Friday, local nonprofit Able ARTS Work celebrated a new opportunity to show off the work of its students across the region: the grand opening of a gorgeous gallery space at the 2nd & PCH retail center.
What was a vacant storefront is now filled with vibrant, bold artwork, small sculptures and ceramics, jewelry and more, for sale, with the proceeds going to the artists, as well as the organization, which has offered music and art therapy and workshops to adults with disabilities for almost four decades.
“I’m really excited to see how the community receives our space,” said Kristy Glass, Director of Community Advancement for Able ARTS Work, who has been with the nonprofit for 15 years. “Of course, I hope that our students sell their artwork, but I also think it’s an opportunity for us to share information about our organization.”
The nonprofit, founded in 1982, provides creative arts opportunities, and art and music therapy with a focus on inclusive community participation. The pieces on display were created by students of Able ARTS Work’s day programs, which are currently offered virtually due to COVID-19.
“Here’s a really great place for visibility and not just for people to come in, enjoy the artwork, maybe purchase a piece that they really connect with, but also to learn about the services and just learn about a local nonprofit that’s providing amazing services within their community,” Glass said.
The space, previously vacant and donated to Able ARTS Work by 2nd & PCH to use through the end of December, is the only gallery in the outdoor mall, said Glass. The artists receive 50% commission off the work they create, with the other half going back to support Able ARTS Work.
Students making an income from their work is part of the vocational aspect of their educational programming.
The new gallery’s featured artist, Los Angeles-based Carlos Arredondo, is a student in the Hawthorne program and uses bold colors and brushstrokes. His art is inspired by his interest in nature, the patterns and angles of Los Angeles streetscapes, and the works of masters including Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso.
“I just feel every time I look at his pieces, they’re very colorful and intentional,” said Glass. “He works with a lot of thought and really plans things out ahead of time. He’s a very process-driven artist.”
All visitors to the space must wear masks and maintain social distance. The gallery will be open through the end of December and is located along Marina Drive in Suite 150 at 6420 E. Pacific Coast Highway. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more at ableartswork.org and on Instagram @ableartswork.
Support our journalism.
Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.