Del Vaz Projects, from the Farsi phrase دست و دلباز (dæst ō del bāz) meaning open-handed and open-hearted, was founded in 2014 as an intimate exhibition platform located in the guest bedroom of Jay Ezra Nayssan's apartment in west Los Angeles. The mission was to provide a space that would serve as an incubator for both emerging and established artists and their alternative proposals, preserving and nourishing the unique and vibrant pulse of the city's arts community.
Through an organic, intuitive and open dialogue with artists, Del Vaz Projects quickly evolved into a dynamic venue that not only hosted exhibitions but also screenings, performances and workshops as well as informal home-stays for visiting artists, curators, performers and writers from around the world.
Since its founding, Del Vaz Projects has become internationally regarded as one of the most important and integral alternative spaces in Los Angeles. Its exhibition program, centered around the domestic setting, has served as a catalyst for both recognized and underrecognized artists by creating a more personal and meaningful discourse around artists' practices. Del Vaz Projects has also played guest at a number of acclaimed galleries including Balice-Hertling, Paris; Galerie David Giroire, Paris; Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles and M+B, Los Angeles.
In July 2020, Del Vaz Projects relocated to Santa Monica, in what is Shirley Temple's childhood home, designed and built by architect Frank E. Bivens in 1929. The new space includes not only a 200 square-foot exhibition space, 400 square-foot studio space and artist guest bedrooms but also a 1,000 square-foot garden furnished with livestock including chickens, ducks and bees; composting structures; garden beds and greenhouse. By evolving into a gallery-farmstead, Del Vaz Projects' original mission to serve as an incubator for emerging and established artists will evolve to promote the intersection of art, agriculture and wellness.
Del Vaz Projects is currently pending approval for non-profit status and will operate exclusively for education and charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The organization will provide free educational opportunities to school groups around Los Angeles County through a variety of activities that include but are not limited to: an art gallery to support artists through rotating exhibitions; an urban farmstead including gardens and livestock; and a series of health and wellness workshops.