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Santa Monica Exposed! Photo LA + Art LA Projects 2011

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by Arely Villegas for LAist

January is synonymous as art fair month in Los Angeles and the oldest fair kickstarts the new season by celebrating it’s 20th anniversary.

Photo LA is not your traditional art fair given the eclectic audience the fair attracts, and at the opening reception this past Thursday, artists, art aficionados, collectors, and dealers traversed through the fair grounds at The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Surprisingly, the auditorium lends itself for Photo LA as walking through different booths was easily manageable. The layout of the fair can be quickly memorized, unless, you’re not interested in the study of flows at art fairs this is not something you should worry about.

Photography of different periods, celebrated artists, and upcoming contenders can be found at the fair. The presence of Chinese art galleries was felt immediately and seemed to connect the growing impact of the Asian market in the international art front. Photography non profits, such as The Blind Photographers Guild, are also making a special impact this year. The Queensland Centre for Photography of Australia and Light Work/ Community Darkrooms based in New York, are impressive examples with their ongoing mission of supporting artists since 1973. Light Work is also famous for their artist residency which has attracted artists such as photographer Cindy Sherman early in her career.