You Are Not Alone: Leathersmith Chris Pak Opens Art Studio to Help Residents Cope


Inspired by his own pursuit of peace through painting, Chris Pak, owner of Sandast Studio in Downtown Los Angeles, has generously opened up his massive gallery space to host free weekly art classes to local residents. The classes are designed to encourage anyone and everyone to use art to conquer feelings of depression and isolation in the midst of an ongoing pandemic; “If you feel the same way I do, art is the best remedy”, says Chris.

Over the past year, as the energetic streets of Downtown Los Angeles dwindled down to an emptier, eerier sight, Chris found himself struggling to cope. In talking to his friends and loved ones about it, he realized a lot of people felt the same as he did. When Chris eventually found joy in turning an old, graffitied-up wall into a pleasant painting, he recognized he was not the only one who could benefit from the feeling that painting gave him. Thus, the idea to promote free weekly art classes out of his studio to others appeared to be the most advantageous next step for the Downtown community.

Chris aims to give his fellow Downtown Los Angeles residents a sense of community and connection when they enter his vibrant studio, in a way he understands a lot of people need at this time. He wants residents to know and feel that they are not alone; Sandast Studio opens its doors to all in an effort to inspire others to find peace, explore their creativity, and build connections through art. Whether you are just starting out or have been painting for years, Sandast Studio offers a pleasant, peaceful space for anyone to utilize art as a meaningful coping tool.

Despite the ongoing pandemic and issues Downtown Los Angeles has faced even before that, it has always had eclectic life and soul. Chris hopes to give us all a reason to get out of the house (safely, of course), because he understands art can be used to not only replenish the soul, but put life back into the streets of Downtown once again.

Sandast 2

Come join the fun every Saturday evening from 5:00pm-8:00pm PST! Art classes are held on a first come, first serve basis. Bring your own set and be sure to book your spot in advance- there is a maximum of 10 spots per class to comply with social distancing.

Author: Caroline Platzman

Writer I Recovery Counselor I Musician I Passionate About Human Rights I Learning Other Perspectives & Living Creatively. l