Michael Parker

Below is an archive of the Artists’ Loft Museum Los Angeles. All content below was written between late August 2017 to late October 2017. Following the last post, the ALMLA continued two lawsuits defending its housing rights and freedom of expression. A settlement was reached at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in early April 2018. The unit housing the ALMLA was officially vacated on June 30, 2018. Thank you to all supporters throughout the lawsuits. For resources on how to help with housing rights and issues of displacement in Los Angeles, please support the Eviction Defense Network and the Los Angeles Tenants Union.










ALMLA: Artists’ Loft Museum Los Angeles celebrates the history of long-time-artist-tenants in the neighborhood that bears our name before our presence is fully erased due to displacement and evictions. Mounted at ALMLA is a retrospective of 16 years worth of 40 artists’ work that have lived or worked in one of the last long-time-artist-tenant-occupied Artist-in-Residence units in the “Arts District". Unfortunately, the day after two articles were published on Sept 6, Eviction Papers were filed by the landlord, and ALMLA was Served on September 20th. We hope to VISUALIZE DISPLACEMENT in an attempt to affect housing justice policy throughout our city.  Please follow @mmichaelparkerr and @theALMLA on Instagram to keep abreast of the latest.  We welcome appointments, school visits and are working to make as many public hours as possible.



ALMLA is located at: 454 Seaton Street #1, LA, CA, 90013

800 Traction is located at: 800 Traction Ave, LA, CA, 90013



LA Times: Rent hikes and evictions — is this the last stand for artists in the Arts District? October 27

Get Down Town LA  October 19 (scroll halfway down to the turquoise box)

KCRW There Goes the Neighborhood: Change the Name of the Arts District to the Luxury District October 17

ARTNET NEWs September 12

ART FORUM September 11

LA WEEKLY September 6




Oct 27th:


Dear Friends and Supporters,


The Eviction Parade Float and Banner Making Workshop on Sunday October 29 @ 11am-3pm will graciously be hosted by The Box gallery located at 805 Traction Avenue. We will have supplies, but more the merrier (think fabric for signs, sewing machines, casters to make a few more floats, paint brushes, paint etc…). Huge thanks to The Box’s Mara McCarthy and Corazon Del Sol (whose current show is awesome) for their support of long-time-artist-tenants of the Arts District!


Also, the LA Times just published a story for their Sunday print edition titled: Rent hikes and evictions — is this the last stand for artists in the Arts District?


Updates on cultural workers’ evictions in Council District 14:

-800 Traction senior-citizen-artists got their official eviction papers this week

-ALMLA spent Wednesday being deposed by landlord’s lawyers

-After many months of public protest and organizing the landlord of 1815 E 2nd Street, has agreed to negotiate with the Mariachis and tenants!!


Support Visualizing Displacement:

1. Come on Sunday, October 29 to help make signs and floats 11am-3pm at The Box gallery (805 Traction Avenue)

2. Come to the Eviction Parade on Saturday November 4 at 5pm

3. On Sunday after the workshop join the LA Tenants Union for a march in Highland Park 3-5pm

4. Call our Councilmember to voice your concern about the displacement of cultural workers and long-time-tenants - (213) 473-7014 {and call your Councilmember too!}



Eviction Parade: November 4th, 5pm - 7pm


Parade begins at the Isamu Noguchi Courtyard at the JACCC

START address: 244 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

MIDPOINT address: 454 Seaton St #1 (ALMLA)

FINALE address: 800 Traction Ave


ALMLA: Artists’ Loft Museum Los Angeles celebrates the history of long-time artist-tenants who have been and are currently being displaced and evicted on the east side of Downtown Los Angeles, in an area now branded by real estate developers as the Arts District. We will celebrate, march, banner, float and parade from the Isamu Noguchi courtyard in Little Tokyo to ALMLA and 800 Traction, two of the earliest permitted Artist-in-Residence sites currently challenging their displacement and eviction from the neighborhood that capitalizes on their name. At 5pm we will depart from the Noguchi courtyard at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, walk down 2nd Street to Alameda Street, and then south to ALMLA at 454 Seaton Street #1. Mounted at ALMLA is a retrospective of the work of 40 artists who have lived or worked there over the past 16 years. The museum is still occupied by long-time artist-tenants, and their five studios will be open for the event (49 person max occupancy). After stopping at ALMLA, we will parade to The Box gallery located at 805 Traction Ave for a performance by Los Angeles Poverty Department.  And then we will head across the street to 800 Traction Ave for the finale, which includes a group show of young artists who are working with the senior citizen artist-tenants who are being evicted after 20-34 years of living at 800 Traction.


Join the Eviction Parade!  There will be a float and sign-making workshop on October 29th 11-3pm at The Box gallery located at 805 Traction Avenue.  Everyone is welcome.  (Contact ALMLA’s co-founders Michael Parker or Alyse Emdur at LoftMuseum@gmail.com to get involved by making a float, costume, or performance.)



Sept 30th:

Join us 4pm-9pm on Saturday, September 30th for ALMLA and 800Traction: We are both long time artists in the Arts District now being Evicted. We  will open our studios & our homes. At ALMLA view artworks by 40 artists who have lived or worked in this single unit for the past 16 years. At 800 Traction, there will be two panels, a show of artwork mounted by friends, students and supporters of the 800 Traction artists. And as we’ve dug deeper into the complexity of real estate deals and tenancy we keep having these little frights, so we’ve decided to screen Chinatown. Hope you can make it!


Sept 26th:

ALMLA and 800 Traction will be featured in the 5th episode of 'There Goes the Neighborhood: Los Angeles' a new podcast from KCRW and WNYC Studios.


Sept 23rd:

ALMLA has open hours from 12-3pm. Join us! Text 310-seven-five-three-77-four-zero when you are at entrance to 454 Seaton Street.



Sept 4th:

ALMLA hosted its first college visit: Pomona College’s Senior/Junior art majors.


Sept 6th:

LA Weekly: At the Artists' Loft Museum, Longtime Arts District Residents Are Refusing to Be Erased. Read Here (No comment from landlord)

HYPERALLERGIC:  In Los Angeles, Artists Open a Museum to Resist Displacement. Read Here (No comment from landlord)

ALMLA invited to organize a panel at Common Field, the 350+ Arts Organization National Conference taking place in Little Tokyo on Nov 4th.


Sept 7th:

Eviction papers were filed at LA Courthouse. (without our knowledge)


Sept 8th:

Eviction papers were stamped and mailed by the LA County Court (without our knowledge)

Artist talk to discuss ALMLA at CSU Long Beach’s 300+ student course was confirmed for October 24th. Hope you can join!


Sept 11th:

ART FORUM Published a news story. Read Here


Sept 12th:

ARTNET NEWs published a news brief. Read Here


Sept 20th:

ALMLA hosts its second university class visit: Curating Architecture & the Urban at TU Berlin organized by Jia Gu and Rosario Talevi with urban planning and architecture graduate students from Germany.

DURING the meeting EVICTION PAPERS WERE SERVED. The graduate students videoed and photographed this step of Eviction.

Eviction papers were initiated the day after articles were published.



The ALMLA’s opening is on August 31, 2017 5pm-10pm. We have a 49 person Max-Occupancy at a time. Please be patient if there is a line.


As the DTLA Arts District has become well known across the city, country and beyond, there is little that artist-tenants can do to remain in the neighborhood and the traditional artists’ live/work loft has become a relic from a former time. While an opportunity to see “how real artists live and work,” the ALMLA is fundamentally a project about tenants’ rights and the politics and policies of eviction and involuntary displacement. Without artists able to live or work in the “Arts District,” the name of the neighborhood will need to change to reflect these new glass towers and metal-clad boxes. Whether it will become the Luxury District, Silicon Lofts, or something else remains to be seen, but regardless of the moniker, it cannot and will not have the same draw to the cultural workers who have called this slice of DTLA home for decades.


Read full press release here.

Follow on Instagram: @theALMLA.




Stand with 800 Traction Ave

Instagram: @artistsdistrict

Twitter: @standw800tract




Located in what used to be part of Little Tokyo, the 800 Traction Ave artist loft building has been sold and the tenants are facing eviction. These longtime community artists and residents, including senior Japanese and Japanese Americans who have lived in the building for 34 years, are considered to be cultural assets to the Little Tokyo community. They have no where else to go. As a part of Little Tokyo and Japanese Americans' continued fight against displacement—from the WWII incarceration camps to displacement in the 1970s and 80s redevelopment to the current gentrification of downtown—we are asking:


What is an “Arts District” without artists? What would Little Tokyo be without Japanese Americans? Support the artists of Little Tokyo and the Arts District. No evictions!



On August 31, from 5pm-10pm, the Artists’ Loft Museum Los Angeles (@theALMLA), located at 454 Seaton Street  #1, near Alameda and Fifth Street in Downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District, opens its doors to the public for a free viewing of installation-works, paintings, photographs, sculpture, performance ephemera and video by 35 artists who have called this place homebase over the past 16 years. This building, first used by artists starting in the late 1970s, was one of the earliest legally zoned Artist-in-Residence spaces in DTLA, but now most of the artists have been involuntarily displaced due to crippling rent increases.


The ALMLA is hosting this exhibition as a means to bring attention to the plight of artist-tenants who currently reside in or who have resided in this building and neighborhood. Confirmed artists in the exhibition include many of the ALMLA’s 16 years worth of studiomates and houseguests: Anna Astrand, Lisa Anne Auerbach, Morgan Beeby, Mitsuko Brooks, Carson Davis Brown, Nicole Capps, Jim Drain, Alyse Emdur, Remi Emdur, Aaron Freeman, Butchy Fuego, Rochele Gomez, Christina Guerrero Harmon, Vi Ha, Mark Hadyn, Robby Herbst, Lewis Hurrell, Jeff King, Matthew Koons, Joel Kyack, Nick Lobo, Becca Lofchie, Lukas Marxt, Rich Morris, Michael Parker, Jennifer Rainsford, Carlos Reyes, Beau Rice, Samantha Roth, Erin Schneider, Lior Shamriz, Alina Skrzeszewska, Vanja Smiljanic, Jason Smilovic, Julian Smith-Newman, George Stone, Leo Trebels, Steven Vargas, Rosten Woo, Tori Wraanes.


Consequently, in response to the forces of development-gone-wild and to the larger struggles for affordable housing policy throughout Los Angeles, the ALMLA is working to positively impact housing rights by standing up and speaking out, leveraging our own privilege to create a space, a voice and aid the movements of artists, cultural workers, and all affected communities who have been displaced and continue to be displaced as neighborhoods are destabilized through rampant, unchecked development and landlords cashing in on the city’s unprecedented growth.


Article from the LA Weekly quoting ALMLA’s anti-development stance, January 3, 2017, “There Goes the Neighborhood: is a Futuristic New Development the End of the Arts District As We Know It?

The ALMLA, 2016

  •        more info

    ALMLA's Backstory:

    Michael Parker, who moved in on August 15, 2001, felt like a newcomer in the neighborhood until his long time neighbor, George Stone, who’d been there since 1985 got pushed out in 2012 by exorbitant rent increases. Stone’s studio is now divided into two AirBNBs. In an article published in 2014 weeks before Parker’s obelisk along the LA River was complete he wrote “How can I simultaneously create a massive earthwork that is a literal copy of a Pharaonic power symbol and also self-implicate the double-bind of being a gentrifier and a gentrified (pharaoh and craftsman)?” Well the time has come, and this is Parker’s new trench.


    ALMLA’s Creation Day:

    On November 7, 2016, Parker thought he’d get his birthday wish the next day, and was feeling optimistic about the world, and called his recent studio mate, Lisa Anne Auerbach, as they’d been talking about doing an artists’ museum along the lines of the Tenement Museum in New York’s Lower East Side. We wanted to celebrate the history of the neighborhood (which she had first lived in during the early ‘90s) while at the same time mourn the loss of accessible space for cultural workers in the center of our city. Crassly put: loft is now a word coopted by developers to romanticize the artist lifestyle and museums traditionally show work in the past tense aka: dead. Within hours thet Artists’ Loft Museum Los Angeles was born with an Instagram account @theALMLA and a hand painted sign out onto 5th street. As the world changed on November 8, local political actions went to the back burner. But now, we realize that for political change to occur we must stand strong in our local trenches. To realize the potential of Los Angeles, we must make it livable for workers in all fields.

    This sign was painted and installed after Cold Storage (the project series) ended as the frozen food and refrigeration warehouse opened for business in 2007. Both signs were painted on board with primer and exterior paint.

© Michael Parker 2019