Self Help would join a small network of community art spaces like the Chicanx art space Goez Art Studio and Galleries, and the Watts Towers Art Center. Offering free studio spaces and equipment was at the heart of the trio’s work, but they also developed experimental art spaces that were temporary, public, free, inclusive, educational, and mobile. They shared a deep and profound alliance with their Chicanx neighbors, and they looked to confront some of the social ills they witnessed, like gang violence and drug addiction, as well as city-wide stereotypes that circulated about Chicanxs and the places they lived.
As Self Help became a center for artists and artist collectives in L.A., the needs and requirements of reaching a wider audience demanded a more public and street-centered approach if it was going to advance its objective of serving all the people in its neighborhood. The founders realized that art came with many unintended implications about language and class. As a result, they initiated two of L.A.’s earliest examples of social practice artworks.