Art and Soul
The Luminary Center for the Arts' soon-to-open new home has converted three Cherokee Street storefronts into a sprawling modern arts center. The faded facade, located at 2701 Cherokee Street, had certainly seen better days when it was purchased by Brea and James McAnally, but offered a hidden treasure: 16,000 square feet of space begging for a makeover. The McAnallys have been hard at work for the past several months renovating the complex to include multiple galleries, work studios, a stage for musical performances, a research library, classrooms and a bar.
The final phase of the project will include two or three apartments for the organization’s visiting artist residency program in a partial 1,500-square-foot second story. The center will open with a party in late January, with the grand opening and first exhibition to follow in late February.
The rehab began with a full gut of the building, removing layers of walls, floors and ceilings and salvaging building materials wherever possible. A tin ceiling and long beams were sold locally, and much was repurposed elsewhere in the building or traded for other materials. Most of the labor was done by the McAnallys themselves, volunteers and local artists.
The dramatic renovation isn't limited to the inside. The facade facing Cherokee features two 12-foot-wide glass and brushed aluminum overhead garage doors, which will reside in the up position when the gallery is open, eliminating both literal and figurative barriers between the art and the public. With several different galleries, large and small, alongside work and education spaces, the Luminary’s new home will serve as an incubator of new ideas in the arts and give artists an immersive experience where they can create a dialogue with the world around them. For more information on the opening party planned for January and the official grand opening reception and exhibit at the end of February, visit theluminaryarts.com. –CR
“Move Forward! (New Tires Change Everything)”
Photo credit: Christopher Gibbons