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South LA Thought-Provokers

LA has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous debt to the arts community.  Supporting local art is something we care deeply about and we’d like to do everything we can to help the local arts community thrive.  Unfortunately, too often media attention is monopolized by corporate interests and tabloid gossip – but culture doesn’t come from a focus on celebrity breakups it comes from a focus on the arts.

Below, you’ll find some incredible artists from in and around South LA that we hope you will check out, follow and support.


I started painting graffiti again and letting it influence my design work. I reached out to design mentors, sought internships and design jobs. Reading about designers and illustrators. I was obsessed again. Read more>>

Genessis Martinez

I took a film photo class elective and this was initially my first pursuit involving photography. Of course, underestimating the challenging form of art, I failed with a D. The seed was later nurtured when I was gifted my very own Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T100 digital camera and it was magic! Read more>>

Glenn Araya

The concept of communicating a story threw a still image interested me deeply. Those two sources stayed with me most of my life but I never considered myself artistic and never tried to explore it further than a hobby. Read more>>

Vanessa Rivera

My story as an artist begins with the worst thing that ever happened to me. My father passed away in 2009. I was 18. My life changed forever that day. He jumped off the freeway and left a suicide note. Everything that happened after that was a blur, like a nightmare or a horror movie. Read more>>

Erick Villegas-Nuñez

Since I can remember, creativity has always been something I’ve craved and had an instinct for. It wasn’t until I was a Junior in high school, King Drew, a Medical Magnet located in Watts, Ca that I started to dive into the skills and techniques that launched me into the art field. Read more>>


I started making music in 2012, I was a junior in High school. I would come home from school and have nothing to do. I stumbled across a song I really liked, as I kept clicking I was wondering who was the man making these beats, It was Ninedy2. His beats inspired me to start making beats, so I downloaded a lot of bootleg beat making programs. Eventually, I found Fruity Loops Studio (FL Studio). Read More>>

Mela M, aka Mela Marsh

I was born in Russia and grew up under the oppressive communist rule of the time. The notorious “Bulldozer Exhibition” took place in Moscow in the 1970s. Then Premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered the violent demolition of an abstract-geometric art exhibition sponsored by the avant-garde artists of the time. In 30 minutes the exhibit was destroyed and the artists were jailed, deported and even murdered. In spite of this dark atmosphere of ruthless atrocities, I was able to create and escape into my own world through drawing and sketching various things in early childhood while staying with my grandmother. Read more>>

Suzanne M. Shifflett

I grew up in a small town on the coast of Maine. Being dyslexic introvert, I have always been drawn to art as a way of communicating my thoughts and feelings. After graduating from high school I attended Parsons school of design for her foundation year of art school. I had planned to become an illustrator but soon realized my path was headed in the direction of fine art. I ended up getting my BFA in sculpture from Maine College of Art. Read more>>

Zuly Garcia

My passion for photography began at 13 years old when I would originally shoot concert/event photography. Over time I branched out to different subjects and fell in love with telling stories through the arts and inspiring others to dismantle a toxic constructed society through educational art. Read more>>

Lorenzo Cipollo

I had always been interested in modeling growing up. When i was in my early 20’s I had submitted for a few things and got rejected because I didn’t have a good body. This was before I worked out. So I started working out then dieting. Read more>>

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