As a gallery, River operates on a non-traditional, carefully-constructed platform for local and international artists. Its primary shape is a physical gallery with artist-specific programming. River produces solo shows to streamline the artist-gallery working dynamic. This model creates a much-needed space for mentorship in a transparent, honest, and familial incubator-style environment for the artists in the program. The gallery champions artists who exude positive values personally and professionally.
As an alternative space, River contributes to the current arts dialogue in Los Angeles as it rapidly evolves. River's primary agenda is to function as a progressive space in Los Angeles that promotes contemporary artists. The platform will also support art and culture via alternative, non-commercial programming. Inspired by nature, River will carve out its own path.
Director Carl E. Smith has organized and produced exhibitions and other art events in California and internationally for the past two decades. Smith opened his first gallery in the Czech Republic 15 years ago, curating young artists into their first exhibitions. He has advocated for artists on commercial and fine art platforms between Prague, his hometown of Laguna Beach and subsequently, CES Gallery, in Downtown LA—all with the intention of fostering artistic vision. He is passionate about art and is dedicated to helping emerging artists through the crucial first stages of their careers, while providing more established artists with unique opportunities.
Smith specializes in art and design. He has worked in a multitude of mediums across a variety of industry sectors. Outside of River, he currently works as an art director, designer and lecturer. Smith is the Chair of the Contemporary Circle at the Laguna Art Museum.
River is currently located in Echo Park, Los Angeles, on a private property.