HP Goes to California

HP Goes to California

From December 1st – 4th, Holland Project Music Director, Brigdon Markward, and Program + Development Coordinator, Alana Berglund, headed down to Southern California to gain some insight and inspiration. We wanted to share our site visits and takeaways here, as well as introduce our Nevada friends to some amazing art + music spaces in LA, Joshua Tree, and Palm Springs. Much gratitude to the Nevada Arts Council for their support in helping make this trip possible!


SMART OBJECTS – smartobjects.la

Immediately after we landed in Los Angeles, we dropped by Smart Objects in Echo Park to see the exhibition from New York artist Justin Chance.  We were lucky to catch it on the last day before deinstallation. The work focused on distance and exploration, incorporating diverse and interesting pieces into a cohesive work. -Brigdon


JUNIOR HIGH – juniorhighlosangeles.com

Half-magazine, half-art/music/pop-up space, Junior High is a Los Angeles based non-profit dedicated to showcasing the artistic pursuits of marginalized voices. We’ve been wanting to stop by their space for a long time, and finally got the opportunity on our first day in Los Angeles. Among their impeccable merch and shop design, we caught a vintage clothing pop-up and got to see the space in action. – Brigdon

You gotta follow Junior High LA! They do excellent work in art, workshops, and music and their aesthetic is so fresh. We love ’em for their straightforward approach to everything and their unwavering dedication to keeping the dream alive. We know it’s not easy! It was great to swing by to chat with volunteers and finally get to show our support in-person. – Alana

THE UNDERGROUND MUSEUM – theunderground-museum.org

The Underground Museum was co-founded in 2012 by the artist Noah Davis and is located in the Arlington Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. Davis passed away in 2015, but the museum remains family run and produces exhibitions based on curatorial plans he left behind, highlighting the work of contemporary African American artists. The exhibition on view featured photography, video, and mixed media installations by Deana Lawson. 

The Underground has really cultivated a feeling of being a community hangout, something that feels super rare in the art world. We went in the early evening, not that far away from the end of posted gallery hours, but there was no rush to get us through the exhibit and out the door. Docents engaged with us and several groups of people were just hanging out, chatting, and sipping on tea. We wanted to go specifically to see the incredible work of Deana Lawson as well as peak around their retail space for HP store ideas, but left with a mission towards a much greater idea of embodying a safe/peaceful/home-like atmosphere in our own venue. -Alana

NIGHT GALLERY – nightgallery.ca

Night Gallery is a commercial exhibition space located in a large warehouse in downtown L.A. The former location in Lincoln Heights was open from 10PM to 2AM, hence the name “Night”, but the new locale adopted regular daylight hours and less of a club vibe. The exhibition on view featured paintings by Vanessa Maltese and Jesse Mockrin. As with any opening, a little to0 crowded to really absorb the work, but worth the trip. -Alana

JAY SOM + JUSTUS PROFFIT at THE MOROCCANjaysommusic.com & justusproffit.bandcamp.com

The first night in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to see musicians Jay Som and Justus Proffit perform their new collaborative album for the first time in their hometown with fellow Los Angeles groups Fime and Nikolas Escudero. Over the past couple years, the influence of Jay Som’s rise as a producer and songwriter, along with Justus’ work in Los Angeles DIY scene can be seen all the way to our community in Reno. -Brigdon

ROGER’S OFFICE GALLERY – rogersoffice.la

This is a small exhibition space inside an old office on York St in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The work on view was a group show titled Ctrl+Z.  It’s a constant conversation on my mind of how can we foster more smaller artist run galleries in Reno despite rising commercial rents and a lack of a collector base. It’s likely Roger’s Office was not an ideal exhibition space at first glance, but they have transformed it to be one. Puts the fire under me to keep my eyes peeled for some nontraditional spaces in Reno that are full of potential. -Alana


INTEGRATRON – integratron.com

Integratron was our first experience in the Joshua Tree/Palm Spring area, and opened a little window in to the alternative end of sound and acoustics. Along with that, the Integratron itself is a piece of art is ingrained in the area’s history in a way that few things are. It made for a really cool experience, and I’m glad we dropped by. – Brigdon

ACE HOTEL – acehotel.com/palmsprings

The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs is a converted motor lodge hotel with a classic diner, bar, shop, showspace, and art. We went to check out the artist commissioned wall works and to see how they’ve curated their retail space. Definitely inspired us to step-up our game when it comes to merch and now we’re all convinced we need a photo booth… with the real old school developing! *dreams* Also cool in terms of businesses giving back: the menu in the Amigo Room featured a signature item from which $1 from every purchase would go to Desert Land Trust. -Alana

THE PARKER – parkerpalmsprings.com

We visited Parker our first night in Palm Springs. Upon entering the hotel we were in an immersive midcentury modern world designed by Jonathan Adler. Everything from the grounds, to the bars and lounges were decorated impeccably, removing any sign of the outside world. Space decoration, and how it immerses showgoers and gallery attendees, plays an important role in shaping someone’s experience at Holland. Our stop at Parker gave us a unique view into a great example of an immersive decorated space. -Brigdon



Svetlana Shigroff is a fiber artist and costume designer currently based out of the Joshua Tree/Yucca Valley area. She is well known for her larger than life tapestries using psychedelic/punk/desert imagery.

When you live in a town the size of Reno (or smaller) it always feels like artists are trying to escape and go big, and a community almost goes into mourning when an artist leaves the nest. This is probably the reason why I’m fascinated by artists that leave major art hubs for peripheral towns. And their reasons are simple for the decision: time, space, quality of life. Svetlana doesn’t seem disconnected at all from the art world and still gets noticed by publications, galleries, collectors etc. and also has the time and room to expand her practice. It makes me optimistic coming back to Reno, which will always be a peripheral city in terms of the art world, but has room for artists to work. So incredibly grateful for the time and willingness of Svetlana to meet with us and chat about all things art and Joshua Tree. -Alana

ART QUEENArt Queen Facebooksharielf.com

A central location for visual and performing arts in Joshua Tree, Art Queen is the home of the World Famous Crochet Museum and co-founder Shari Elf’s studio gallery among other shops and exhibition spaces. Shari’s work is part of a long tradition of making art from found or upcycled objects as she screenprints her signature messages and pop portraits of Cher, Jesus, and other icons on used clothing, fabrics, and other various materials. The desert always seems to attract visionary, prolific artists like Shari. I don’t know why that is, but maybe it’s isolation that makes room for artists like her to build their own worlds. -Alana

WORLD FAMOUS CROCHET MUSEUM – sharielf.com/museum.html

We stopped by Crochet Museum in Joshua Tree on our way over to the park. Curated by Shari Elf, the museum is described and represented online by the different crochet characters that reside inside the museum. Walking into the small space, it was rad seeing Shari’s crochet animals and characters she’s been since the 90’s. -Brigdon


Noah Purifoy was an incredibly influential artist that lived and worked most of his life in LA and Joshua Tree, California. The 10 acre site located off a dirt road in Joshua Tree preserves and maintains Noah’s monumental assemblage works. Another example of an artist who created relentlessly in the desert, the harsh environment appearing to actually be a great preservative for his work. Noah was respected for his dedication to the arts and artists in California, was well educated, and connected in Los Angeles. I am more familiar with sites throughout the country created by artists that lived very different lives than Noah, many being self taught and much more isolated. So I was surprised to learn about the background of the site and that several of these pieces had been shown in LA not that long ago. All and all I was in awe by the museum and the sculptures, happy that it is being maintained respectfully, but it had me thinking about how we will write similar sites by visionary artists (like Thunder Mountain in Nevada) into contemporary art history, if at all. -Alana


It was my first time visiting Joshua Tree, and we spent a few hours driving through the massive park. After going on short hike, and spending some time at Keys View, we started making our way back to Palm Springs. It was incredible seeing the expansive desert landscapes. As dense and exciting as Los Angeles is, it was inspiring to get out and spend some time in someone else’s desert. -Brigdon

PAPPY & HARRIETS – pappyandharriets.com

I’ve been hearing stories and raving reviews of the Pioneertown venue and restaurant, built in the middle of old western movie sets, isolated from the rest of southern California. Pappy and Harriet’s has regularly attracted world-renowned musicians like Paul McCartney, Arctic Monkeys and favorites of ours like Ty Segal into their space. We waited in line to get in, grabbed dinner, and took in the old-school western vibes. It ruled seeing another small space, and glad we got to stop by. – Brigdon

ROBOLIGHTS – www.facebook.com/ROBOLIGHTS

I was following Alana’s lead and had no idea what to expect going into Robo Lights, but I was pleasantly overwhelmed by Kenny Irwin’s massive, strange, merry and bright world of lights and robots. Kenny claims to build his Christmassy world 12 hours a day, 350 days a year, constantly expanding his creation, which is easy to believe. The work was edgy, but impressive and inspiring for it’s sheer size and involvement in the space. -Brigdon



Sing Sing is the name of the creative studio of artists Sean Pecknold and Adi Goodrich. We got the chance to pay them a visit on our last day in Los Angeles, and see some of their recent work. Their recent work in artist workshops parallel Holland in many ways, and it was inspiring hearing about it. – Brigdon

On this trip, I found the site visits that provided face time with like-minded cultural workers and artists to be the most invigorating. Sing-Sing and Holland are two very different operations and may exist in totally different worlds, but we have similar goals when it comes to big picture stuff and how we want to engage. Sing-Sing recently started “Saturday School” which provides crash courses in varied creative topics including animation, color theory, life drawing, and more. Opening up their private studio once a month is an opportunity to exchange ideas, skills, or even just socialize with Angelinos they may not have met otherwise. Anyone has access to Youtube, Instructables, etc. to learn just about anything they want, but we agreed that artists are hungry to learn in-person and do it together. Honestly, it’s much more fun that way and that is where programs like Saturday School and workshops at Holland can fill in. It’s got me thinking. -Alana

HAUSER & WIRTH  LOS ANGELES – hauserwirth.com

Hauser and Wirth’s downtown LA location which opened in 2016 is a large compound housing several gallery spaces, a sculpture garden, edible garden, restaurant, gallery store, and a bookstore. The current exhibitions included photographs by Zoe Leonard, a multi-channel video installation by Julian Rosefeldt, and some works by Alexander Calder. 

I’m actually thankful for any place in a big city that will let you loiter around in galleries and a garden, even if it feels a bit corporate. I would probably never eat there or spend any money on anything but books, but I certainly go every time I’m in downtown LA. Feels more like a free museum than a commercial gallery space. Also, the Julian Rosefeldt video exhibition “Manifesto” was had me *SINGING* and I wish I could’ve watched every moment of every video. We just don’t get enough access to contemporary video/film in Reno. -Alana

SELF HELP GRAPHICS & ART – selfhelpgraphics.com

A pivotal piece of the Chicano Arts Movement, Self Help is a community arts center in Boyle Heights. It was wonderful visiting their space and seeing their current installed work alongside archives of past work, all relevant to their mission of representing Chicana/o and Latinx artists. -Brigdon

In contrast to the blue chip galleries mere blocks away, Self Help Graphics truly represents the neighborhood. I admire the dedication and work of the Self Help team to build such a beautiful space that provides real opportunity to artists and their community. It was also amazing to see a small installation of one of my fave painters, Michael Alvarez, in the gallery space. -Alana

MACCARONE GALLERY – maccarone.net

Maccarone is a contemporary commercial gallery headed by Michele Maccarone with locations in New York and Los Angeles. The exhibition on view was a collection of drawings made between 2016-2018 by the actor and comedian Jim Carrey. And WOW I really disliked this show, A LOT. But the space is beautiful and from what I’ve read about Michele as a gallerist is that she really fosters and supports the careers of artists in substantial ways. However, this is one of the galleries that has not removed themselves the area amongst the protests and demands of Boyle Heights residents, and having an exhibition of political temper tantrums by a millionaire actor can be described as nothing less than tone deaf. -Alana

GHEBALY GALLERY – ghebaly.com

Ghebaly Gallery has presented an innovative program of Los Angeles-based and international artists, with a focus on emerging, mid-career and historical estates. Originally located in Chinatown then Culver City, the gallery relocated to a venue in Downtown LA in 2013.

The Aaron Fowler exhibition was my favorite of the trip and had me ecstatic. It was actually a two part show and we couldn’t make it to Hollywood in time to see the other half, but the presentation at Ghebaly was incredible and introduced to me to an artist that was not on my radar. Wish I had all day to spend in those installations. -Alana

This project was funded in part by a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.