La Galeria Gitana: San Fernando’s Art Nook

Karen Nichols, La Galeria Gitana’s curator

Karen Nichols wasn’t sure if San Fernando was ready for an art gallery when major developer Severyn Aszkenazy approached her about the project. Ready or not, with the opening of La Galeria Gitana (The Gypsy Gallery) in 2008, the city got its first taste of what might (hopefully) become a downtown arts district.

Karen, a former Reseda High School art teacher and lifelong San Fernando resident, manages all aspects of the gallery. She decides which five exhibits will be featured throughout the year and stays after hours either crunching numbers or working on her own paintings.

La Galeria Gitana lies hidden behind retailers on Maclay Avenue; it’s large enough to house plenty of artwork yet small enough to casually stroll through in less than an hour. The clean simple gallery is perfect for showcasing the bright colors featured in past exhibits, such as “Celebrating Our Mexican Culture” and “Cars.”

For the first display of 2011, Karen kept in mind the city’s centennial with “Rediscovering San Fernando at 100,” a love letter of sorts to the streets and characters of the area. “This is our people, our places,” says Karen, who makes a point of featuring local artists.

“Monterey Dream” by Trice Trolle, part of the “Favorite Weekend Getaways” exhibit

This month, La Galeria is exhibiting “Favorite Weekend Getaways: Where L.A. Gets Away to Play.” The exhibit runs through June 18 but come May 7, La Galeria Gitana will be participating in “Paint the City Purple,” a Relay for Life event in collaboration with United Threads and Youth Speak Collective.

Show support for local art throughout the year at La Galeria Gitana. More information regarding “Paint the City Purple” will be posted as details are released.

La Galeria Gitana is located at 120 N. Maclay Avenue Suite E. (behind Caramelo Boutique). Open Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.

The homepage images are “Flaring Folklorica,” (Ferrera) “Before the Dance #3” (Nichols) and “Blast to Past on Brand (Ferren).” Each work was featured in a previous exhibit at La Galeria Gitana.

written by

i am san fernando is April Aguirre, a writer born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. April bounced around the Valley throughout her upbringing and lived outside of California for a quick minute but always felt most at home in the city of San Fernando. To get at April's heart, FedEx puppies to her door, offer In-N-Out cheeseburgers by the dozen or introduce her to a beer tastier than the last.

9 Responses to "La Galeria Gitana: San Fernando’s Art Nook"

  1. Karen Nichols says:

    Good job. Thanks for the nice plug for the gallery.

  2. Debbie Lopez says:

    Thanks so much for posting this. I never knew La Galeria Gitana was there! I’ve already shared the link with all my Facebook Friends! I’ll be visiting soon!

    • i am san fernando. says:

      I’m glad you know about it now. It’s a great place to visit anytime, but you should check out their exhibit openings – wine, cheese and SFers. They’ll probably have another one around June. Thanks for all the support, Debbie!

  3. Kimberley Joy Ferren says:

    THANK YOU for bringing attention to the beautiful La Galeria Gitana and San Fernando art treasure Karen Nichols. To all artists and new talents (I was one starting my art at 51) Karen has a great eye and open to all forms of art. See the shows, grab some great clothes at Madmoiselles, then get a ice cream at Coldstone Creamery. Great way to spend a couple hours in SFC!

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