Downtown Los Angeles is packed with art in April, so this introduction is brief. Here's the monthly preview on how to make Downtown Art Walk a full day in the city on Thursday, April 12, plus an overall checklist for a very art-centric month in downtown. As regular readers know; Art Walk is a free self-guided tour of galleries, and museum admission may still apply. Check Downtown Art Walk's website for late information, or visit in person to see the "Play Me, I'm Yours Piano" by Andre Miripolsky, and works by Alwin Jackson.
"We're really embracing the spirit of Art Walk and creating a whole outdoor installation," says Kathy M.Y. Pyon, the Los Angeles Times Photo Editor who is doubling as curator for the Art Walk-specific exhibition showcasing L.A. Times staff photography. "We'll also be producing an original projection with Aphidoidea that's a mash-up of our work, street art and pure fun."
It was a different experience for LA Times photographers joining last year's inaugural event. It was a rare chance to hear immediate feedback on their captured images. "Last year was really experimental and we didn't know what to expect," Pyon told me. "The vibe we got is that people are excited to come out and celebrate the photography and journalism we produce and see it in a different context than our daily news coverage."
"The street experience is something I really love," adds Pyon. "It relates to what we do daily, out on the street, documenting the stories of this city and around the world."
The one-night-only pop-up gallery will be at 2nd and Spring, next to Los Angeles Times building, during Downtown Art Walk from 6 to 10 p.m. It includes Deejay sets by Darren Revell of "Big Sonic Heaven," and a cash bar and food trucks will be on site. Admission is free but limited to 21 years and above.
Los Angeles Times Framework Pop-Up Gallery I Corner of E. 2nd and Spring Street
By Chance: The GRAMMY Museum is the lead vocalist for the Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration being held from April 9 through 14. On the day of Art Walk, by chance, 4th and Main will be dedicated as "Woody Guthrie Square." It was first announced the folk singer would be honored at 5th and Main, but has since moved a block north (Well, what else would one expect for the Depression-era singer who randomly roamed for content and penned songs like "Ramblin' Blues" and "Going Down The Road"?)
The GRAMMY Museum I 800 West Olympic Blvd
By Chance II: Noon is the starting time for "Play Me. I'm Yours," the three week piano-in-public space installation hosted by The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra to note the 15th year of music director, Jeffrey Kahane. Downtown locations will be on Grand Avenue's California Plaza, Wells Fargo Center (Wells Fargo is a major sponsor), and the Music Center. Also, Union Station, City Hall, Chinatown's Central Plaza, Olvera Street, and Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts are assigned keys to tickle. You can read more about this piano goes street art project here.
"Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom"is Mei Xian Qiu's title for photographic series that portrays a Chinese takeover of the U.S. The series "engages the constitution of the future, specifically with respect to globalism, the identity of the self and self view, the social landscape, post-colonialism, and that of the larger national body politic." Qui was First Place Winner of the 2012 LACDA Juried Competition. Artist reception held during Art Walk from 7 to 9 p.m.
Los Angeles Center for Digital Art I 102 W. Fifth Street
"we can plant a house, we can build a tree" is the first solo show in Los Angeles in 20 years for now New York based painter Rory Devine. "The title, taken from a Nirvana song, suggests a kind of hopeless optimism, a future where the strange and inconceivable are possible." Restack, in progress is the first solo exhibition of Timothy Nolan, who explores illusions of 3-D space through pattern, line and shape in 2-D wall work and floor installations. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment. Extended hours during Art Walk are pending.
CB1 Gallery I 207 W. 5th Street
"Spring" is a group exhibit featuring painting and sculpture by Robert Toll, Robert Graham trained Gonzalo Algarate, Paradee Chularee, and painters Michael Ruffini and Hans Ladislaus. Opening Reception during Art Walk, from 3 to 10 p.m. Runs through April 30. Regular gallery hours are Monday through Friday from Noon to 7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m. and by appointment.
Gloria Delson Contemporary Arts I 215 W. 6th St. #115 (Entrance on Spring)
Quick Takes: "Represent: A Group Exhibition" opens April 12 at Think Tank Gallery (939 Maple Avenue Suite 200): The Hive Gallery 7th Year Anniversary themed show features Mimi Yoon, Allison Torneros, and J.Salvador. Runs through April 28 at The Hive (729 S. Spring Street); "Michael Duffy" installation at Robert Reynolds Gallery (408 S. Spring Street); "Inside Hollywood" continues at Phil Stern Gallery (601 S. Los Angeles Street). "Ansel Adams Los Angeles" is extended through April 21 at drkrm Gallery (727 Spring St ) ; "Wall of Money" is made of selections from Rick Robinson recent group show Garboushian Gallery. "It's a bit of a recent retrospective," said Robinson of the show with sculptures of totem poles with his invented language. Also included is the story about "Invictus," a mural installed in New York to mark NYC the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 (9th and Broadway)
WEEDS: A solo exhibition of new works by Los Angeles based painter Yunsun Lee that examine "the struggle for survival within the framework of the multicultural American experience," according to PYO Gallery. Says the artist through his statement: "Weeds gain very different identities depending on how we look at them. They can be hated and removed; they can be appreciated or neglected and left alone. The character of weeds resembles every aspect of conflict and survival in human society." Regular hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Artist reception for WEEDS is Saturday May 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. Runs through May 19
PYO Gallery LA I 1100 S. Hope St, Suite 105
FIDM Museum's 20th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition will soon close, and alongside it is FIDM's new Larson Historic Fashion collection partly on view. "Side by side, you view accoutrements of royalty from two distinct fashion cultures, those Oscar-nominated for Best Costume Design and those once belonging to British royalty," says downtown art observer Helen Ly. Visitors' hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (919 S. Grand Ave) Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
FIDM I Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising I Free I Through April 28.
South Park Quick Takes: 2012 Group Photography Show at South Parks's Terrell Moore Gallery (1221 S. Hope Street) features fine art photography of Gershon Kleman and Eric Minh Swenson Art Walk hours are 6 to 10pm.; Tanya Nolan paintings at Packard Loft Gallery (810 S. Flower St) are "delicate white crayon scrawled across a translucent background and ink dripping across the surface" that appear to be floating.
Isloated east of Alameda: "Witness Los Angeles: Block Prints" by William Acedo opens at District Gallery at 7 p.m. Thursday. (740 E. Third St., near Traction, in the Arts District)
Among the multiple offerings from REDCAT, new work "Samsara" premieres. The Machine Orchestra musical interpretation of Indian fables begins a two-day run April 12. Via electro-mechnical instruments, dancers, and multiple speakers, a "rebirth" of ancient morality tales in the technologically ingenious 21st century is formed. Directed by Ajay Kapur and Michael Darling. Guest artists include interactive electronic performers Curtis Bahn and Tomie Hahn, choreographer Raakhi Kapur and kinetic sculptor and musician Trimpin.
Downtown Art Walk is partnering with Britweek, a non-profit organization bringing attention to British creative contributions in California. Contemporary British Video Artworks will be exhibited at the Old Bank plus you can pick up information on upcoming events that begin April 24 (4th and Main) I My Secert Life is a street art exhibition with Chase, DD$, Free Humanity, Snyder, Sand One and others at Groundfloor (433 S. Spring).
We end with a bang. The exhibition explosion event, Mystery Circle, was a loud opening for "Cai Guo-Qiang: Sky Ladder." 40,000 rockets were lit at the same time to welcome in his exhibition at MOCA. A quieter show continues at Geffen Contemporary At MOCA (152 N. Central)