Now You Can Learn to Meditate While Seeing Major Contemporary Artworks at a New California Art and Wellness Center

LAXART founder Lauri Firstenberg is the founding curator of the space.

Tavares Strachan, You Belong Here (Blue #1), 2019, at Compound. Photo: Laure Joilet.

Los Angeles-based designer and art collector Megan Tagliaferri has announced plans to open a new 15,000-square-foot space called Compound dedicated to art and wellness.

“I wanted to create a space where all aspects of a person, and community, can be nurtured,” Tagliaferri told Artnet News in an email. “Art and wellness both have the ability to strengthen our connections and understanding of ourselves, our communities, and the world around us. Compound’s mission is to create a space for dialogue, social justice, healing, and transformation—all anchored by the arts.”

Set to open in Long Beach in September, Compound, which has been five years in the making, will be free and open to the public. BOA Architects have signed on to convert two 1930s-era Art Deco buildings for the project, at a cost of $1.2 million. The facility also has an outdoor courtyard and sculpture garden.

Compound’s main activities will be split between the Laboratory, highlighting new contemporary art commissions, and the Warehouse, which will offer exhibitions, public programming, meditation sessions, a restaurant, and shop. Tagliaferri also hopes to host cooking classes, farmers’ markets, yoga and healing workshops, and youth art classes, among other events.

Rendering of the inside of the Warehouse at Compound, including one of its smaller galleries, adjacent to Ellie’s restaurant. Image courtesy of CH Design Studio.

Rendering of the inside of the Warehouse at Compound, including one of its smaller galleries, adjacent to Ellie’s restaurant. Image courtesy of CH Design Studio.

“We aim to present immersive, site-specific projects that intend to incite new experiences,” Tagliaferri adds.

Initial commissions for Compound include an immersive installation by Glenn Kaino called Tidepools, where visitors can drop coins into a wishing well filled with bioluminescent material, illuminating a darkened room. The building’s façade will be adorned by a Tavares Strachan neon that reads “You Belong Here.”

“I like to think of it as an open invitation to the community to join us, take up space, and feel like they are a part of the dialogue,” Tagliaferri says, noting that other artists, including Anna Sew Hoy, Lita Albuquerque, and Chrysanne Stathacos, are working on additional commissions.

Lauri Firstenberg, the founder of LAXART, has come on board as Compound’s curator and artistic director, and is organizing the inaugural exhibition, “Chaos to Cosmos.” Featuring works from Tagliaferri’s collection by Billy Al Bengston, Gisela Colon, and Helen Pashgian, among others, the show is billed as a celebration of the mysteries of the universe.

Ahead of the fall opening, Compound has already started publishing online wellness resources from artists in conjunction with the national emergency grant organization Artist Relief. In addition, a new digital publication launches on June 25. Its first issue previews the new space, its collaborating artists, and the “Chaos to Cosmos” exhibition.

Compound is located at 1395 Coronado Avenue, Long Beach, California. 

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