CES operates on a non-traditional, carefully-constructed platform. This new gallery model creates a much-needed space for mentorship, art advocacy, education and community-building in an honest and familial incubator-style environment.

CES produces solo shows, one artist at a time. CES streamlines the artist-gallery working dynamic. The gallery represents emerging artists, jettisoning them to a greater visibility. CES contributes to the current arts dialogue in Los Angeles as it rapidly evolves, championing and fostering the growth of emerging artists at the beginning of their journeys.

Commercially, CES functions as a progressive space in Los Angeles that specializes in local and international contemporary art via various physical and online systems. Owner/Director Carl E. Smith has organized and produced exhibitions and other art events in California and internationally for the past two decades. Smith opened his first gallery in Prague 15 years ago, curating young Czech and American artists into their first exhibitions. He has advocated for artists on a myriad of commercial and fine art platforms in-between Prague, his hometown of Laguna Beach and subsequently, CES Gallery, in Downtown LA—all with the intention of fostering artistic vision and helping emerging artists through the crucial first stages of their careers.

CES continues to pursue and support the development of emerging artists.  In the spirit of this ongoing mission Smith cofounded CES Residency in Summer 2016. A new annual residency program designed to support underrepresented Los Angeles-based artists, CES Residency guides an Artists-In-Residence through the exhibition-making process, including studio visits, installation support, press and collector outreach, public events, a published interview, and solo exhibition at the gallery.

Carl E. Smith currently is the Chair of the Contemporary Circle at the Laguna Art Museum.