Since the coronavirus pandemic first shut down museums and community spaces all over the world, people have been wondering when and how they’ll be able to enjoy the company of others in cultural spaces again. Mostly art lovers have been anticipating the reopening of beloved galleries and institutions and not anticipating new arrivals to the scene. On Thursday, however, designer Megan Tagliaferri announced the upcoming launch of Compound, a new cultural non-profit and wellness space dedicated to contemporary art in Long Beach, California. Compound will be open to the public in September, and the 15,000 square foot complex will become a home to rotating commissioned exhibitions and sculpture installations from prominent contemporary artists. Additionally, attendees will be able to engage in programming like meditation, yoga and healing workshops.
“Through programming our intention is to inspire empathy and growth,” Tagliaferri told Observer this week. “I want to create a space where all aspects of a person, and community, can be nurtured and inspired. We are working with local farmers, local architects, a local chef, and partnering with local youth organizations and political organizations to create programs that can have impact habitually and that can reverberate beyond the here and now.” Currently on view is Compound’s first contemporary art commission, a neon text-based artwork by artist Tavares Strachan installed on the front of the building that reads “You Belong Here.” Later in the fall, Compound will introduce an installation from the artist Glenn Kaino.
Additionally, Compound has partnered with the national emergency grant organization Artist Relief to offer digital wellness resources free of charge. These resources were commissioned by artists including Daniel Alexander Jones, Fariha Róisín, Jackie Sumell and Miguel Gutierrez, and they were made with artists affected by COVID-19 in mind. Plus, the staff at Compound are fully aware that even when they do open, employees will have to be equipped to ensure the health and safety of everyone who comes to the facility. Compound will do so by providing hand sanitizer stations and social distancing markers so that everyone inside can remain safe.