Electronic artist Dawn Richard is one of those creators who seems to never rest. A former member of Danity Kane, the last decade saw Dawn drop four celebrated albums, appear in several films, guest on other artists’ albums, become a curator at Adult Swim, and open up her own successful vegan food truck in New Orleans, Papa Ted’s. When we entered a new decade, no one would’ve blamed the woman for resting on her laurels.
But we all knew that wasn’t happening, right? This year brought Richard’s latest — and greatest — album to date, Second Line, which rightfully debuted at #1 on the iTunes Electronic charts when it released a few months back. The nocturnal, pulsing rhythms throughout the whole run of Second Line harken back to the early days of techno, house, and the electronic genres that Black producers pioneered in the late ’70s and early ’80s, genres that would go on to define the sound and feel of modern music. In that sense, Second Line is both nostalgic and contemporary, with hints of futurism via the album’s imagery and production that point to where music might be in another five to ten years.
As the pandemic continues to wane, we hit up Dawn for a travel guide. We told her she could pick anyplace to focus on that she wanted and she hit us back with a guide to her five favorite Black-owned art spaces in Los Angeles. Before you jump into the guide, be sure to give Second Line a spin and watch the animated video for “Voodoo (Intermission)” below.
California African American Museum, Los Angeles
The inspiration I get walking into this place moves me. When I want to sketch, I always go there to get inspired. There is so much history in this place; it’s one of the popular Black Museums in Los Angeles. This was the first museum I visited when I moved to LA… I was just blown away.
Another fun visual is the interior design of the museum; I love the way the museum is designed and mapped. The flow feels good. I know most people wouldn’t look at that but I do, lol!
Brockman Gallery, Leimert Park
As soon as you walk into this Gallery you can feel its pulse. It’s small, boutique even. And that’s part of its charm. I’m someone who prefers light crowds and I feel like I can admire the art in such a better way at a gallery like this. Los Angeles can be massive, so finding a small gem that feels like it’s all for you is perfection.
I recommend all creatives check this slice of heaven out.
I love the outreach that this museum does for artists in the community. Coming from New Orleans, community outreach was crucial for artists like me who had limited resources. I think the appeal of this museum for me is at any given time you can find local artists being supported or highlighted.
Not many museums showcase local talent like this space.
The Crenshaw Dairy Mart, Los Angeles
A lot of incredible artists can be found here! I try to go on Wednesdays because I find new intriguing artists every time. I like that it was founded by a collective of creatives, which makes it a haven for people like me. You get a sense of local support and community. When I was recording my album Goldenheart, I would come to the Mart for artistic stimulation.
Galerie Lakaye, Los Angeles
I love this space because they celebrate and showcase Haitian, Cuban, and contemporary ethnic art. Fabius, who was born in Port-au-Prince, came to the US when she was eight years old and runs the space along with her partner, Giacomini, a French American sculptor and artist. Being of Haitian decent it was something that felt close to home. Six years ago, I discovered my Haitian culture and have been learning and delving into my heritage ever since.
This modern space shows the best of Haitian art and its artists. I learn new visual stories every time I visit, and feel closer to Haiti artistically when I visit. I grab a cup of coffee and just experience the beauty!