EL SERENO — After searching for an affordable studio space for years, Nicole Wang and Jim Ovelmen found a space on Alhambra Avenue, where a small number of artist studios and workshops have popped up along a stretch lined primarily with industrial businesses, warehouses and auto repair shops. On Friday, the 800-square-foot former tile shop project and event space called, AWOL, opens with its first exhibition. “There are a lot of artists living here or working in El Sereno,” Wang said. “This is like the new Highland Park for artists.”
In fact, AWOL’s first exhibit features four artists, including Ovelmen, whose “paths have crossed when recently relocating to El Sereno, after the displacement from their respective studio spaces,” according to press release. The inaugural exhibition, Town, which debuts on Friday, Aug. 7, features the work of Ovelmen, Mike Dee, Jaime Scholnick and Osvaldo Trujillo.
Wang, who has worked in the media industry and as a museum marketing manager, and Ovelmen, a multimedia artist who used to run the London Street Project art space in Silver Lake, were attracted by the building’s high ceilings, cast iron doors, fountain, fireplace and backyard. “We kept most of the original details of the building,” Wang said.
And if visitors want to do more than attend an art exhibit, there are other attractions nearby, said Wang. “After we got this place, we found LA Derby Dolls moved directly across the street from us.”
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