Saturday, July 11, 2009

"The Escape Exhibition: 'One Week Only' at Jancar Gallery"

Now, you see the art. And in a week, you won’t.

Tucked away on Chung King Road, Jancar Gallery is showing 4th of July “One Week Only,” a large group exhibition curated by Tom Jancar and Mery Lynne McCorkle that features 91 artists from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.

It’s so much art in so little time, yet Jancar Gallery makes it work. Owner Tom Jancar explained to me the tricks up his sleeve, going back to the roots of the gallery.

Up until last summer, Jancar Gallery used to be located in a high-rise on Wilshire Blvd. And magically, their key to the gallery could also open the unused space one floor below. Perfect for “one night only” exhibitions.

“We basically had illegal shows—guerilla shows,” Jancar said, “we were only in there for about three hours. We hung the work an hour before the show and then after, we took it down and filled in the holes.”

For the night, Jancar Gallery hosted exhibits featuring 10-12 artists. Yet, these shows weren’t sleight of hand to the Los Angeles arts scene. These “guerilla shows” summoned hundreds of gallery-goers to the lower space—all for just an exciting, vanishing art act.

Now, “One Week Only” is homage to these past successful escape art exhibitions. With these past feats of installation and art exhibition, Jancar let me in a little secret—perhaps the gallery owner’s code.

“One of the things I learned is that shows don’t have to run for a long time to make an impact,” Jancar said.

So forget Harry Potter, let’s see what Jancar Gallery conjures next.

4th of July “One Week Only” ends today! (

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