LBMA Downtown History

ARTX is now a part of LBMA!

The Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) and Art Exchange (ARTX) are excited to announce their merger to form LBMA Downtown, a dynamic arts campus in Downtown Long Beach. The merger of LBMA and ARTX will further their missions in bringing world class artists and gallery exhibitions as well as arts-focused educational programming to Long Beach through a downtown campus. The strength created through this merger will give the organizations exposure to broader audiences in the greater Long Beach and Southern California communities.

“It’s the perfect marriage for the Museum…”

– Ron Nelson, Executive Director of LBMA

“We have a 68-year relationship with Long Beach and will now be able to provide opportunities to a broad range of artists and students through our downtown campus. There is tremendous growth downtown and we want to be part of the community fabric where people can visit LBMA Downtown to discover new art and emerging artists. There are underserved communities in the downtown area and we will continue to support arts education by bringing additional creative programming to these neighborhoods.” – Ron Nelson, Executive Director of LBMA and the newly formed LBMA Downtown.

LBMA will assume oversight of the four building campus located along 3rd and Elm Streets in Downtown Long Beach. ARTX will be renamed LBMA Downtown, but the mission will remain the same. LBMA Downtown will leverage the strengths of both organizations to continue providing a gallery setting for artists to showcase and sell their work, art studios for emerging artists and diverse art-related programming for city residents. Several members of the ARTX Board will join the LBMA Foundation Board of Trustees.

“Our merger with LBMA is the next step… to a vibrant community art center in the heart of downtown.”

– Jay Hong, Interim Executive Director of ARTX

ARTX has been a community supported endeavor since its founding 20 years ago by local Long Beach artists. The organization provided arts education, studio space, and performance venues. In early 2016, the City and ARTX began an extensive interior renovation of the campus, complementing the original features of the 1925 buildings as well as providing modern elements which highlight works on display. The gallery has soaring 35-foot ceilings, exposed brick walls, polished concrete floors, and sweeping white wall space for art. In addition, the four building campus has five individual working art studios where artists can create, display and engage with the public to sell their art.

As an important symbol of community support for the new LBMA Downtown, Ms. Josephine Molina, Founder and President of The RuMBa Foundation of Long Beach, wiII make it possible to finish the renovation of the four-building downtown campus.

“This new organization…brings the best of what a quality museum and a grass roots art center can do together.”

– Ms. Josephine Molina