Not Just Another Café Show:
Groundwork Coffee Books ‘The G.I.G.’

--By Miranda McGregor

For 21 years, the Los Angeles Groundwork Coffee stores have long ensured that their patrons have been able to obtain fairly-traded organic brews.

Traditionally soft-spoken about their outreach work in the communities they serve, however, Groundwork is setting itself up to make some noise, recently bringing The Nation of Artists on board to curate art exhibitions in each of their locations under the banner “The G.I.G.” – or “Groundwork’s Indie Garage.”

With six locations across Los Angeles (two in Venice, two in Santa Monica, one downtown and one in Hollywood), and a plan to change out the shows every 8-10 weeks, the goal to present 30 artist exhibitions annually is a bold step to truly supporting the many creatives living in close proximity to the stores. 

As The Nation of Artists’ founder Elliot Kotek puts it, “The concept of the G.I.G. is to give the customers a sense of organically discovering the serious talent hiding in the, sometimes literal, garages around each Groundwork.”

Rather than just having art on the walls, as is commonplace with caffeine purveyors nation-wide, the G.I.G’s shows will be supported with openings outside of business hours, and with original poster designs for each show that reinforce the inclusive community-minded groundswell behind the initiative.

“Many premium coffee and tea brands seem to be positioning themselves as almost academic connoisseurs, which I feel has started to add an air of pretension around the art of coffee making,” says Kotek, “That Groundwork reached out to us to run with this program is an endeavor with the opposite agenda of providing the community with direct access to great beans and leaves along with under-represented work by the locals they pass by every day. The G.I.G. should reinforce in customers an appreciation for the talent in their immediate environment. We can’t wait to get started.”

Check the website for more information on openings and participating artists – If you’re an artist located in Los Angeles, you can submit your work for consideration to