Lonely Planet Writer

How a 1993 Step Van became one of LA’s most interesting art galleries

Mobile businesses are all the rage. From food trucks to boutiques-on-wheels these movable shops are populating festivals and random parking lots the world over. But one entrepreneur has a new offering on the scene. Gas is an art gallery in a 1993 step van, owner Ceci Moss found on Craigslist.

LA’s mobile art gallery. Image by Ceci Moss/Gas

“I wanted complete freedom and flexibility,” Moss told Travel News. “I also wanted to create a venue that worked well within the unique landscape of Los Angeles.”

The step van’s interior. Image by Ceci Moss/Gas

In a world of rising building costs, brick and mortar art spaces are challenging to establish, but through partnerships with galleries like Night Gallery and the Pit and pop-up opportunities around the city, Moss is able to bring her vision to Angelinos. Gas features one exhibition a season and for each, Moss works with an arts venue to park the gallery one day a week. In addition to these scheduled appearances, Moss organizes pop-up exhibitions. Followers can find her location on the gallery’s website, Twitter and Instagram.

Angélica Maria Millán Lozano, Espinas I, 2017 Image by Flynn Casey

The truck required very little updating when Moss purchased it, but it did get a new coat of paint and updated lighting. Conceptualizing how to utilize the space in order to install and design exhibitions resilient to presenting art in a vehicle was particularly challenging, Moss said. The gallery itself became an artistic way to present the work. In the current exhibit, Liquid Love, for example, Olivia Mole presents a hybrid performance, sculpture and installation centered on the figure of the anchoress, a medieval female hermit cloistered in the front cabin of the truck. Additionally, Small Things presented newly-commissioned single earrings which the gallerist wears.

Small Things Earring worn by the gallerist. Image by Ceci Moss/Gas Gallery

While the focus of the exhibits has been on thematic group exhibitions, Moss hopes to do more solo exhibitions in the future.