On Abbot Kinney Boulevard, among the boutique leather shops and fair trade chocolatiers, there is an art gallery that has quietly become a community institution and city-wide leader in environmental art over the past seven years – The G2 Gallery.
It’s difficult to find mainstays on a street where rents are rising and many storefronts feel like revolving doors, but G2 has managed to not only survive, but build on its reputation and collection since opening in 2008. Initially a passion project of husband and wife founders Dan and Susan Gottlieb, the gallery quickly garnered accolades from The Los Angeles Times, National Geographic and Outdoor Photographer for its incredible photography and unique business model – donating 100% of its art sale proceeds to environmental charities.
Robert Glenn Ketchum, Daniel Beltra, Eliot Porter, Jennifer MaHarry and Clyde Butcher are just a few of the famous photographers to grace G2’s walls. The gallery has been represented at the Los Angeles Art Show for three consecutive years and, following Director Jolene Hanson’s creative lead, has acquired two complete Ansel Adams portfolios for its permanent collection. The gallery has donated more than $1.1 million over the years to Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Best Friends Animal Society and more than 40 other environmental nonprofits. Typically, a nonprofit will pair with a thematically-connected exhibit, as with their current The Great Unknown show featuring space photography, and its partner, The Planetary Society.
Yet the gallery has grown from its initial mission of “Supporting art and the environment” in that traditional sense, becoming a hub for vegan pop-up dinners, bespoke wedding receptions, eco-discussions and more. This year, G2 partnered with another Venice institution, Venice Arts, to produce a show featuring four of Venice Arts’s student photographers. The gallery also hosted a discussion with National Park Ranger Jeff Sikich and California Director of National Wildlife Federation Beth Pratt-Bergstrom about P-22 and a proposed wildlife crossing. And in October, it will host its third annual G2 Green Earth Film Festival, which has grown each year in size and reputation.
That’s only 2015, and not nearly all of it. Pet adoptions, book signings, comedy podcasts and a burgeoning jazz series are just a few of the other events going on inside the gallery, which can be easy to miss because of its second-story location.
It might feel difficult to find community-centered, authentic fare on Abbot Kinney, with Hal’s relocating, CasaLinda shutting, and a new high-end clothing store moving in every month. But take the unassuming, paw-printed stairs up to The G2 Gallery every so often and you may find exactly what you’re looking for. At the very least, you’ll be in a serene space of striking photography and eco-consciousness, and in L.A., that’s quite a find.
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Written by: Bennett Rea
Pictures provided by Bennett Rea.