Peter Voulkos, Amaya, 1999, bronze (via franklloyd,com)

Peter Voulkos, “Amaya” (1999), bronze (via franklloyd,com)

This week, there are shows at two of LA’s finest DIY venues, the opening of a new art space in the desert, a retrospective of work from legendary avant-garde potter Peter Voulkos, and more!

 The Smell’s 17 Year Anniversary

Moaning (via

Moaning (via

When: Friday, January 2, 7pm and Saturday, January 3, 7pm
Where: The Smell (247 S. Main Street, Downtown, Los Angeles)

DTLA music venue The Smell has been a cornerstone of the DIY, nonprofit, volunteer, vegan, all ages, punk scene for an astounding 17 years. Local bands like No Age, Health, the Mae Shi, and Abe Vigoda played some of their first shows here, inspiring scores of teens and tweens to pick up a guitar, drum sticks, or a laptop and rock out, even without knowing a single chord. This two-day anniversary weekend includes performances from Dunes, Sissy Spacek (the band), Moaning, Girlpool, NPR-inspired Cherry Glazerr, and more. Pre-sale passes for both nights are a steal at only $17.

 3 Days Awake

When: Friday, January 2–Sunday, January 4
Where: 3 Days Awake (4300 W Jefferson Boulevard, West Adams, Los Angeles)

Exploded Axonometric Drawing: Berghain, Berlin  Illustrated by Henry Stephens (via

Exploded Axonometric Drawing: Berghain, Berlin
Illustrated by Henry Stephens (via

Since August, the impermanent, experimental space 3 Days Awake has been open for only three days a month, allowing different curators the opportunity to organize each month’s program. January’s project marks the end of the space’s six-month run, after which time 3 Days Awake will turn into a book, with all proceeds benefitting local artist bookstores. No word yet on the organizer or artists included in the final weekend, but previous participants are a who’s who of LA’s artistic community including writer Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, curator Aram Moshayedi, and artist Matteo Tannatt.

 Primo Lane

Christian Tedeschi's Tree (via Outpost Project's Instagram)

Christian Tedeschi’s Tree (via Outpost Project’s Instagram)

When: Saturday, January 3, 2pm–12am
Where: Outpost Projects (2658 Keeler Avenue, Yucca Valley, CA)

Numerous artists from Noah Purifoy to Andrea Zittel have been lured to the high desert east of LA by the promise of freedom and solitude. The newest arrival is Outpost Projects, an artist-run residency and experimental space opening in Yucca Valley in early January. Their inaugural show, Primo Lane, is a 10-hour event that takes place this Saturday featuring objects, installations, performances, books, and more by almost 50 artists, as well as a bonfire and flag-raising.

(via the event's facebook page)

Ghosting (via

 Ghosting vol. 14

When: Saturday, January 3, 8pm–2am
Where: (1205 N. Main Street, Chinatown, Los Angeles)

Ghosting is a monthly hang-out and screening for experimental video artists and animators and those who love them. Each event is organized into 15-minute sets in an informal setting with breaks in-between to encourage interaction between participants and audience. Screenings start at 8pm, but the party lasts until everyone goes home. This month’s offering includes work from Simon Landrein, Andy Baker, Jeanette Bonds, as well as food from Brun’s Creole Soul Food Kitchen and more.

4th Annual Holiday Pehrgeant and Open Bar Mitzvah (via the event's facebook page)

4th Annual Holiday Pehrgeant and Open Bar Mitzvah (via the event’s facebook page)

 4th Annual Holiday Pehrgeant and Open Bar Mitzvah

When: Sunday, January 4, 8pm–11pm
Where: Pehrspace (325 Glendale Boulevard, Echo Park, Los Angeles)

Located in an unassuming Echo Park strip mall, music/art/performance venue Pehrspace is like a more DIY version of the Smell, if that’s possible. Their annual Pehrmas celebration features new interpretations of holiday classic stories that resemble nativity plays as directed by John Waters. The free, all-ages event also includes an open Bar Mitzvah, potluck, and performances by Slow Rose, Jew Cocks, Hex Horizontal, Dustin and the Explosions, Littlest Sister, and more.

 Peter Voulkos: Sculpture, Pottery, Prints

When: Opens Saturday, January 3, 5pm—7pm
Where: Frank Lloyd Gallery (2525 Michigan Avenue, B5B, Santa Monica, CA)

It’s no exaggeration to say that the current ceramics resurgence owes a great debt to Ab-Ex potter Peter Voulkos. He began creating his energetic ceramic works in the 1950s by violently pounding, gouging, and slashing the clay, radically bridging the divide between craft and high art. This upcoming exhibition at Santa Monica’s Frank Lloyd Gallery features almost fifty years of 3-D and 2-D work from this pottery pioneer, tracing his outsized influence on the medium.

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, CARLA, Apollo, ARTNews, and other publications.