If you come to the most iconic bookstores in LA, and possible one of the most unique bookstores in the world – the LAST BOOKSTORE, you will likely see Jena Priebe’s alluring giant freestanding paper sculptures and mobiles. Jena Priebe is a remarkable artist and the person behind the FOLD gallery that promotes local L.A. based artists.
– Jena, please tell a few words about yourself.
Hi! My name is Jena, I am an artist & gallery owner. I’ve been creating art professionally since 2003. I moved into my art studio in The Spring Arts Gallery in 2007. Since starting my tenure downtown Los Angeles in The Spring Arts Tower, I’ve had the fortunate experience of showing at Burning Man, MASS MoCA, The Maloof Foundation and local Los Angeles galleries. Several Los Angeles libraries are hosting permanent installations of my creation as well as The Last Bookstore.
– Why did you decide to celebrate the local Los Angeles artists and artisans?
I grew up in a rural part of the Midwest where community is everything.
It’s really important to me to support my neighbors. With nearly unlimited talent in Los Angeles to represent at FOLD it was a no-brainer to support local Artists and Artisans.
I just love the energy, work ethic and creativity of my fellow Angelenos, it’s truly inspiring. It never ceases to amaze me just how dedicated and hard-working they are.
– When did you start the FOLD Gallery?
FOLD Gallery was opened in 2012. The artists in the building have always had the fortunate support of building owner, Paul Su. Shortly before The Last Bookstore opened the doors of The Labyrinth, Paul came to a hand full of resident artists that had been in the building some time and asked us if we would like to move our studios to the mezzanine of the building. We all thought it was a fantastic idea, forming The Spring Arts Collective.
Initially, the studio space was just for my artwork but not long after moving in, I realized that the public aspect of the space was ideal to show other artists as well.
– Why did you choose to be located in Downtown Los Angeles?
I chose The Spring Arts Tower to have my studio and gallery in because of the buildings unwavering support of local artists and it truly feels like downtown Los Angeles is the epicenter of the LA Art scene.
– What do you love about Downtown Los Angeles?
I love the surprising sense of community here. It’s a pretty tight knit group of community members, gallerists and artists. You feel supported by each other and people really care about you and what you’re up to.
– A Downtown place/ places or people you would love to recommend if any.
I have something special I do when I really need to think called my “Zen Tour”. I stop by the Grand Central Market and grab a bite to eat, then i’ll take the mini tram, Angels Flight up to where MOCA is located. I take a little gallery tour there and then walk over to Disney Hall to write a little at the Blue Ribbon Garden. It’s magical and not an expensive day either.
Other awesome places to visit is The Broad Museum (hello, its free!), The Last Bookstore for stunning art and a rad book experience, Nickel Diner for breakfast, Cole’s for Happy Hour, The Little Easy for some Cajun food and The Down and Out for some dive bar action.