August 21, 2011

Who's Behind ShoeboxLA?

ShoeboxLA is the brainchild of artists Sophia Allison and Paul W. Evans, both of whom arrived in Los Angeles 10 years ago.  Paul, from New York, and Sophia, from North Carolina, agree Los Angeles offers artists the freedom to experiment, try new things and cross boundaries.  With that in mind, ShoeboxLA came about.  How small can a gallery be to function?  Can a gallery sustain itself with no real location?  Will artists be up to the challenge?  And finally, will people come? 

With initial guidelines that all art would be made specifically for the gallery and work produced would not be miniature, but “appropriate for the gallery’s size”, the two decided their gallery would measure a mere 24”x18”x8”.  Instead of having one location with hours, the gallery would arrive at different locations around Los Angeles.  After all, Los Angeles inspired the idea, so it’s only fitting ShoeboxLA would feature venues throughout the city.  One day events for three hours seemed more like a celebration.  With the help of graphic designer Emmanuel V. Gutierrez, ShoeboxLA got its logo.  For the physical space, builder Alex Gano produced a simple white box with movable, super-magnetic walls.  Encouragement from artists, dealers, friends, family and business owners helped secure the first year of scheduled shows around Los Angeles.  Don’t be surprised if ShoeboxLA pops up at your local laundromat, mall or eating establishment.  They’ve even curated their first group show in early 2012.  Come see what ShoeboxLA has to offer.  Sophia and Paul look forward to meeting you and sharing their vision. 

Sophia Allison earned an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BFA from East Carolina University (Greenville, NC).  She works in a variety of media including sewing, sculpture and installation.  Her work has been in several exhibitions within the U.S and abroad including d.e.n. contemporary art, Andrew Shire Gallery, Kristi Engle Gallery, the Torrance Art Museum, the Insa Art Center and Gallery Ann in Seoul, Korea, and the Los Angeles Art Association/Gallery 825. Reviews have appeared in Artillery Magazine, MAKE Magazine, Artscene, the Los Angeles Times and the Glendale News-Press. In 2006, she was one of six artists who created Sweater, a collaborative installation directed by artist Tim Hawkinson. Visit  for more information.

Paul W. Evans earned his BFA from the School of Visual Arts (New York, NY).  Recent exhibitions in Los Angeles include Weekend Space, Fifth Floor Gallery, the Institute of Cultural Inquiry and the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock.  He has shown extensively in the US and abroad, including Clementine Gallery, Lump Gallery, Eyewash Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.  Most recently he co-curated the group show Cries and Whispers at Sam Lee Gallery and organized Doing Pennants at Fifth Floor Gallery.  From 2009 – 2011 he curated for Heather Arndt’s Happy during which time he founded H.A.C.K. (Hollywood Artists Critical Kollective).  For more information visit