Located in the heart of Westwood, The Rochester Art House is a space that showcases both well-known and budding Los Angeles artists. This is all made possible by curator Dario Mellado. He has a refreshing street and business sense that can only be forged by living authentically. This week we had a chance to meet up with Mellado and ask him a few questions.
Where are you from and how did your upbringing influence your views on art?
I was born in East Los Angeles, in 1980, then transplanted into what I thought at the time was the “Leave it to Beaver” San Fernando Valley. That move and the social contrasts and the later discovered similarities sparked an interest in social issues that were only addressed in Hip Hop and Punk Rock’s; Art, Music and Fashion. Building on those foundations I have discovered mediums and artists from all over Southern California who are unafraid to truly reflect today’s human condition.
How did The Rochester Art House come to be & why was it opened?
I sensed something powerful turning in L.A. and I wanted to create a place to let it loose with freedom and collaboration. We wanted to create a space where anything could happen and artists could feel free to ride the momentum of collaborative thought right off the edges of what we all know to be Art or even the Human Experience.
How does The Rochester Art House differ from other spaces in Los Angeles?
The Rochester Art House is artist run and artist curated.
L.A. is ON FIRE and boiling the blood of talented artists who have already given birth to a new and uniquely LA style and approach. Most Galleries have not caught wind of this movement and are still showing the same old “Cookie Cutter” type stuff. Our mission is to provide a open and free center of expression for these emerging artists as well as restore the powerful dialogue between artists and the community. Basically breathing new life into the atmosphere.
Who have you showcased thus far and what are your future plans for the space?
Some of our favorites include Charles Nicgorski, Hollis Hart, Johnny Gramercy, Andy Rios, Sadaf Ahmed, The entire D.A.D.A. Crew, 11:11, Michael Fererra…so many more my mind spins.
We are blessed with an overwhelming tide of artists, this must be what Paris felt like in the 20′s. I am an Art Junky. I eat, sleep and breath this stuff, this place is an extension of my habit. I can’t stop and only see things getting bigger as momentum builds. Future plans include showcasing the art of some music legends like Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane and Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo, We will also be invaded by madman Dan Collela and his crew from Ventura County.
All Photos by Natalie Aragon