The Best of LA in 2024: Arts & Culture

Keith Haring carousel at Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy
Keith Haring carousel at Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy | Photo: Jeff McLane, Luna Luna

An extraordinary citywide arts festival, the return of a lost art amusement park, and the largest Black public art project in the country are just a few of the arts & culture highlights in 2024.

For more of the Best of LA in 2024, check out our Ultimate Guide.

"Los Angeles right now, is the most creative city on Earth, at any time in history." ~ Michael Govan, LACMA

PST ART: Art & Science Collide

Formerly Pacific Standard Time, PST ART returns for its 2024-25 edition: PST ART: Art & Science Collide. Taking place from Sept. 14, 2024 to Feb. 16, 2025, more than 800 artists will be featured in 50+ exhibits across Southern California, exploring past and present connections between art and science with exhibitions, public programs, and other resources. Themes range from climate change and environmental justice to the future of artificial intelligence and alternative medicine.

Participating cultural institutions include:

  • Getty Center
  • Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
  • Autry Museum
  • The Broad
  • CAAM
  • Caltech
  • Craft Contemporary
  • Griffith Observatory
  • Hammer Museum
  • The Huntington Library
  • ICA
  • JPL
  • La Brea Tar Pits
  • LA Public Library
  • MOCA
  • Museum of Jurassic Technology
  • Natural History Museum
  • Skirball Cultural Center
  • Vincent Price Art Museum
  • Wende Museum
Kenny Scharf chair swing ride at Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy
Kenny Scharf chair swing ride at Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy | Photo: Joshua White, Luna Luna
Keith Haring carousel at Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy
Keith Haring carousel at Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy | Photo: Jeff McLane, Luna Luna

Luna Luna: Forgotten Fantasy (through Spring)

The world's first art amusement park, Luna Luna has been reborn in a spectacular exhibition now on view in the warehouse district just off the 6th Street Viaduct. Lost since 1987, Luna Luna originally debuted in Hamburg, Germany and featured rides, games and attractions by visionary artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, David Hockney and Salvador Dali. Thanks to funding from Drake, 19 treasures have been restored for the exhibit, including: a painted chair ride designed by Kenny Scharf; a Keith Haring carousel; the park's original entrance, designed by Sonia Delaunay; a Basquiat Ferris wheel, accompanied by Miles Davis' "Tutu"; Roy Lichtenstein's glass labyrinth; and the immersive Dalídom, a mirrored geodesic dome with music by Blue Chip Orchestra.

Tickets are on sale at the Luna Luna website, which also features extensive info on the 1987 artists and attractions, including the restored works currently on view.

Destination Crenshaw

Scheduled for completion in early 2024, Destination Crenshaw will feature works by more than 100 Black artists and will be the largest Black public art project in the U.S. - and possibly the world. With strong ties to Los Angeles, the artists will create a pipeline of work and jobs for emerging, seasoned and internationally renowned artists. But DC is much more than art. Its mission is nothing less than to place a cultural stamp of Blackness on a 1.3-mile stretch of Crenshaw Boulevard – a stamp akin to those in Chinatown, Mariachi Plaza, Koreatown and other ethnic enclaves.

New pocket parks will line the project site, providing spaces for gathering, rest and conversation as well as community healing, protest and celebration. With a commitment to environmental equity, DC will reforest the boulevard, planting more than 800 trees and developing over 30,000 square feet of sustainable landscaping.

Frieze LA + Felix Art Fair

FRIEZE LA (FEB. 29 - MAR. 3)
Frieze returns to Santa Monica Airport for its fifth edition with new public spaces, a new Focus director, and new local and international exhibitions. The 2024 fair brings together more than 95 galleries from 21 countries, with nearly 50 percent of them operating in Greater Los Angeles - 13 of them will be showing at Frieze Los Angeles for the first time.

Founded by collector Dean Valentine and dealers Al and Mills Morán, Felix Art Fair will once again take place at the landmark Hollywood Roosevelt. Now in its sixth year, Felix was previously held by the famed David Hockney pool and satellite "Tower Galleries" on the hotel's 11th and 12th floors. The 2024 edition will feature more than 60 exhibitors, from local to international galleries.

The Hollywood Sign ca. 1924
The Hollywood Sign, ca. 1924, courtesy of Margaret Herrick Library
Louis B. Mayer, ca. 1924
Louis B. Mayer, ca. 1924, courtesy of Margaret Herrick Library

Hollywoodland - Academy Museum (opens May 19)

Opening at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on May 19, Hollywoodland: Jewish Founders and the Making of a Movie Capital traces the history of filmmaking in Los Angeles back to its roots at the beginning of the 20th century, illustrating how and why the city became the world capital of cinema it remains today. Hollywoodland is curated by Associate Curator Dara Jaffe and is the Academy Museum’s first and only permanent exhibition.

This immersive gallery conveys the evolving topography of LA along the timeline of the developing movie industry, encouraging further exploration of the city’s landmarks. The exhibition spotlights the Jewish founders of the Hollywood studio system, foregrounding the ways in which the birth of the American film industry—and the depiction of the American Dream—is at its heart an immigrant story. By exploring the origins of major studios as well as independent film production in LA, the exhibition conveys impactful stories of ingenuity and offers a deeper understanding of motion picture history.

Rendering of "L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective" at the Natural History Museum
Rendering of "L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective" courtesy of Natural History Museum
Rendering of "Gnatalie" on display in the NHM Commons
"Gnatalie" rendering courtesy of Natural History Museum

NHM Commons

Scheduled to open at the Natural History Museum in the summer of 2024, the $75-million NHM Commons will span 60,000 square feet of renovated space, new construction, and landscaping on the southwest side of the museum's Exposition Park home, including a light-filled welcome center, an inviting lobby with retail space, a multipurpose theater, a café, and a large community plaza. The indoor/outdoor NHM Commons spaces will enable the museum to expand its community-centered, inclusive, co-created programming; while creating opportunities for people to come together to experience NHM, with or without a ticket.

The Judith Perlstein Welcome Center features Barbara Carrasco’s landmark 80-foot mural, L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective, which portrays the city’s history through a series of vignettes woven into the flowing hair of la Reina de Los Ángeles (the Queen of Los Angeles).

Also on view in the welcome center, Gnatalie is a Diplodocus long-necked dinosaur measuring more than 70 feet long. Not only is Gnatalie awesome in size, but the sauropod is unique in color due to the quarry where it was found, which turns bones green.