For the past six months, Club Pro Los Angeles operated as a nightclub—hosting underground parties, DIY punk shows and raves. As part of their new initiative, co-founders Ryan McGuffin and Kyle Roberts are now transforming Club Pro into a gallery that will focus on emerging local talent, as well as international artists.
Complete with an exhibition space and four artist studios that will act as their artist in residency hub, Club Pro will open its doors to its first artist-in-residence Sarah Abu Abdallah of Qatif, Saudi Arabia, whose winter exhibition at Club Pro Los Angeles will be her first show in the United States.
Club Pro’s first exhibition is a solo by painter Sebastian Gladstone, followed by a group show curated by Santi Vernetti (curatorial assistant at MOCA), then a two-part exhibition composed of solo projects by Kenneth Curwood and Gracie Devito. We caught up with the co-founders to learn more:
How did this all start?
Kyle: Ryan and I knew we wanted to start a gallery and we had no money. We found this amazing space and we figured that having and throwing events was a solid way for us to get the capital to help us open the gallery. Each party got us closer to where we wanted to get.
What are some of the events that helped raise money for this?
Kyle: We did stuff with Matrix Man, Fine Time, Perpetual Dawn, ‘No parents’ which is a punk band that Ryans in, Nikki Takesh, & DJ Before or After. Those were all really successful events here. Mostly punk shows, because that’s the world we’re in.
How did the nightlife to artlife transformation begin?
Kyle: We wanted an event that weeds out the people that are just there to party.
Tell us more about nightlife in LA.
Kyle: People are doing really cool things right now. People at Fine Times are doing great things. People at Living Room are trying new and interesting things.
How was your opening show?
Kyle: Sebastian’s instillation was great. He creates a present feeling for the viewer. There is a heaviness that I really enjoy.
Is it true that you guys were personally involved in renovating the space?
Ryan: We basically lived at home depot. We wanted to build something for our community.
The best part about art sometimes is to show your vulnerability.
Kyle: We are all scared. We were scared to do this. I came to the realization one day, that my life and my decisions were based and governed by what I was afraid of. Once I’ve overcome that, all this opportunity has been presented to me. Don’t ever let your life be dominated by fear and insecurities.