The Real Deal Los Angeles

UCLA will build a $31M art studio

It was funded by a donation from art dealer Margo Leavin

May 13, 2016 10:43AM

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UCLA Margo Leavin Art Studio

Leavin and the old studio at 8535 Warner Drive

UCLA is getting a new art studio.

Thanks to a generous donation from art dealer Margo Leavin, the school is planning to build a 75,000-square-foot studio complex to replace the current run-down facility at 8535 Warner Drive in Culver City. The $31 million project was proposed in 2011, but didn’t secure enough funding until now.

Historically, the presence of art schools in any city is known to be a critical factor in the local cultural and artistic growth. According to the L.A. Times, this played a part in Leavin’s decision to donate.

“Artists are the backbone of the community, so I wanted it to be something that would have a real impact on that,” she told the Times.

UCLA’s master of fine arts program is the second best in the country, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, second only to Yale. UCLA’s faculty includes installation artist Barbara Kruger, photographer Catherine Opie, painter Lari Pittman and sculptor Adrian Saxe. But in the current decrepit art building, there is no studio or classroom space.

Architect Johnston Marklee’s plan calls for refurbishing the warehouse and building a two-story structure adjacent to it. The structure will have a new, translucent room for natural light.

The university hopes construction will wrap up by its 2019 centennial celebration. [LAT] Cathaleen Chen