Los Angeles According to: Karen Galloway from Sow & Tailor

In the first of a new series, the founder of the South Central gallery reveals where to get the best chicken locally and why her space is only a “guest” in its neighborhood

BY Chris Waywell in Frieze Los Angeles , Interviews | 23 JAN 24

Los Angeles born and bred, Sow & Tailor’s founder Karen Galloway started her South Central space with a mission to bring exposure to emerging and under-represented artists. With a commitment to “incubation and exploration,” the gallery will be part of Focus at Frieze Los Angeles 2024. Its openings are famous for their relaxed and inclusive community vibe, and great food, so Galloway has some top local recommendations.

What’s great about Sow & Tailor’s location? 

I like this area because it’s a sleepier part of town and you get more space for cultivation. There are not many other galleries in the area and it’s a great incubation space. 

What changes have you seen in your neighborhood since the gallery opened?

Not much has changed and I don’t mind that at all! We are not here to change the neighborhood; we are a guest in this neighborhood.

Karen Galloway of Sow & Tailor
Karen Galloway of Sow & Tailor. Photograph: Enio Hernandez, courtesy of Sow & Tailor

Why would you recommend your neighborhood area to art lovers new to LA? 

I think my gallery is a destination spot—not too many gallery spaces in our area. We are so close to USC, DTLA and South LA, so very centrally located and easy to get around. 

Can you explain the ethos of your gallery and what unites your artists?

The concept is incubation and exploration. Being able to showcase new artists, show in fairs, and do curatorial and special projects is what Sow & Tailor is about. 

Sow & Tailor. Photo Mason Kuehler
Sow & Tailor. Photo Mason Kuehler

Which emerging artists excite you at the moment? 

I have a few emerging artists that really excite me. Of course, Javier Ramirez—a local Los Angeles artist we are showcasing at this year’s Frieze Los Angeles—he is one of my favorites! I also am excited about Erin Wright and Jasaya Neale: both have solo exhibitions at Sow & Tailor in February during Frieze Week. Both artists are so incredible, a show that is not to be missed! I also really love Sabrina Piersol who I will be showing at Dallas Art Fair in April. Lots of great artists to look forward to!!

What’s different about the LA art scene to that of other cities (your local art scene in particular)?

Los Angeles feels more connected and very community-oriented. This is something that we really resonate with at Sow & Tailor.

Favorite museum or gallery in Los Angeles?

I really love LACMA and love taking my daughter there. I grew up going there as a kid, so it’s always great to go back. The Hammer Museum is also fantastic!

Last exhibition you went to? 

I was recently in Miami for the fairs, so the last exhibition I attended was at the Rubell Museum for “Singular Views: Los Angeles.” They featured a lot of my favorite local Los Angeles artists—beautiful show!

Holbox Food. Photo: Holbox

Favorite place to eat in your area?    

There is this street vendor on Main Street who grills the most amazingly moist chicken. I usually order from him at least twice a week. The plate comes with rice, beans, fresh tortillas, a cheesy baked potato and the best fresh salsas! All of this for only $10. It’s such a nice meal to have while tailgating your car for lunch. For a work meeting, I love to host clients and friends at Holbox. They are located in a food court a few blocks away. Best mariscos in LA!  

Best bar near the gallery? 

There is a really quiet speakeasy in DTLA called Varnish. It’s very intimate so it’s great for a date night. If you want to have more fun, definitely go to Red Lion: I always have a fun time there running around.

Best thing about LA?

The food scene is top-tier.

Worst thing about LA?


Sow & Tailor, 157 W 27th St, Los Angeles, CA 90007.

Sow & Tailor is showing at Frieze Los Angeles, which returns to Santa Monica Airport for its fifth edition from February 29–March 3, 2024.


Early-bird tickets are now sold out and full-price tickets are selling fast. Buy yours now before they’re gone.



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Main image: Sow & Tailor, with work by Javier Ramirez, whom the gallery is showing at Frieze Los Angeles 2024.

Chris Waywell is Senior Editor of Frieze Studios. He lives in London, UK.