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Bergamot Station

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Contemporary Art Mecca in Santa Monica
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Bergamot Station

Photo © 2008 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
www.bergamotstation.com
Hours:
Tue - Fri 10 am - 6 pm
Sat 11 am - 5:30 pm
Individual gallery and business hours may vary. Check individual gallery websites for hours, exhibits and contact information.

Bergamot Station is a complex of upscale art galleries in former trolley station and industrial warehouse space in Santa Monica. The 8-acre complex is Southern California's largest art complex and cultural center. It includes over 40 galleries in the original rustic industrial warehouse buildings. It's not near other Santa Monica attractions, but it's easily accessible from the 10 Freeway. If you're a contemporary art fan, it should be high on your list of things to do in LA.

The name Bergamot Station refers to the original 1875 Red Line trolley station, named after the bergamot flower that grew in the area. After the trolley was discontinued in 1953, the site was a celery packing operation, then an ice-making plant, and a water heater factory before the City of Santa Monica took it over. It has been open as an art complex since 1994.

Different galleries run exhibits for different lengths of time, so on any given Saturday, there might be an opening, and groups of galleries often have joint openings.

Highlights

The Santa Monica Museum of Art is located at Bergamot Station. It's not as big as some of the other galleries, but as a non-profit establishment, they can show less commercial work, so come up with some interesting exhibits. They also have a cool gift shop, with a gift selection that varies with the exhibit them, but always has a nice selection of cool toys.

As a photographer, I'm always drawn to the Peter Fetterman Gallery, where you can find the work of late masters of photography like Ansel Adams, Robert Kappa and Berenice Abbot to living legends of the craft like Sebastio Salgado, Annie Liebovitz and Steve Curry.

Most of the galleries have constantly changing exhibits, so a venue that has something amazing this month, may not impress me as much next month, but if you make the rounds and at least peak in to most of the galleries, you're bound to find something to fall in love with. If nothing else, I know I'll find something amazing that I can't live without at the gallery store at Lois Lambert's Gallery of Functional Art.

Galleries at Bergamot Station

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