Heights—a neighborhood just east of Mid-City and south of Koreatown—is the satellite art space that will be hosting a series of exhibitions coming from MOCA's collection for the next three years, according to the L.A. Times. From the outside, the nondescript Underground Museum looks like a basic storefront sandwiched between a lawn mower store and carpet shop. At a glance, you wouldn't realize that "7 Fragments for George Méliès," the video installation of renowned South African artist William Kentridge, is currently on display inside through November.


William Kentridge's video installation on display at the Underground Museum (Photo via Instagram)
The Times says MOCA's artwork at the Underground Museum is "placing important works of art in a largely working-class black and Latino neighborhood at the heart of Los Angeles."

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Painter Noah Davis, 32, founded this art space—one that also has a garden and a community library with books and vinyl, and is the man who is working with MOCA to curating exhibitions from their collection. He created about a dozen exhibit proposals after combing through MOCA's nearly 7,000 permanent collection pieces, and his art space will display one to two of his selected exhibition proposals per year. The artwork he selects is typically more on the abstract side.

The shows aren't heavily advertised either. "What's cool about it is its low profile," MOCA chief curator Helen Molesworth told the Times. "It's the word of mouth way people hear about it."

MOCA isn't the only museum bringing artwork to the masses in pop-up satellites. LACMA has held a few exhibitions over the years at the Charles White Elementary School Gallery. Westwood's Hammer Museum also recently opened a new space in Leimert Park.

The Underground Museum is located at 3508 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights, (323) 989-9925