The nonprofit grantmaker that recognizes and honors outstanding visual artistic achievement through merit-based awards.
In 2011, three members of the El Segundo arts community hosted two exhibitions at a former fire station. Bolstered by the community's positive response and responding to the lack of museums in Los Angeles' South Bay region, the trio established artlab21 Foundation to foster arts education and appreciation. In 2013, the foundation opened the El Segundo Museum of Arts (ESMoA), whose name evolved into the Experimentally Structured Museum of Art.
Founded as an arts laboratory rather than a museum, ESMoA specializes in experimental theme-based exhibitions that generate innovation and community engagement. These "experiences" seek to redefine the boundaries of an exhibition; one of them juxtaposed Renaissance masters with present-day graffiti artists while another invited visitors into the creation process by drawing on the walls with charred twigs. Additionally, ESMoA's education programs build crucial relationships in area schools and the laboratory hosts several artists in residence each year.
In 2023 — after 10 years of operation and 45 experiences that showcased 845 artists — ESMoA closed its brick-and-mortar operation in the fall and reimagined itself as a pop-up institution to serve all of Los Angeles. In this next chapter, ESMoA remains committed to the belief that art is at the very foundation of society.
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