When it comes to urban development and gentrification, artists are often seen by locals as the enemy. It is artists, after all, who seem to be the first to arrive to gentrify a neighborhood. Their activities in turn help to make the neighborhood ripe for development. The situation is more complicated in a place like Barrio Logan. Because of the Chicano Park murals, Barrio Logan has be recognized as the artistic and creative hub since the Chicano Movement.
Today the barrio has evolved into a thriving space for the arts in San Diego. New talent, like Milo Lorenzana, founder of The Spot, have made Barrio Logan their home. While locals may complain to Lorenzana that he and his gallery have helped to “bring the hipsters” to the barrio, he and his collaborators have also become the go-to source for local youth and emerging artists. The Spot sees the art scene as part of a movement to carry on alongside the community, not against its people and their agenda.
Change is inevitable, according to Lorenzana. “If you ain’t ready for the change, then you’re going to get left behind.” What the next change will be, and whether or not it will include The Spot or bigger businesses, remains to be seen.