Magazine article Sunset

Hidden Treasures

Magazine article Sunset

Hidden Treasures

Article excerpt

Bergamot Station is the geode of the Los Angeles art world. This complex of squat, metal-clad warehouses contains an unexpected array of diverse and sophisticated art. The concentration of galleries, which also includes the Santa Monica Museum of Art, is both an embarrassment of riches and a time-saver: rather than gallery-hopping from one neighborhood to another, you park the car once and stroll for hours, grabbing a cup of coffee and a nibble or two from the outdoor cafe for sustenance.

Part of Bergamot's charm is its humble, unpretentious appearance. "Most museums and galleries are intimidating enough, and we wanted art to be friendly and accessible," says Wayne Blank, who developed Bergamot Station. (The name bergamot comes from flowering plants that once flourished here; station derives from the site's first use as a trolley stop.) Opened five years ago with 20 galleries, the complex has grown in the last year with the opening of the art museum and nine more galleries.

The excellence of the works presented here is as remarkable as it is diverse; Bergamot has become a regular stop for serious art collectors. Most of the work has a contemporary, cutting-edge quality, but you'll also find more traditional pieces, as well as a Japanese handmade paper shop, Korean and Chinese galleries, and a custom frame shop. …

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