Leimert Park art renaissance in bloom at Papillion gallery

Art by | Stephanie Monte

Art by Raksha Parekh at Papillion. | Stephanie Monte

“L.A. is a beautiful flower of art right now,” said San Pedro-based artist Stephen Scheffle at the opening Saturday of Papillion. The contemporary gallery and the newest addition to Leimert Park Village, part of local efforts to restore the neighborhood’s reputation as an African-American artistic hub.

Papillion’s first exhibit, called “OPEN,” showcases the work of artists at the beginning of their careers from all over the world: the U.S., Great Britain, South Africa and Angola. “OPEN” features a variety of fine art elements, including sculpture, drawings, paintings, installations and digital media.

In the main room, you’ll find an installation of caramelized sugar cane paper that hangs like rope, created by South African-born Raksha Parekh. Each string of actual sugar cane is carefully tied and aligned to create boat shapes, meant to symbolize slave ships that were used in trade, Parekh said. For her, Papillion’s opening show is about re-emergence.

Jeffrey Deitch, former director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, said the exhibition shows artists “creating a fresh vision.” “This is just the beginning of something very big in this neighborhood and in the art world,” he said. “It will get international attention.”

Michelle Papillion, the gallery owner, said in a press release that she chose Leimert Park because the neighborhood has “its finger on the pulse” of the arts scene both locally and globally. “The historic, artistic and culturally rich legacy that this community has built is unmatched anywhere else in the city,” she said.

The building was once home to the Brockman Gallery, one of the first places to exhibit Black art in the ‘60s and ‘70s. In the next few years Papillion aims to promote Leimert Park’s art renaissance by introducing a wave of emerging and high profile artists working together.

Visit Papillion at 4336 Degnan Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90008. Its hours are 12 – 6 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday and by appointment. “OPEN” runs through April 13.

View Larger Map


Click to discover more from Leimert Park’s third renaissance.


Like Intersections on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and sign up for the Newsletter to stay in the loop on news and views from South L.A.


  1. this is beautiful im proud to be a resiendent of this community and looking forward . to visit the new art center

Speak Your Mind